Friday, May 18, 2012

Insert Cock (Joke) Here

I wasn't going to write this review. I was invited to an early preview of Cock at the Duke on 42nd Street followed by a talkback with the cast and director. During the talkback, they mentioned that there were still changes being made to the play (that day a reference to "cling film" became "plastic bags" to make sense to an American audience). I don't like to review shows that aren't frozen, but after speaking to some fellow bloggers, I decided that it would be ok, since it seems like the changes have been pretty minor and I wouldn't have been invited had the show not been ready to review.

But anyway, back to Cock. It's a fun title. I mean, who doesn't like an excuse to talk about Cock? But it's actually a serious and occasionally upsetting play. The play is so named because it is set up like a cockfight, with a bell ringing in between each scene change. John (Cory Michael Smith) is torn between his boyfriend M (Jason Butler Harner) and his new lover W (Amanda Quaid). The actors perform on a bare stage with no props and the lights are on the audience the whole time (James Macdonald directs, but the staging is specified in Mike Bartlett's script). It's interesting to see what resonates with certain audience members. Though the quick scene changes kept me feeling distanced from the characters (through no fault of the actors, I hasten to add), I'm still thinking about the play over a week after seeing it. The sex scene in particular stuck with me and is the main reason I would recommend this play, but not for the reasons you might think. It's between John and W, who keep their clothes on, barely touch, and circle each other (again, like a cockfight). It's the most inventive sex scene I've ever seen on stage, and the most effective.

3 comments:

Mel (Two Show Days) said...

I'm immature enough to wish that "Joke" had parentheses around it in the post title ...

Linda said...

What a missed opportunity! OK, I'm immature enough to change it. Thanks for the suggestion!

Mel (Two Show Days) said...

Yay! That makes me disproportionately happy.