F*cking Men is a provocative play that unravels the sex lives of ten different modern gay men.
Starring three men, Haydn Whiteside, Harper James and Richard de Lisle star as a multitude of men from different backgrounds. From soldiers in the army, to playwriter, university students and married men, the play delves deeply into the thoughts and emotional baggage of these men.
The contemporary piece of theatre explores the ideas and questions behind gay culture. With modern elements touching upon their lives such as dating apps like Grindr, the piece has a focus on infidelity and ‘open relationships’. The army guy enjoys feeling pleasure from men but won’t identify as gay, the married man yearns to sleep around and the escort is desperate to settle down. As an audience member, we are taken inside the minds of these men that use sex to cover up a lot of their feelings.
It is a thought-provoking performance, as the tight, snappy and witty dialogue carries the piece. The dysfunctional relationships are conveyed through short scenes, however the writers have mastered the ability to submerge into the intricacy of each character within such a short space of time. The script has elements of humour but also touches on the more serious issues such as unprotected sex and HIV. While some of the men struggle with monogamy, others are desperately clinging on to their partner.
Despite the multitude of characters, the script is strong and clear. After a couple have played out their scene on stage, one actor will leave and the character left on stage becomes a new role. These slick transitions allow the one-act play to flow and maintain pace. Although the narrative is excellent, the piece never reaches a climax as it is just a constant stream of different stories.
The three men multi-role an extraordinary amount of contrasting men with a complexity of emotional issues. Although it tackles challenging issues, it is an insightful and honest piece of theatre that is enhanced by the stellar performance by the cast.
**** 4 stars
Tickets can be found here.