The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale

“hilarious and hypnotically honest” - Exeunt

★★★★“a powerhouse performance”
- The Stage

development history

The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale premiered in London at Camden People's Theatre in Nov-Dec 2018.  In February 2019 played a completely sold out run in Toronto as part of Progress Festival, Theatre Centre.

Yard Sale was developed on Camden People’s Theatre’s 2017 Starting Blocks scheme and was awarded a Commission from Wilderness Festival.  The show has received additional support from Old Diorama’s Associate Performer’s Scheme, Battersea Arts Centre and The Albany.

“very, very special… self-sacrifice for the good of something bigger.”

- A Younger Theatre

show description

“What if told you, that I suffered a flesh wound for this sapphire necklace?”

Haley McGee was on the phone with Visa, promising to pay off her bill by having a yard sale, when she realised all the things she could sell were gifts from her exes. Inspired by this call, The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale is a hilarious and daring show about the cost of love… or what love costs us.

So: can we translate sentimental value into cold hard cash? Why does Haley want to – and why now? The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale smashes together personal divulgences, maths, recorded interviews with Haley's ex-boyfriends, economics and the politics of commerce in a quest to determine what our romantic relationships are actually worth. 

This autobiographical work offers eight items “for sale” – all gifts from Haley’s exes – and introduces a brand new formula, developed with math expert Melanie Frances, to calculate the cost of love.
The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale is part of Soulpepper’s 2020 Season (Toronto, May 2020). Single tickets go on sale in November 2019. Join my mailing list to be reminded.

creative team

Haley McGee - writer & performer
Mitchell Cushman - director
Melanie Frances - mathematics collaborator
Zoe Robinson - producer 
Anna Reid - scenic design
Kieran Lucas - sound design
Lucy Adams - lighting design
Eliza Cass - additional production & creative support

Outside Eyes - Holly Beasley-Garrigan, Deborah Pearson, Phillip McKee & Richard Corgan
Additional Math Help from Lee Smolin, Robert Elliot Smith, Ted Witzel & Rajiv Patel

photo by Matt Peberdy.

photo by Matt Peberdy.


★★★★★ "one of the best shows of the year" - Now Magazine

“it’s easy to imagine [Haley] hosting a popular television version of the show” - Chris Weigand, The Guardian

“McGee’s brilliantly entertaining, witty and poignant show is fascinating because it is never quite what it seems”- Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“a whole other level of wow” - Maddy Costa

★★★★ - Breaking the Fourth Wall

“refreshing and necessary” - The Play’s The Thing

“This is a show that is continually turning in on itself, continually deepening, interrogating every assumption you might have brought in with you. Every time you think McGee’s gone as far as the show will go, the whole thing turns again, and becomes something cleverer, funnier, more enjoyable; there’s a real delight in watching a writer-performer as deeply talented as McGee examine her idea from every angle and take you with her all the way.” - Exeunt

★★★★ “reshingly unshowy, vibrantly delivered ... McGee does metatextuality with suppleness and confidence … brilliant" - The Stage, on Wilderness Preview

“engaging and fearless”- The Guardian, ‘Readers’ favourite theatre of 2018’

★★★.5 (out of 4) "The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale captures the unquantifiable beauty of love" - Globe & Mail

"in her own inimitable, deeply personal, impish way, McGee makes us see that a numerical value can’t be put on something that came from something so inexplicably emotional" - Slotkin Letter

"funny and honest, and very relatable" - Mooney on Theatre

"I wanted to have more control over what I was saying. I had this urge to be creating my own work and touring my own work” - Toronto Star Preview  

CBC Radio Interview with Tom Power on Q

Haley McGee in EBYS. Photo by Sophie le Roux.

Haley McGee in EBYS. Photo by Sophie le Roux.

thank you donors

In the summer of 2018, we ran a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the launch of The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale. For donating £12 or more, these generous individuals were promised their name in proud letters on my website.


Hannah Antaki, Jeff Yung, Serena SJ, Andrew Woolner, Shannon Taylor, Sean O’Byrne, Jen Silva, Lorna Rourke, Rylan Wilkie, Laura Anne Harris, Abeer Asif, Milena McCormack, Leah Cherniak, Lisa Ryder, Briana Brown, Eric Epstein, Amelia Sargisson, Garry Cook, Miriam Gould, David Coomber, Cristina Guaglio, Claire Ishoy, Marta Ciechonska, Jonathan Wakeham, Thomas Swayne, Sarah Garton Stanley, Ken Lendran Penrose, Caitlin Volkert, Richard Corgan, Leisa Wellsman & Gary Draper, Deborah Pearson, Richard Charrois, Tassos Stevens, Brittney Francis, Lynn Slotkin, Naomi Bowman, Barbara Gordon, Chadwick Shroy, Raffaele Ciampaglia, Nick Walsh, Ron Pederson, Robert Smith, Moe Mustafa, Bev Harris, Rory McGee, Kathy McGee, Shayna Magnuson, David Lint, Jane Hill, Carol Acton, Cyntha Struthers, Lynda Penrose, Richard Burbidge, Andrea Witzel, Paul Stevens, Jennifer Pinnell, Lynne Magnusson, Rebecca Penty, Robert Sondergaard, Rob & Theresa Donelson, Shawn Kerwin, Catherine Fitch, Pat Quigley & Paul Howley, Reg McQuaid, Marta McCarthy, Ross Sutherland & Nancy Bailey, Donna Penrose & Ted McGee & anonymous (you know who you are).

*if you donated and your name is missing, please send me an email and let me know.