Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, April 28, 2023

F*cking Men "packed with dramatic irony, sexy, mildly titillating, sweet, insightful, risque but never coarse" @WaterlooEast @AlexJBritt @Charliecondou

Last night Steve and I went to the Waterloo East Theatre in glitzy Waterloo to see Joe DiPietro’s gay play F*cking Men. Actually, it's called Fucking Men but the posters were being a little coy.
This is an American story of hunger and desire introducing us to the (sex)lives of ten gay men who were all related to each other by sex. It is a loose adaptation of the 19th century play La Ronde in which pairings of characters are featured in scenes preceding and succeeding sexual encounters.
Hustler A meets squaddie B, squaddie B meets tutor C, tutor C meets student D, student D meets teacher E, teacher E lives with banker F, banker F meets porn star G, porn star G meets playwright H, playwright H meets movie star I, actor I meets TV interviewer J and TV interviewer J meets the original hustler A to complete the circle. 
A circle of jerks. A jerk circle. All well-rounded characters. Told with a ring of truth. (Ok, enough with the hoop metaphor already).
The characters are all played by Alex Britt, Charlie Condou, Derek Mitchell, and Stanton Plummer-Cambridge - all of whom are outstanding. 
The play was packed with dramatic irony, sexy, mildly titillating, sweet, insightful, risque but never coarse. The mainly gay audience found themselves reflected up on the stage in numerous scenes.
Updated for 2023 since its first version in 2009 it is now more explicit about biphobia, ageing, consent, being gay in the armed forces, and why there are still no "butt-f**king action heroes" on the Hollywood A-list.
As one character ponders in this version, is it even OK to say ‘gay’ anymore or should it be ‘queer’? Pornhub was in its infancy back in 2009 and there was no OnlyFans. Or vaping or Prep or #MeToo, all of which DiPietro weaves into the new script.
And it's very funny too. 
"I hate how I look when I am rimming," squeals a pornstar when his trick finds a clip of him on the internet. "I’m not gay, I’m in the army," says a first-timer squaddie with no hint of irony.
Actually, it was nice to go see a gay play which a) is funny, b) nobody dies, and c) the characters weren't punished for having sex.
So if you like your plays off-West End and off colour then this is the one for you. Unapologetically frank and ferociously funny
My favourite character was the plainly autobiographical obscure playwright (Mitchell) talking about his own gay play within his own gay play. Barfing at the mere mention of Broadway he intones, "My artistic ambition is to be CANCELLED!".
No such fate awaits DiPietro, whose work remains as vital and thought-provoking as ever.

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