What Does He Need?

Performance Workshop

Brokentalkers, Fiona Whelan and Rialto Youth Project are delighted to present their latest collaboration What Does He Need?, a new participatory performance work exploring how men and boys are shaped by and influence the world they live in.

What Does He Need? takes the form of an immersive, participatory performance workshop for groups of adults and young adults exploring themes related to toxic masculinity, including power, dominance, male violence, pornography, money/status, the suppression of vulnerability and suicide.

The work operates at the intersection of collaborative arts practice, performance, qualitative research and youth work and aims to create significant public dialogue about the current state of masculinity.

The work is currently in development but in its current form What Does He Need? brings together groups of eight participants for a six-hour period. The participants are tasked with guiding a fictional boy through his life from birth to fatherhood as he faces a series of complex dilemmas relating to masculinity. In response to each dilemma, the group engages in dialogue, discussing the boy’s needs. In each case, the boy that is created is from the specific place in which he is made, drawing on the knowledge and lived experience of his makers.

The Intended target audience for this piece are groups made up of a diverse range of participants including young men, young women, mothers of sons, fathers of sons, sports clubs, youth workers, teachers.

Through presentation of this innovative new work exist for festivals, galleries and theatres to identify and engage a wide and diverse range of communities and groups, delivering the work in their community and gathering their particular feedback and insights around the themes as they relate to that specific community.

What Does He Need? participatory performative workshop forms part of a multi-layered project of the same name which includes a programme for children and young people, philosophy workshops for men, a public poster project and an audio walk.


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Created by Brokentalkers, Fiona Whelan and Rialto Youth Project.

Children and Youth Action Group of the North West Inner City Network
Project Arts Center
Dublin City Council Arts Office
The LAB Gallery
Dr. Rob Grant (Philosopher)
Dr. Sharon Todd (Advisor)
Prif. Kathleen Lynch (Advisor)
Susanne Bosch (Practice Researcher) 

The Arts Council of Ireland, Dublin City Council and the National Youth Council of Ireland.