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Ovalhouse and Jon Coleman present

How To Be a Man by Jon Coleman

An Ovalhouse FiRST BiTES work-in-development.

One performer attempts to navigate the tricky landscape of masculinity and what makes a man a man. There are man-hugs, costume changes and a little bit of sword play.

This event is part of the FiRST BiTES season
  • Wed 8 Apr – Sat 11 Apr, 8:00pm

Venue: Upstairs

Please note that, regrettably, the upstairs theatre is not currently accessible for wheelchair users.

Men are in crisis. They don’t know how to be men anymore; they don’t even know what it means to be a man anymore. Now they are desperately trying to find the answers. 

What are the core values that a man should hold dear? Is manhood a choice? How does a man hug?

In this solo performance, one man attempts to navigate the terrain of his various and often contradictory opinions on how to be a man. 

There is an apology to be made however. This show will fail, it won’t work. But that’s ok, it’s not meant to.


(On The Waiting Man in 'Nowt Part Of' Festival.)

“The delivery, the investment in everything being said, and the incredibly effective and deceptive simplicity of the storytelling is so compelling… Coleman made great use of the space, of the audience, of time, silence and sound. We could trust to tell us stories with great style, emotional intelligence, and honesty. Definitely one to watch for in the future.” Claire Dean – Now Then.  


  • Wed 8 Apr, 7:00pm
  • Thu 9 Apr, 7:00pm
  • Fri 10 Apr, 7:00pm
  • Sat 11 Apr, 7:00pm

Written and performed by Jon Coleman.
Jon is an East Midlands based theatre maker and performer. His work explores the nature of storytelling, focusing on the mechanics of telling stories rather than the stories themselves. The two common themes that can be found within Jon’s work are hope and failure and the vulnerability found in both of these as he believes that vulnerability is where beauty can be found. Above all Jon aims to create moments that are beautiful and surprising as well as challenging and thought provoking.

Awarded 'Best Male Actor' (For The Waiting Man) 2013 Independent Studio Theatre Awards.

Directed by Josh Coates.
Josh is a theatre maker from the grey side of Bolton,who explores the role of the storyteller in contemporary performance. He has worked alongside Blast Theory, Daniel Bye and Belarus Free Theatre. He is co-founder of performance company and band Tin Tin and an associate artist with LEAP (Lancaster Emerging Arts Platform). Josh has presented work in Manchester, Oslo and London but has yet to perform in Bolton. This breaks his little heart.

Set Design by Simone Romaniuk.

Additional information

How To Be A Man is a part of Ovalhouse' FiRST BiTES series of new performance pieces, currently in development and presented as work-in-progress showings.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Click an image to view a larger version.

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