I am a big fan of plays by Mike Bartlett. His tv efforts don’t interest me at all and seem old fashioned and lacking in originality. What I like about his plays are the craft, gimmicks, hooks whatever you want to call them, that keep your attention.
King Charles III had Shakespearian English, Bull had the boxing ring, Not Talking had characters not interacting, Wild had the rotating set and Game had a complete house.
On of his older plays, Cock, has been revived in Chichester after nearly 10 years. It tells the tale of John, in a gay relationship for many years, who, by various events, has sex with a lady and enjoys it. So, he has to make a decision…
Can’t say much more without giving away important points.
So it’s a 95 minute four hander, no scenery (really), no props, no actual mimed actions (so, when someone offers to pour wine, nothing actually happens but it is considered ‘done’).
The short ‘bits’ are separated by red light and noise. It whisks along and is totally absorbing.
What makes it great is the acting by all four, but especially the two young males (Matthew Needham and Luke Thallon) who are stunning.
It’s a funny play, lots of swearing to begin with of course, but it really brings you in. The use of language makes it very naturalistic, or it seems that way.
Do not miss this.
Coming out, two ladies were talking and had the same ideas as me about it, that John should not choose either (you will know what that means when you see the play. Sadly, there is plenty of availability – it would be packed out in London).