PREVIEW: A Gym Thing, Pleasance Theatre

Following its run at the Edinburgh Festival in 2017, Tom Vallen’s play will arrive at the Pleasance Theatre from the 30th April. 

A Gym Thing (Tom Vallen) - courtesy of Sally Jubb Photography
(c) Sally Jubb. 

Written and performed by Tom Vallen, A Gym Thing is an examination of the rising health concerns of gym addiction.

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. A complex love story from a gym addict’s point of view, set within a 60 minute workout, A Gym Thing tackles body image and bigorexia (Body Dysmorphic Disorder), leaving those who don’t visit the gym with a greater understanding of ‘why we do what we do’.

Set within an hour workout, the play highlights 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 sadly, suicide rates are amongst the highest out of all mental disorders.

Talking about the play, Tom Vallen said: “I am thrilled to bring A Gym Thing to a London audience following our exhilarating and heart-warming run at the Edinburgh Festival. The show is physically a challenge to perform and while I hope this entertains, it also highlights the lengths millennials will go to achieve the ultimate physique which has ever moving goalposts. Muscle Dysmorphia or Bigorexia affects 1 in 10 bodybuilding gym users and overall Body Dysmorphic Disorder has one of the highest rates of suicide of all the mental health disorders with 1 in 50 attempting suicide. I am very proud to be further spreading awareness around this debilitating disorder.”

The production is directed by Philip Scott-Wallace with sound by Adam Welsh and lighting by Saulius Valiunas. It is produced by Working Cast Productions and Small Things Theatre.

A Gym Thing will play at the Pleasance Theatre from the 30th April until the 13th May. For more information visit:

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