“..Brand is a writer and performer of rare precision…language is wielded like a scalpel,
words are polished into poetry, and the smallest gestures speak volumes.“
“Whoever is broken here, be it Ira, Ollie, Bruce, the dominant male, the questing female,
or the audience’s expectations, it’s been a magnificent rupture.”
“The thing I like about Springsteen is that all his songs are about blue-collar, American, working class, men. You know, men who work on the railroads, and in lumberyards. Real men. I’m not really that kind of guy.”
Meet Ollie. He’s a graphic designer. But he wants to be Bruce.
Break Yourself is a piece about the performance of identity and of gender. Performed in male drag, it is about the relationship between power and desire, the complex landscape of male and female sexual desire, and the desire to be something ‘other’. And it’s about Bruce Springsteen.
It is also an experiment in constructing personas and alternative identities. A risky, dishonest, head-first, whole-hearted, and perhaps slightly desperate attempt to try and be something we have never been before.
Break Yourself past tour dates:
Theaterszene Europa, June 2019, Köln, Germany
Basement Theatre, March 2018, Auckland, New Zealand
DAS Graduate School, November 2017, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Wardrobe Theatre, January 2017, Bristol, UK
The House, Plymouth University, November 2016, Plymouth, UK
Uma Família Inglesa, malavoadora.porto, October 2016, Porto, Portugal
And What? Queer Arts Festival, Hackney Showroom, October 2016, London, UK
Forest Fringe, August 2016, Edinburgh, Scotland
Off Beat Festival, June 2016, Oxford, UK
Buzzcut at the CCA, June 2016, Glasgow, Scotland
Tom Thumb Theatre, June 2016, Margate, UK
NOW’16 Festival, The Yard, June 2016, London, UK
The Bike Shed, June 2016, Exeter, UK
The Marlborough, May 2016, Brighton, UK
Live Art Bistro, May 2016, Leeds, UK
Camden People’s Theatre, October 2015, London, UK (work-in-progress)
Ovalhouse, April 2015, London, UK (work-in-progress)
Concept, text & performance Ira Brand | Dramaturgy Jo Bannon | Lighting & Technical Design Jo Palmer | Choreographer Ella Robson Guilfoyle
Commissioned by Ovalhouse, and supported by The Yard Theatre. Supported by Arts Council England.