Review - Immaculate Correction⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The John Byrne Award
‘Immaculate Correction’- written and directed by Catherine Expósito.
Prior to the premiere of her play ‘Immaculate Correction’ in Kings Head Theatre, London, director and former JBA winner talked to the Good Lad Initiative about sex education and positive masculinity.
"Sex education in a twenty first century, Catholic school. What is that like? The question is explored in my play ‘Immaculate Correction’ which won The John Byrne Award monthly prize in October 2017. Since then I have been continuing to develop and write the piece. Next week (9th-13th July) the play will have it’s world premiere at The King’s Head Theatre in London.
The protagonist Stacey notes that her teacher: ‘...doesn’t talk about sex in sex education class. She doesn’t talk about femidoms, or the pill or the any of the rest of it. But I’ve seen condoms cos they’re cracking water balloons’. The play is a commentary on the sex education syllabus, based on some of my real-life experiences of Catholic education (specifically sexual education) in Scotland from my time at school between 2005- 2011. Set in the backdrop of a town which was twice voted ‘the worst in Britain’ in the Carbuncle Awards, it seeks to uncover the inequality in education and give a voice to young working class females who are seldom represented on stage.
I met with Rebecca Collins from the Good Lad Initiative, a charity which promotes positive masculinity to discuss the effects of poor or absent sex education. We spoke about our experiences as teenage girls at school. When your only access to sex education is porn; slut shaming, lad culture, unrealistic body image, sexual expectation, and sexual harassment becomes the norm. I can’t help but feel that even the most basic sex education class or information leaflet would have combated this even if just a little.
Rebecca made an excellent point that these young teenagers then become adults. They don’t just suddenly grow up and shake away the social conditioning and the toxic societal projection of gender roles.
In ‘Immaculate Correction’ Kelly states that ‘he’ll take the lead’ when talking about Stacey’s first time. I wanted to portray that there is a horrible pressure on boys and men just as much as women and girls. The play is very much from a female perspective so I wanted to understand what we can do to help boys/ men.
ABOUT THE GOOD LAD INITIATIVE
The Good Lad Initiative run workshops with over 1000 men from 15 different universities, multiple sports teams, business schools, secondary schools, and professional environments. The workshops consist of team building exercise and allow groups to collectively discuss ideas and to define positive cultures they want to portray. Currently based in London, the charity are in the process of creating an Edinburgh hub.
Good Lad’s website notes that: ‘Minimum standards, legal and social, are the absolute foundation of how we should interact with one another. However, often men are encouraged to engage with complex gender situations by thinking only of the minimum standards of behaviour that they owe women’.
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