Cast Announced For A Gym Thing At Pleasance Theatre

Casting announced for A Gym Thing, which examines gym addiction at the Pleasance Theatre London.

Tom Vallen in A Gym Thing
Tom Vallen as Will Shaw in A Gym Thing. Photo: Sally Jubb Photography

Set within a 60-minute workout, A Gym Thing shines a much-needed spotlight on the world of Bigorexia or Muscle Dysmorphia (reverse anorexia) – a subtype of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). BDD is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that affects both men and women – for those suffering with this, quality of life is extremely poor and, shockingly, suicide rates are amongst the highest out of all mental disorders.

Driven by a daily quest for perfection, Will takes us on a fast-paced, sweaty, physical exploration of how the gym has strengthened and weakened his relationships, his physique and ultimately his life. This complex love story offers a truthful insight into a gym addict’s point of view about body image while offering those who don’t visit the gym a greater understanding about why gym goers strive for perfection.

A Gym Thing Cast Pleasance London
A Gym Thing Cast – Jennifer Brooke, Gabrial Akuwudike and Tom Vallen

Jennifer Brooke (Hollyoaks, Channel 4; White Gold, BBC2; My Name Is Lenny, Salon Pictures) and Gabriel Akuwudike (The Bisexual, Channel 4; Informer, BBC1; No One Is An Island, Tangle Theatre) join Tom Vallen in A Gym Thing – a powerful Edinburgh Fringe transfer which presents a brutally honest portrayal of the rising health concerns of gym addiction.

Director Philip Scott-Wallace comments, We’re delighted to welcome Gabriel and Jennifer to A Gym Thing. They’re both intuitive, generous and talented actors who bring a fantastic new energy to the play. A Gym Thing is not only an important story about mental health, shining a light on BDD sufferers, but also a dynamic, physical exploration of gym life set within a 60 minute workout. I want the audience to revel in the adrenaline and euphoria that is unique to the gym, the high that comes from pushing your body to the limit, as well as be moved by the effects of an addiction that can cause lives to be destroyed. With Gabe, Jenn and Tom, we have a cast that can bring tenderness, detail and intensity to create something magic and memorable.

A Gym Things is directed by Philip Scott-Wallace, written by Tom Vallen, sound design by Adam Welsh, lighting design by Saulius Valiunas and produced by Working Cast Productions and Small Things Theatre.

A Gym Thing will play at The Pleasance London from 30 April to 13 May 2018.


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