A critic told us that they enjoyed our autobiographical stories about being trans, but didn’t like us as the performers of these stories. So (obviously) we hired cis body doubles of ourselves to take over our lives. What happens when our body doubles have meals with our parents, go to our hospital appointments, get our mail from the Post Office?

From Boys Don’t Cry to Danish Girl to Dallas Buyers Club, the majority of commercially successful stories about trans lives go to those with cis actors attached. Inspired by the traditional horror of the doppelgänger, we explore the current debate around identity, authenticity and gender. Are we only profitable when our stories come from cis mouths? Who legitimises trans stories, and do we ever get to author them ourselves?


Clumsy Bodies is Jess Rahman-González and Oli Isaac Smith, two trans and disabled people in a romantic and creative relationship, who want to smash gender like glass, float in the deluge that arrives after.

Our most recent piece, Anatomy of a Panic, was commissioned by Raze Collective and toured Derby Theatre, Oxford Fire Station, Cambridge Junction and Ovalhouse. Our documentary, ‘Asexual,’ screened internationally at a dozen LGBTQ+ film festivals and sold out at the LGBT Film Festival Poland. We are both alumni of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective and have performed poetry at Hay Festival, Brainchild, and Latitude. We have also performed at Camden People’s Theatre, Waterside Arts and Brainchild’s Hatch.


Shoreditch Town Hall


24 - 26 October 2019

Fri 7pm / Sat 2pm


Jess Rahman-González

Oli Isaac Smith