Gritty new play tackling toxic masculinity to premier in Birmingham

Cast of 'Physical Education', written by RBC alumni Jonathan Houlston

A new play that challenges toxic masculinity and confronts the pressures facing young men in the contemporary world will debut in Birmingham next week.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Birmingham City University

Created by and featuring young actors trained at Birmingham City University’s (BCU) Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, ‘Physical Education’ premieres at Blue Orange Theatre on the 8 & 9 November.    
Fast-paced, comedically smart and hard-hitting, the play was written by BCU Conservatoire graduate Jonathan Houlston, who is daring to challenge ‘lad culture.’

Set in a school changing room, Physical Education has a small eight-person cast who all trained at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC).

Jonathan believes the ‘professional’ and ‘pragmatic’ training he received at RBC has helped develop his skills as an actor and writer.

“The professionalism, support and discipline of the RBC make it easily one of the best institutions in the UK,” 

“The excellence of the tutors, room to grow, and supportive working environment at the Conservatoire means I count myself incredibly lucky to have trained there.

“As well as the training, RBC gave me the chance to build life-long friendships."

The inspiration for Physical Education came from Jonathan’s experiences growing up in Swansea, where he felt like an outsider who ‘enjoyed dressing in panto-gear’ and ‘singing musical theatre on stage.’

Physical Education will be shown for two nights at The Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham, at 7.30 pm on 8 and 9 November and is suitable for those 14 and over.

The show is the first production from Mad Dragon Theatre Company, which Jonathan set up after he graduated and pays homage to his Welsh roots.

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