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Boys Don’t

Who picks up the pieces when boys hide their feelings?

Boys Don’t is a performance poetry project for pupils in Year 5 and 6 exploring societal attitudes to boys’ emotional expression and the impact of this upon all young people’s mental wellbeing.

Pupils take part in three in-school workshops and watch performance poets in action.

This project gives insight into male experiences of growing up, and offers the possibility of supporting more open communication between girls and boys.

What is included:

  • Three school-based workshops for pupils in Year 5 and/or 6, plus staff members (around 1 hour each) which includes performances by the delivering poets.
  • An online toolkit to continue the work in class.

The Performance Poems:

From the playground to the classroom, from home to the uncharted waters of online, boys learn that displaying their feelings is a no-no. But what happens to emotion that can’t be let out?

Boys Don’t explores through spoken word what happens when boys show their feelings, written from real-life experiences of the diverse male cast. Through a series of funny, familiar and sometimes heart-breaking stories of boys in the emotional spotlight, the poems deliver insights into male experiences of growing up, and offers the possibility of more open communication for us all.

In partnership with Half Moon Theatre, and Apples and Snakes (South East), Boys Don’t has featured some of the UK’s leading poets and performers in repertory, including Justin Coe, Hadiru Mahdi, Tanaka Mhishi & Steve Tasane. It is the latest work from Papertale, following on from the Suitcase Trilogy of spoken word performances about migration for young audiences, directed by Rosemary Harris.

The Workshops:

This is a poetry-based project to enhance literacy attainment among pupils, with specialist input, as this is an area of the curriculum many feel less confident about delivering in a creative and engaging way.

Poetry outcomes:

  • Explore free verse through similes and metaphors.
  • Explore rhythm and rhyme.
  • Explore narrative poetry.

Wellbeing outcomes:

  • Explore gender roles through creative language use.
  • Examine self-identity in relation to gender role stereotypes.
  • Building self-confidence and self-expression.
  • Exploring expression of emotional distress.
  • Examining broader responses to gender role stereotyping (e.g. family, school, media, etc).
  • Exploring possible paths of achievement and self-expression.

Images and Videos:

There are a range of photos and a promotional trailer for this production available to view here.The 2017/18 programme was supported by Ironmongers Company.

For more information please contact Beccy: beccy@halfmoon.org.uk or call on 0207 709 8908.

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