I have a lot of gay friends. Single ones looking for love, happily married ones and those in committed relationships. Sadly, none of these types of people are portrayed in F*cking Men which has just returned to the Kings Head Theatre for another run. The show gives the audience a look in to the dirty, seedy side of gay life (which to be honest is no different to the dirty seedy side of straight life). Married men in open relationships, bi-curious soldiers, single college men who think they are just bisexual, escorts who sell sex for money and HIV positive men having promiscuous sex. It pretty much touches on every gay stereotype I sadly thought the world was moving away from portraying in 2015.
F*cking Men isn’t really a play. It isn’t really a theatrical experience either! It is a selection of around ten scenes, each portraying gay men having sex in different circumstances (the tutor and his pupil, the porn star and a fan of his work etc). All the men do seem to be connected in some way and they move around each other until eventually they seem to be back at the beginning.
I saw three ladies leave the show (independently) and walk across the front of the stage whilst the actors were performing. With the show title ‘F*cking Men’ you do wonder what they thought they were coming to see! However, I was expecting something a bit more tasteful than just a lot of naked men simulating sex. Whilst seeing young male flesh certainly isn’t a bad thing, after twenty minutes it does become tiresome and a little boring. I’m not a prude and I went in to this show with a good idea of what I was going to see (and was quite excited by it) but unfortunately it just turned out to be a soft porn film with no means of fast forwarding to the good bits!
The three actors in the show all performed well. My gay friends tell me that there was one ‘twink’, one ‘jock’ and one ‘daddy’! Haydn Whiteside (the twink) played the young, cute escort, the university student and the porn star whilst Harper James (the jock) played the soldier, the married man and the actor. Richard De Lisle (the daddy) gave us the tutor, the other married man, the playwright and the journalist. Whilst each actor played a variety of different characters, none seemed too different to the last and they all merged together quite a lot.
If you want hot bodies and naked flesh then this show will give you everything you dream of. However, as a piece of theatre this show is certainly questionable. It is mostly a lot of uncomfortable moments for the whole audience, portraying a stereotype of gay men that is reminiscent of the 1980’s.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Andreas Grieger
F*cking Men is playing at the Kings Head Theatre until 9 January 2016. Click here for tickets