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JAMES DEAN COMES TO SALFORD IN TRANSGENDER LOVE STORY
 

Star date: 9th February 2014

GIRLS WILL BE BOYS AND BOYS WILL BE GIRLS IN NATIONAL THEATRE CONNECTION

Pronoun
By Evan Placey
Tuesday 25th/Wednesday 26th February/Sun 4th May
The Lowry £7/£5

Young people from Salford tackle Pronoun, the latest National Theatre Connections play in which a girl changes into a boy while her boyfriend still loves her – and 50s icon James Dean twists the plot. Confused? Probably. Entertained? Definitely!

Full details here…


Pronoun
click image to enlarge

We're in the Holy Angel Church Hall on the 'Height where over a dozen young Salford people are rehearsing for their play Pronoun, written by Evan Placey, as part of the National Theatre's Connections programme. Everyone is quite relaxed about the subject matter…

"I'm playing Dean which is the main part and he's transgender female to male" says Lauren Chetham. Nonchalantly.

"It's about a girl [Isabella], who wants to change into a boy [Dean], and her boyfriend isn't gay but he admits that he loves her, so they go in and out of a relationship" Lauren adds "She works at Tesco and starts saving up for the operation, which is £6,000, and starts the testosterone course at the beginning of the play. It's set in Salford and it's all centred around Dean's best mate's 50s-themed wedding."

This is probably the trickiest subject matter this group has encountered since annually showcasing their talents as part of the National Theatre's programme. Even beating last year's homophobic knife crime play Tomorrow I'll Be Happy  (see previous Salford Star article - click here).

"We've met a translady who's helped us a lot, so it's not as bad as it was at first when we didn't know anything about it" Lauren explains "We've been doing loads of research, but the writer said he wants it to be entertaining not educating so that's how we're going to do it."

To add to the entertainment, James Dean looms large in the production, here played by Tom Carney, who, er, also plays Dean's mum…

"James Dean comes to Dean in these kind of dreamlike states and he's maybe encouraging her, or teasing her, to get something out of her that's still in there" says Tom "It's good because, as the mum as well, I'm very distraught that Dean wants to be a boy and has lost her daughter. She's seen Isabella grow up and now all of a sudden she wants to be a boy, so she doesn't know whether to disown her or continue as things are."

There's certainly plenty of material for the cast to get their acting teeth into but Tom says, "the aim is for people to enjoy it – there's love, romance, a lot of testosterone and high emotions…"

It should be one mixed up, muddled up, shook up world for the three nights Pronoun is playing at The Lowry during February and May.

Pronoun
By Evan Placey/Priduced by Interstage
Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th February/Sunday 4th May
The Lowry £7/£5

For tickets and further details see www.thelowry.com

BH wrote
at 16:24:04 on 11 February 2014
All the actors in this article have and are still going through intense research for this play. This play has been commissioned by National Theatre and the actors can only work with the script that has been given them. If any of the comments offended then please note these are young actors trying to do a script with as much passion and reality as possible they are not going through the process themselves. As a youth theatre when the script was given the actors have taken advise from various Transgender groups and individuals and are still continuing to do so. The writer Evan Placey wants the script to be an entertaining piece of theatre not educational and I can assure you the young people will do their very best to do the subject and the script justice. Please come along and support the young people in their journey Lowry theatre 25th and 26th February.
 
Greenwick wrote
at 05:25:40 on 10 February 2014
I hope the people who made the statements in this article will take the time to learn about trans people. 'A transgender' is not how to refer to a trans person. Also, trans men identify as men. They are men. "wants to be" is a terrible phrase to use when talking about gender identity.
 
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