Produced by Kriya Arts for physical theatre company Rhum and Clay, TESTOSTERONE is the product of our exciting collaboration with trans male writer and performer Kit Redstone and the wonderful drag BAME performer Daniel Jacob. The piece is an exploration of Masculine identity through the lens of a 'brand new man'.
Rhum and Clay’s TESTOSTERONE is organised as a series of questions. Kit Redstone’s text raises questions like ‘When did I become a man?’, ‘Have I ever been a woman?’, and ‘When did we lose the right to cry?’ which structure this journey through identity, masculinity and self-knowing. These questions for Redstone are not merely rhetorical. As a trans man a year after his first injection of testosterone, he uses them not only to better understand himself, but also to examine and unpack the complex, contradictory and sometimes toxic world of men.
So what better place to set the action than the most quintessential of masculine spaces: the locker room. Julian Spooner and Matthew Wells, artistic directors of Rhum and Clay, lounge about with a lazy machismo, showing off their bromance (and other things) for everyone to see. Daniel Jacob sits to the side, going through a pre-workout routine. An angled mirror hangs over the stage, reflecting both the action and the audience. Much of Testosterone is about what we show and who sees it. And so the gym, as a place where mirrors and self-improvement dominate, acts not just as an overtly manly environment, but as a space for Redstone to reflect on himself and his position in the world.
What first appears as a routine ritual of four men changing after a workout, then transforms into an epic coming of age quest for a masculine identity in an environment that affords little space to hide.
Born at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris in 2010, Rhum & Clay is led by artistic directors Julian Spooner and Matthew Wells. We are passionate about finding interesting new stories and bringing them to the stage. We tailor the style and approach of each show to the story we are telling. We collaborate with writers, musicians, dancers, designers and anyone with an interesting story to tell. This makes every Rhum and Clay show a complex harmony of the varied voices in the rehearsal room.
We are an associate ensemble of New Diorama Theatre and Redbridge Drama Centre.
Recent productions have include 64 Squares (Underbelly 2016), The Man in the Moon (Pleasance 2013), Hardboiled (ZOO 2011) and Shutterland (ZOO 2011).
TESTOSTERONE raises important issues. It is both a critique and a celebration of all things male and raises important questions around gender identity, gender assigned roles and male emancipation. Coming at a crucial time in man's history, this is a politically relevant piece, at a time when we are all being asked to re-evaluate the ways we are living our lives and the accepted status quo is becoming increasingly frayed. We believe this is a show that will delight, entertain and challenge your audiences.
'Kit Redstone tells his tale with clever asides and sometimes disarming honesty.' ★★★★★ Westend Wilma
'TESTOSTERONE is everything good theatre should be, powerful, emotional, entertaining and thought provoking and I cannot recommend it highly enough' ★★★★★ London Theatre
‘Hilarious look at the antics and routines of the inhabitants of a male changing room' ★★★★★ Theatre Breaks
‘Thought provoking play and ideal for a society that is fighting back against gender norms' A Younger Theatre
Performing at 5.30pm in the Pleasance 2 for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival throughout August as part of the British Council Showcase,.