F**cking Men by Joe Dipietro based on Schnitzler’s La Ronde explores attitudes and sexual relationships, encounters, and liaisons through a gay man-themed perspective. Disclosing secrets and attitudes are often not openly shared.
Alex Britt, Charlie Condou, Derek Mitchell, and Stanton Plummer-Cambridge certainly have a fantastic rapport on stage and trust in one another due to some of the extremely intimate settings and scenes the four engage in.
The theme of using sex as a form of connection rather than love repeats throughout the play. Which Offers an intriguing insight into how monogamy is perceived by some of the community. Desperate to express their emotions in an intimate act can be almost as acceptable as a “handshake”.
The older guys in committed relationships saw sex outside of the relationship as a right of being a gay man. I am not sure if this is a universal idea in the gay community, and I very much doubt it is. Although heterosexual men often view sex in a different way to women and “cheating” can be described as a connection usually because the female partner “doesn’t understand them!”
Director Steven Kunis used the cast of four in an extraordinary performance, entwining characters and constantly moving through the liaisons without little time to reflect on the emotional impact it might have on the couples. Bringing “F**cking Men” to a new generation of theatergoers looking for something different.
I was fascinated with the screen of perspex windows, which divided the stage in two used throughout the performance. All or individually Illuminated, depending on which section of the stage was in use at the time. From total whiteout where you couldn’t see through to clear vision.
Lighting Designer Alex Lewer used these windows to create moods and dramatic effects by incorporating colour changes on all or some of these sections as to which mood was required. The impact brought the stage to life.
There’s plenty of nudity, themes of a strong sexual nature, and touching moments of intimacy. Attitudes surrounding A-lister men who require anonymity around their sexuality are still even now in fear of not being cast I am told is still relevant today as it was in fifteen year’s ago when the play first debuted. This is not a play for anyone easily embarrassed. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
For further information on this play and future productions at Waterloo East Theatre please use the link below. However, my understanding is that the run of this production has currently sold out.