“People don’t call when you’re desperate that’s the first rule of life”
One of the many examples of the home truths that the cast of fucking men delivered. If you’re lucky enough to be at Edinburgh Fringe Fest this month then be sure to check out Fucking Men presented by Kings Head Theatre. With not a lot to go off except the title and the promise of full frontal nudity and an E-Cigarette, I watched this show without any preconception of what was to unfold ( – the best way to pick and watch shows at the fringe)
The show explored the urban sex life of gay men from a range of different backgrounds. With a 3 man cast, it was impressive to see how many characters they could portray through a 70 minute period. We saw a student, playwright, army man, tutor and several more characters frame our story which was inter-related in a La Ronde-esque plot entanglement. The actors managed to portray humour and different emotional and intelligence levels as they dipped in and out of personas.
The play was performed at eye level with the use of tableaux to allow 1/3 of the cast to walk into the audience and address us directly. They delivered a line which was repeated in the following scene which was a touch that really made the play more personal. This almost Brechtian style of performance worked very well. I especially liked seeing this style being performed at the Edinburgh Fringe because it’s a performance festival in which audience participation is often welcomed. The explicit tableaux being held during this interjection of speech were kept classy and artistic for the built up drama to come.
Each actor gave a seamlessly flawless performance. Haydn Whitesides portrayal of a cavalier, high, student was easily relatable as I saw many of my wonderful close friends personified on stage. His performance left me with a better understanding of my own friends and their sexual dynamics and how it differs to my hetro life. It was really comforting and enjoyable to see these characters who were created to be felt as though I had known them all my life in these intimate situations.
The play whilst riddled with humour, addressed darker matters from HIV to Homophobic Hollywood. Despite these serious matters, all were touched upon gently with poise which gave a more intense depth to the play.
I think the most important theme to the play was that society needs to stop trying to box off gay relationships into certain categories. Not all relationships are mononogous, not all relationships are adulterous, not all of them are for passion and not all of them are frivolous. There are hundreds of different dynamics just as there are in hetero relations. If you want to see an excellent piece of theatre then get down to George Square Studios. Tickets can be purchased here.
Congratulations to Jo DiPietro for writing up such a beautiful comedic piece, and to all three actors who worked wonderfully as an ensemble and individually. I cannot fault a thing!