Boys Don’t

Half Moon presents a Papertale production in association with Apples and Snakes (South East) for 8-12s & adult audiences.

Who picks up the pieces when boys hide their feelings?

A young man experiencing the pain and disappointment

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 show delivers insights into male experiences of growing up, and offers the possibility of more open communication for us all.

“Has the power to reach those who often feel alienated from the arts scene.”
(Live Theatre UK) ★★★★

Nominated for Best Production for Young People aged 8+ for the Off West End Awards 2017.

….better than any other thing I have ever watched. It’s good because boys don’t talk about their emotions. They are worried that people take the mickey… (Yr 7, St Leonards Academy, Hastings)

….I liked the rhyming words and the stories and even when the boy was crying everyone still liked him the way he was. It shows how boys feel… (Yr 5, Lansbury Lawrence Primary, London)

In partnership with Half Moon Theatre, and Apples and Snakes (South East), Boys Don’t features 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.



There are a range of photos and a promotional trailer for this production available to view at the following links:


Boys Don’t was live streamed from the Brighton Festival on 21 May, 2017. This recording of the full production can be watched again at any time via the video below or from this link:

Promotional Trailer:

Young people talk about Boys Don’t

Boys Don’t interview – Rosemary Harris

Boys Don’t extract – Justin Coe

Boys Don’t extract – Steve Tasane

Boys Don’t extract – Tanaka Mhishi

Boys Don’t extract – Hadiru Mahdi

Performance & Talkback Length (if taken up):

Performances last 45 minutes (no interval); it can be immediately followed by a 25 minute interactive talkback session on the show’s themes, with the writer/performers, if required.


Nominated for Best Production for Young People aged 8+ for the Off West End Awards 2017.

“Has the power to reach those who often feel alienated from the arts scene.”
(Live Theatre UK) 

“Three deeply moving monologues.”
(Susan Elkin, Sardines Magazine)

“Boys Don’t is a play which speaks to boys and men. But it’s not intended exclusively for them. Girls need to think about these issues too. I rather wish I’d seen it when I was in Year 5, in fact.”
(Susan Elkin, Sardines Magazine)

“A poignant and very compelling piece of acting.”
(Susan Elkin, Sardines Magazine)

Touring Details:

Only available until 2 December 2018.

Technical Requirements:

  • Get-in:  1 hour before half
  • Get-out:  15 minutes
  • Performing area: minimum 3m (width) by 3m (depth) by 3m (height).
  • Pre-rig: a simple plan with warm and cold general wash, with dark blue, warm and cold backlighting & 3 onstage profile specials.
  • Sound: no sound. In larger spaces or festivals/tents where there may be difficult acoustics, please provide three lapel radio mics that you connect to your sound system. Time should be given for sound-checks.
  • Staging: venues need to provide two matching chairs.
  • Technical staff: 1 technician to operate lighting.
  • Facilities: lockable dressing room & parking for a saloon car if possible.

Note – in addition to traditional venues, this piece is designed for festivals, non-traditional spaces, schools or site specific spaces. As a result technical requirements are flexible and can be presented without technical lighting / sound requirements. Please enquire.

We provide:

  • Dedicated support from the marketing/PR and technical team at Half Moon.
  • A3 posters (up to 20) / A5 flyers (up to 500) – (NB: overprinting is at an additional cost).
  • Images and production photos for use with venue brochures/web etc.


  • London – 1 show per day: £750 + VAT
  • London – 2 shows per day: £840 + VAT
  • Commutable (London) – 1 or 2 shows per day:  £995 + VAT (1st show from 1.30pm onwards)
  • All other locations – 1 or 2 shows per day:  £1330 + VAT

More than one day of gigs add:

  • London – 1 show per day (£650 + VAT);
  • London – 2 shows per day (£720 + VAT);
  • Commutable (£965 + VAT)
  • All other locations / not commutable (£980 + VAT)

If organising a regional block, reduced rates may apply, please enquire.

Please note that these fees are subject to a small additional supplement if your venue makes a compulsory contra to us for your costs at the contracting stage (e.g. credit card/box office; get-in/out; marketing/brochure contributions).

Note for venues at very long distances from London, an additional supplement of £100 per day may apply. Please enquire.

Creative Learning Activities/Workshops:

The performance can be immediately followed by a short interactive talkback session. This is included in the performance fee price. There is also a comprehensive resource pack to support school and community audiences. The Workshop Toolkit can be downloaded:

Boys Don’t Toolkit

In addition, and at additional cost, these performances are supported by a poetry workshop package for schools (Years 5-8), exploring young people’s emotional literacy through creative writing and performance. The workshops are tailored to the needs to the particular school, and supported by online resources. This programme is suitable for both boys and girls. Please contact us for more information, including prices.

For more details on this, please contact:   
Chris Elwell on 020 7709 8902 /