lego astronaut and rocket

Thomas Ryalls

Residency dates: Mon 19 - Fri 30 Oct 2020


I'm Thomas Ryalls. I’m a Theatre Maker who is currently making a series of shows called The Black Hole Project. They are all about the experience of growing up with epilepsy, I was diagnosed when I was 8 and had seizures for nearly 10 years. When I was diagnosed my family were told a lot about how the condition would affect us medically, but nobody ever talked to us about the emotional and psychological impact. The Black Hole project is trying to explore the secretive an often unspoken strain that can be placed on young people and their families when they have to spend a lot of time in hospital.  The first show in the project “Can You See Into a Black Hole?” was originally commissioned by upstart Theatre for Shoreditch Town Hall, it was later redeveloped with a grant from Arts Council England and ran at Camden People’s Theatre and The Holbeck in Leeds.

You can find more info about the project here:


How to be an astronaut is a family show which explores the ways families can have conversations about the emotional and psychological impact of a young person having to spend a long time in hospital. A lot of the material for the residency comes from my own experience of epilepsy in his childhood and the families he has worked with over the last 2 years as part of The Black Hole Project. It’s an honest look at the ways in which young people are able to re-imagine their futures in the face of great change, and how adults might learn something from that.

Find Thomas online:
Twitter: @BoyAndPen
Instagram: @BoyAndPen