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Can You See Into a Black Hole?

28 June - 3 July

“I thought I was going to be an astronaut, but instead of getting in a rocket to space, I found space hiding in my head instead”


Tom once dreamed of being an astronaut … or the blue power ranger! He wanted it so much the thought of it burned like a hot star in his head. But, when he was 8, on a campsite near Scarborough, that star went SUPERNOVA and formed a black hole inside his head that the astronaut he dreamed of fell into.


After Tom had his first epileptic seizure on a family holiday, his childhood dreams of space exploration suddenly seemed lightyears away. Instead, Tom began an epic 15 year adventure to tackle the black hole in his brain, learning to understand that there’s more to life than just surviving, there’s also joy. 


With an exceptional score created from documentary interviews, electronic music and the only surviving film of one of his seizures, Can You See into a Black Hole? is an epic, uplifting show about achieving the impossible when the odds are stacked against you.


Show Gallery

Ticket Information

Monday: 7:30pm
Tuesday: 7:30pm
Wednesday: 7:30pm
Thursday: 2:30pm | 7:30pm
Friday: 7:30pm
Saturday: 2:30pm | 7:30pm

Access information:

There are no flashing lights or strobe effects as part of this performance. 

There are sounds from seizures in the soundtrack. 

This is a relaxed performance and there will be daylight throughout.

If you’d like an electronic copy large print script in advance, please email tom@boyandpen.com 

If you need an end seat in order to leave discreetly, please speak to box office when you book. 

There’s a lot of loud sound in the show, please speak to Front of House if you want ear defenders.


Tom Ryalls


Tom is a writer and producer whose work focuses on enabling people to play with big ideas in camp and childish ways.

They are focusing on two strands of work. The Black Hole Project is a series of shows exploring the impact of childhood epilepsy and youth hospitalisations. “Can You See Into a Black Hole?” is the first piece in this trilogy, it was originally commissioned by Upstart Theatre in 2018, then went through further development with support from Slunglow and Camden People’s Theatre. The second show in this project “How To Be An Astronaut” is a family show using live animation, it began development with a residency at ArtsDepot in 2020 and shortlisted for the Unlimited Emerging Artist Award. He is hoping the third show in the project lets him actually go to space.

Inbadtaste is an attempt to deconstruct the middle-class taste values which uphold capitalism. Basically he’s dreaming up a tacky revolution and Education, Education, Karaoke is the first show in this project, it is currently in development at Camden People’s Theatre as part of the Starting Blocks programme.

Their writing has been seen at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Theatre503, The Arcola, Slunglow, Shoreditch Town Hall and a few basements and fields.

Tom is also part of the SSE Creative Leadership programme funded by ACE and a trustee of the disabled commissioning organisation Unlimited.

Christian Czornyj


Christian works as a composer, writer, and sound designer. He is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts where he studied electronic music composition and musical theatre writing.

Christian is passionate about creating new theatre work that challenges the status quo and explores social and political questions. Apart from CYSIABH? he has spent the last year facilitating hybrid and digital theatre productions through his company theatrical.solutions

Christian’s new musical theatre work includes, CATCH ME an intimate musical examining mental health and suicide, REMEMBER, REMEMBER an electronic musical which immersively explores propaganda and truth, and STAGES an 8bit video game musical about surviving in a glitched world.

Recent sound design credits include, FABULIST FOX SISTER (Southwark Playhouse), SHIFT+ALT+RIGHT (ALP Musicals), BEASTS OF LONDON (Museum of London), DEATH SUITS YOU (Theatro Technis).

Deirdre McLaughlin


Deirdre McLaughlin is an award-winning director and dramaturg whose work spans drag & cabaret, live art, and contemporary performance. Her professional credit includes work with venues including Shakespeare’s Globe, the National Studio, The Place, Dance City, Cambridge Junction, Hackney Showroom, Finborough Theatre, the Kensington Karavan and Hong Kong Performing Arts Centre. Deirdre is a disabled director and creative access is featured frequently within her work.

Recent directing work includes Alex Marlow’s In the Beginning and workshops of Lesbian Pirates! for Unlimited and How to Catch a Bear at Omnibus Theatre. Deirdre is currently directing Brian Mullen’s Live to Tell: (a proposal for) The Madonna Jukebox Musical which will premiere as part of Battersea Art Centre’s Wild Times Season in May 2021.

Sally Lofthouse

Associate Director

Sally trained at Italia Conti Academy and is thrilled to be associate director for Tom Ryalls’ Can You See Into a Black Hole? Hello live performance, how we’ve missed you!
Pre-lockdown she was working as the production and wellbeing manager on Carys Wright’s How to Catch a Bear, supported by Arts Council England and Clean Break. Sally was the movement director for IN THE BEGINNING - a queer East Lancashire origin story by Alex Marlow, told through poetry, movement and drag, performed in London and Lancashire. As well as being an associate lecturer in devising for St Mary’s University, ArtsEd and Central School of Speech and Drama, she directed the Shakespeare project for the MA Acting at ArtsEd. She was resident actor and general manager for many years with Kipper Tie Theatre Company. Creating work for families that toured nationally, internationally and at the Edinburgh Fringe including Our Island and The Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business.
Sally was part of the creative teams for the UK and International tours of Shakespeare Untold and the award-winning immersive show Muse of Fire, both with Shakespeare’s Globe. She has also worked at Glyndebourne Opera in Der Rosenkavalier and in the Olivier award-winning production of Katya Kabanova at The Royal Opera House.