BOY’s story follows the journey of Joe and his three close friends as a seemingly harmless in-joke moves from ‘banter’ to something much more sinister after an incident at a party, resulting in a tragic escalation of events with life-changing consequences for all involved.
A show and a workshop all in one.
interactive from beginning to end, where your young people actively explore important issues relevant to them and ‘try out’ solutions in a safe atmosphere.
Their voices are heard.
Their solutions explored.
Maximum impact is achieved through the natural differentiation this interaction brings. Your young people ‘own’ the outcome and adopt embedded behavioural change long after we have gone away.
BOY has toured to 41 schools and worked with over 3,280 young people. These were in mainstream schools, religious schools, special schools. We have also done public performances, marched at PRIDE with the BOY team and Inclusion For All.
The aim of BOY is to bring LGBT prejudice and bullying to the fore and to create safe spaces for all young people regardless of identity. We reflect school’s statutory obligations with respect to the Equalities Act 2010 and current OFSTED requirements with regard to homophobic and transphobic bullying, and we inspire young people to develop strategies for understanding prejudice, successfully managing healthier relationships, creating ownership of their own behavioural choices and empowering embedded behavioural change through our interactive theatre experience.
BOY’s journey began when we became increasingly aware that homophobic language and bullying seemed to be on the increase when we were hearing responses during other shows (our sexual health tours). When it came to homophobia there was a sense that it wasn’t a problem. Or that calling someone gay as an insult wasn’t homophobic.
I contacted Shaun Dellenty from Inclusion For All and met with him. His response after the meeting was “In all these years of delivering work on homophobia I have had several TIE companies wanting to work with us, but I have been waiting for one to come along who would make me sit up and feel I really wanted to work with them You have done that today.” Our relationship blossomed and BOY was born.
We started with drama focus groups with young people between 8 years and 14 years old, exploring the issues through drama and debate. In addition, individuals who had suffered from homophobic or identity based bullying and prejudice, were interviewed and their stories listened to. The outcomes and key messages of all these were then taken into the rehearsal room with myself and the cast, and we spent two weeks working with this rich and authentic foundation of research to create the BOY concept and script, finally resulting in a powerful and contemporary performance piece.
After a very well received public VIP launch showcase in February 2016 BOY began a pilot tour to schools and colleges in London, Essex, Herts, Essex and Manchester, now including a ninety-minute forum theatre interactive section following the forty-five-minute scripted section. In addition, two public theatre spaces were booked (to showcase the scripted section only) to adult audiences followed by Question and Answer sessions with the cast.
A press junket was undertaken, including appearances on London Live evening news and an interview on the Curtain Up radio show. Response to BOY at school and public level was highly positive and as a result Southwark Council engaged and granted the BOY team £28,000 to expand the project and funding was gained by the Stevenage Community Trust.
The show has also been approached by a West End producer to make it into a West End musical and we are mid talks. Daniel Sparrow (West End producer) wants to share our story with a much bigger mainstream audience and sees BOY as vital and informative. Tim Minchin has agreed to read our proposal so its fingers crossed!
We have also extended the BOY experience to include an Ambassador Programme. Post show, this 3 day programme explores ‘tools for change’ with 30 targeted young people. Emotional and mental health, emotional intelligence, self-esteem and exploration of identity based prejudice empowers young people to share the BOY legacy by becoming authentic leaders committed to accelerating change by creating their own theatre piece for change in their own organisations. Ambassadors are encouraged to share the final product with peers, parents/carers, staff, school leaders and governors.
Parliament performance during Parliament Week Nov 2016 in collaboration with Parliout.
funding from Clinical Commissioning Group NHS, Southwark Council and Stevenage Community Trust.
Invited to adapt the play for the West End.
Touring London, Essex, Herts, Cambs, North East, Brighton and beyond.
Our aim is to create safe spaces for all young people regardless of identity. We know you want to meet your statutory obligations with respect to the Equalities Act 2010 and current OFSTED requirements with regard to homophobic and transphobic bullying, so let us inspire your young people to develop strategies for understanding prejudice, successfully managing healthier relationships, creating ownership of their own behavioural choices and empowering embedded behavioural change through our interactive theatre experience.