AK Souffle: The tyranny of the changing room


A few weeks back I was lucky enough to meet and interview Kit Redstone on the show. Kit is a remarkable young man and a theatre maker. We talked about his show Testosterone and his life and we dwelled on the dynamics found in changing rooms. Not changing rooms in clothes retailers, hideous in their very own way, but those that you had to endure at school and for some of you masochists out there in later years at sports centres and gymnasiums. I hated sports at school, inventing innumerable excuses to be excused – so it was a horror that for the most part I managed to avoid.

Kit, working with Rhum and Clay Theatre Company, has created a play that I was anxious to see. Interviewing him before seeing the show made it in some ways rather difficult – but in many ways much better. I was not bringing to the table my personal response to the work and was able to talk about Kit’s work in a more general sense – ‘work and life’ I should say, Kit was very forthcoming about how he lives and the road he has taken.

He tells the story with hardly a glimmer of anger. In fact he tells it with more than a little humour and calm

I’ve seen the play now and I was blown away by it. There’s a review on our website if you’re interested but it’s not what I want to write about here. Here I want to talk about this from a very different angle.

Testosterone is a play about masculinity and how it manifests itself, but in its creation it also became a play about Kit’s transition – oh, did I mention that Kit is a trans man? Well he is and he is wonderfully together about what must be a massive part of his life. Maybe Kit has been lucky, I would not assume that, but what I can say is that he tells the story with hardly a glimmer of anger. In fact he tells it with more than a little humour and calm. It’s quite extraordinary how ordinary he makes it, and perhaps by cushioning it in a world of hilarious machismo he is helping us to see what he has done and the person that he now is, which is rather endearingly ordinary.

Now by ‘ordinary’ I really mean that he is just another human living just another life. In doing it in this way, in such a public way and without aggression, he makes a beautiful case for acceptance, for diversity and for equality. Hats of to you Mr Redstone, you are a star.

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