"It's just locker room talk"

BOYS is a deconstruction of Greg McGee's Foreskin's Lament  (1980), New Zealand's state of the nation play about rugby culture and masculinity. Using contemporary material ranging from the Chiefs ‘stripper scandal’ to Wellington College’s recent online incident, award-winning theatre-makers Eleanor Bishop and Julia Croft and a group of sixteen young people from Auckland take New Zealand's iconic locker room play and ask "what has changed since 1980?" Or more importantly, "what hasn't?" 

“BOYS takes Foreskin’s Lament and slices the Kiwi classic into a postmodern maze of modern masculinity, each act digging deeper into our collective psyches […] what remains is as vital and urgent as the original, evoking anger and empathy in equal measures.”
— Theatrescenes


  • ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland Theatre Company part of the 2017 Here & Now Festival, April 21 - 24, 2017 (New Zealand)

  • Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School,
    June 8-20, 2019


  • Adapted by Eleanor Bishop from Greg McGee's Foreskin's Lament with text additions from Karin McCracken, James Wenley and cast

  • Direction: Eleanor Bishop

  • Performance: Ahrin Swift‐Mayor, TJ Snow, Laughlan Campion, Zechariah Julius‐Donnelly, Michael Hockey, Vincent Andrew‐Scammell, Elizabeth Winders, Julia Pereira, Madeleine Knowles, Stina Lundkvist, Taylor Rogers

  • Set & Costume Design: Ella Lincoln

  • Lighting Design: Jennifer Lal

  • Dramaturge: James Wenley

  • Assistant Director & Sexual Violence Prevention Specialist: Karin McCracken


  • Performance: Matthew Kereama, Arlo Green, Kyle Shields, Bronwyn Ensor, Kierron Diaz-Campbell, Dylan Thuraisingham, Simon Gilchrist, Isaac Kelly, Kevin Chen, Anita Erikson, Tatum Warren-Ngata, Kaitlin Mahar, Cailtin Smith, Ava Diakhaby, Todd Waters, Jaya Beach-Robertson

  • Set Design: Dan Williams

  • Sound Design: Te Aihe Butler

  • Lighting Design: Ruby Reihana-Wilson

  • Costume Design: Rose Miles-Watson

  • Producer: Lynne Cardy

The most important work on that stage? Not the main bills, but BOYS, the centrepiece of Here & Now, ATC’s rebranded youth festival. Deconstructing Foreskin’s Lament (which put the boot into rugby’s toxic masculinity in the 80s), the cast decisively tackled this country’s contemporary rape culture. Playing over just one weekend, it deserved to run for weeks.
— Metro


  • "BOYS tells us we haven't come so far after all", Janet McAllister, NZ Herald, April 24, 2017

  • "Moira's Lament: A conversational review of Boys", Kate Prior, Pantograph Punch, April 23, 2017

  • "A refreshing breath of youthful energy, craft and commitment that still asks "Whaddarya?"" Johnny Givens, Theatreview, April 22, 2017

  • "Review: Boys", Nathan Joe, Theatrescenes, May 3, 2017

  • “The best of Auckland 2017, Metro, December 27, 2017

  • “A powerful interrogation of our nation’s state”, John Smythe, Theatreview, June 9, 2019


  • "Eleanor Bishop - Foreskin's Lament revisited", Kim Hill, Radio NZ, April 1, 2017

  • "Boys: The new play tackling Tony Veitch, the Chiefs Scandal and Ponytail-gate", Alex Casey, The Spinoff, April 20, 2017

  • "BOYS: the play inspired by our Kiwi toxic masculinity problem", Lizzie Marvelly, The Villainesse, April 21, 2017

  • "They Have Some Shit To Say: Creating Work with Young People" Kate Prior, The Pantograph Punch, April 19, 2017

  • "It's just locker room talk" Gay Express, April 11, 2017


  • McGee, Greg. Foreskin’s Lament. Victoria University Press, 1981.

  • Language of Parliament adapted from “Urgent Debate - Report of IPCA on "Roast Busters" case - Part 1.” YouTube, uploaded by inthehouseNZ, 18 March 2015.

  • “Chiefs' behaviour 'is a crime' - stripper”, Newshub, 4 August 2016.

  • “Chiefs sponsor Gallagher stands by the franchise: RNZ Checkpoint.” YouTube, uploaded by RNZ, 3 August 2015.

  • Mather, Mike. “Consent at heart of cricketer Scott Kuggeleijn's rape trial.” Stuff, 26 July 2016.

  • “Panel: Was John Key's ponytail apology enough?” YouTube, uploaded by Paul Henry, 27 April 2015.

  • Rutherford, Hamish and Dennett, Kelly. “David Cunliffe: I'm sorry for being a man.” Stuff, 4 July 2014.

  • Field, Michael. “Tony Veitch police file released”. Stuff, 20 May 2009.

  • “Behind the scenes with a media spin-doctor.” Sunday Star Times, 15 August 2008.

  • Alexander, Miriyana. “Tony Veitch: I’m back and moving on”. NZ Herald, 15 December 2013.

  • “Kristin Dunne-Powell's victim impact statement”, NZ Herald, 16 April 2009.

  • “Wellington students encourage others to take advantage of 'drunk girls’.” YouTube, uploaded by RNZ, 6 March 2017.



  • Casey, Alex and Leah Damm, “Looking back on a total shitter of a week for women in New Zealand.” The Spinoff, 8 August 2016.

  • Grace, Hadassah. “Don’t strip us of our humanity.” Radio NZ, 10 August 2016.

  • Grieve, Duncan. “Rugby has a giant problem. So why are its most powerful voices still silent?” The Spinoff, 6 August 2016.

  • Newtown, Kate. “Male sports players live in a 'fratriarchy', sports academics say." Radio NZ, 4 August 2016.


  • Holden, Madeline. “The Kuggeleijn case and the simple concepts we still don’t understand about consent.” The Spinoff, 17 August 2016.

  • Marvelly, Lizzie. “If in doubt check the dictionary." NZ Herald, 6 August 2016,


  • Gulliver, Aimee. “John Key: Ponytail pull not sexist.” Stuff, 4 May 2015.


  • “Kristin Dunne-Powell's father speaks out on Tony Veitch column.” Stuff, 8 May 2016.

  • Field, Michael. “Tony Veitch’s decade in denial.” The Spinoff, 9 May 2016.

  • Mes, Delaney. “A point-by-point rebuttal of Tony Veitch’s terrible column.” The Spinoff, 9 May 2016.

Other New Zealand cases

  • Enoka, Mava. “Two years on from Roastbusters.” The Wireless, 14 September 2015.

  • Johnston, Kirsty. “'Sexist row': Key stands by hot Hurley comments.” Stuff, 2 February 2011.

  • Marvelly, Lizzie. “When did New Zealand become so sexist?” The Villainesse, 20 May 2015.

  • Marvelly, Lizzie. “Wellington isn’t the only place where rape culture happens.” The Villainesse, 16 March 2017.

  • Marvelly Lizzie. “New Zealand is a dangerous place to be a woman.” NZ Herald, 11 June 2016.

  • McNeilage, Amy. “‘Sexist’ NZ Pork advert tells women it’s time to get out of the kitchen.” Stuff, 18 February 2015.

  • NZPA. “Key defends Tony Veitch interview.” NZ Herald, 7 February 2011.

Rape culture / consent / bystander intervention

  • “Tea Consent.” YouTube, uploaded by Blue Seat Studios, 12 May 2015

  • “The Pencilsword: No 'I' in sex.” The Wireless, 24 March 2017.

  • “Who are you?” YouTube, uploaded by whoareyouNZ, 11 August 2011.

  • Katz, Jackson. Violence against women - it’s a men’s issue. TED, November 2012.

  • MacLennan, Catriona. “Specialised sexual violence courts needed in NZ.” NZ Herald, 15 December 2015.

Masculinity in New Zealand and rugby

  • “The Best Of The Tasteless Tui's Billboards.” Buzzfeed, 14 January 2013.

  • Kilgallon, Steve; Glenn McConnell, Kylie Klein-Nixon, and Shaun Bamber. “John Clarke, the man behind New Zealand cultural icon Fred Dagg, has died.” Stuff, 11 April 2017.

  • “New Zealand beer adverts playlist.” YouTube, uploaded by Lindsey Eadon, 1 August 2007,

  • Brankin, Jeremy. “All Blacks and homophobia - am I really reading this in 2017?” Radio NZ, 31 March 2017.

  • Paul, Gregor. “Rugby is dancing around women.” NZ Herald, 25 March 2017.

  • Johnstone, Duncan. “Five Kiwi moments of playing on while injured.” Stuff, 6 October 2014.