“F*cking Men” – does exactly as it says on the tin: lots of “f*ck”, lots of men, lots of men f*cking men. On top of that, lots of butts (and other parts). This production opens the “Gay Season” at the King’s Head Theatre that will run until August 29.
The structure of “F*cking Men” is quite interesting and takes its inspiration from Arthur Schnitzler’s “La Ronde”. There are always two actors on stage, each appearing in two consecutive scenes. One of the pair will move forward into the next scene that introduces a new actor, and so on, until the play comes full circle. This creates an engaging flow that is less irritating than some other episodic structures that keep the audience guessing how characters are connected, if at all. In this case, everyone is so clearly entwined that there is never a sense of missing out on a storyline. The play features ten different personalities, such as a student that seems more life-smart than the older men he is dating, a confused boyfriend, a married couple that keeps things open and a porn star on the lookout for monogamous love.
It is clear to see why writer Joe Dipietro is a two-time Tony Award winner. “F*cking Men” is clever, hilarious and very poignant. It does not gloss over issues nor over-dramatises them. The play is a great deal smarter than many other plays about affairs of the heart, and while it focuses exclusively on gay love, it offers tremendous life and relationship wisdom applicable to everyone.
The all male cast as directed by Geoffrey Hyland is superb and each one gives an authentic, heartfelt performance. Impressively, out of all the ten actors not one produces a doubt that what they are playing is anything but real. It seems almost unfair to single anyone out, but Euan Brockie and Richard De Lisle were especially outstanding. Playing the possibly least likeable characters, they successfully portrayed their motivations, feelings and inner struggles.
“F*cking Men” impresses and hereby goes highly recommended. Except to those that feel squeamish about nudity and sex scenes. There are lots of those, but while the Men are clearly visible (if you know what I mean) on stage, the F*cking happens in the dark. Now that you have been warned (or enticed?) go see it!
Reviewed by Lisa Theresa Downey-Dent
Photo: Christopher Tribble
F*cking Men is playing at the Kings Head Theatre until 30 August 2015. Click here to book tickets