Boys Don't Cry (2017)

What is it to be a man? Muscles and strength? Money and wealth? To simply be born with a penis?

Boy's Don't Cry (2017)  is a performance exhibition devised and curated by System Theatre Company, which asks those very questions. Provoking questions of Hyper-masculinity, the anima/animus archetypes and societal gender structures.

Amongst the baby pictures, super-heroes and hotdogs the boy plays. Immersed in the world captured by the music blasting through his headphones he must do everything within his power not let the balloon touch the floor. Shifting, floating and diving through the space, the man dressed in a shirt and tie embodies the child-like quality he has lost. To his left, his parents talk about their lives, the special moments, the mundane, and their little boy - now 22 years old, his toenails painted his favourite colour of glittery pink (not just any pink, glittery pink), hidden from sight by socks, just like his mother used to make him do as a child as not to be bullied. He does not want to be female, he does not want to be male, he simply wants to no longer be a victim of societies structures. He wants to be happy and free of pressures. 

This exhibition questions gender roles, orientation and identity. Here the performer Ryan Daniel Wilkinson explores his own masculinity and identity whilst simultaneously inquiring about the global masculinity crisis, using particularly the theories of Grayson Perry, Judith Butler and Sara Ahmed, as a platform to further the work.

Premiere: 12 - 2017


Running Time: 6hrs

Performer: Ryan Daniel Wilkinson

Interviews: Daniel Wilkinson

Joanna Marshall

James Marshall