How To Be A Man

“The point is not for women simply to take power out of men’s hands, since that wouldn’t change anything about the world. It’s a question precisely of destroying that notion of power.”

– Simone de Beauvoir

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 answer. Countless books, films, documentaries and articles have appeared, all trying to tell you how to live like a man and what a man is. So here is another voice in the crowd.

The important questions will be answered…

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

In this solo performance one man expresses his various, sometimes contradictory opinions on how to be a man, gathered through careful research and generalised assumption. These are interspersed with personal stories gathered from interviews with members of the public and extracts from the various self-help books as well social clichés and famous quotes about men. Not all of what he says is what he thinks and not all of what he says is true.

There is an apology to be made however. This show will fail, but that’s ok, it’s meant to.

Created with support from Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts, Ovalhouse and Contact Theatre.

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“This is challenging, thought-provoking, poignant and sometimes sad… Jon M Coleman delivers his message earnestly, with gusto, with conviction. He is a confident and likeable performer and very engaging; he makes you listen. He’s a top man.” – John Wood (North West End)

“His advocation for feminist and queer theory showed research, and he managed to cover the tricky terrain in a tongue-in-cheek manner… a delight to see someone so passionate about such a serious topic.” – Rae Coppola (Quays News)

Writer/Performer – Jon M Coleman

Director – Josh Coates & Paper People Theatre

Set Designer – Simone Romaniuk

The development of the show as well as my personal journey can followed in my Blog. Specific entries that are important to me are; The Why of How to be a Man, The Quiet Crisis and How to be a Man but not How to be a Man.

If you’re interested to know more about the performance, it’s technical specifications and artists involved, have a look at the HTBAM Info Pack



    1. Good question. To be honest I’m still in the planning stages so I’m not entirely certain. I’m also (funding pending) intending to hire a set designer and stage manager to help with the aesthetics of the piece. I do know that I’m going to be using mannequins and tape recorders to try recreate the full chorus. In terms of the How to be a Man, it’s going to be an attempt at making a set rules that end up not being cohesive, so each element of the show will be about a certain rule, or set of rules based on a certain’type’ of man. Im also going to hopefully do things like recreate a version of the evolution of man image as well as the vetruvian man, hopefully using the mannequins…

      very long winded reply. Sorry about that.

  1. Hi Jon – Looking forward to trying to catch this and talk to you. I’m researching and making theatre and film in this area, also networking male artists making this work. Check out and group on FB. Best for the run, glad I caught this info in time.. will post something in the DDM fb group. Best for it! Duncan 😉

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