Home » London Theatre Reviews » F*cking Men at the King’s Head Theatre May 2018 | Review

F*cking Men at the King’s Head Theatre May 2018 | Review

F*cking Men 2018Giving Viennese classic La Ronde a re-boot, F*cking Men brings risqué theatre to the fringe stage. Taking a snapshot of the lives of various gay men on their quest to find happiness (or just sexual fulfillment), this production was originally hosted at the King’s Head Theatre in 2015 before seeing it travel across the UK and beyond.

Following the format and structure of the original, the piece is split into two-character interactions and the end of each segment introduces a new character who will appear in the next two-character section alongside one of the characters already introduced. A concept that I particularly liked as it gave the play a feeling that it was consistently progressing and the plot was moving forward while also offering a continuity that counter-balanced the clearly defined scenes and stopped the piece feeling overly staccato.

The play begins with an escort waiting outside an army barracks for his client (an overly aggressive squaddie) and then along the way we are treated to a range of characters including a sexually aggressive university student, a polygamous couple, a porn star and a TV personality to name just a few. One of the nice touches in this was that character of the poet was updated into a playwright, offering up the question of whether writer Joe DiPietro wrote himself into the piece in any way.

While we were certainly treated to a broad range of characters, personally I didn’t see any that represented me and while it’s understandably important to have the more extreme examples of each of the people depicted, I found that for me it made the piece a little unrelatable overall.

Additionally, I found it a little unusual that references to Grindr and an openly polygamous couple, things that I associate with current thinking trends and culture, were then presented alongside characters who were severely closeted and afraid of what people would think of them were they openly gay, something I would hope is now a largely outdated situation and may see the piece feel dated before its time.

With a small cast of three playing the 10 characters, August Ohlsson, Liam Darby and Richard De Lisle did an exceptional job of making the distinctions between each of the characters clear and while my partner and I both had a stand-out performance picked upon leaving the theatre, the fact that we differed on which it was demonstrates to me that there was a high standard of acting overall.

With some laugh-out-loud moments, a little tasteful nudity, some serious dramatic scenes and a healthy helping of tenderness at the end, F*cking Men is a production I feel sure would be an enjoyable experience for anybody whether they find that character- bonding moment or not.

3 Star Review

Review by Damien Russell

Inspired by classic play, La Ronde, Tony Award-winning writer Joe DiPietro reinvents the interweaving tale
of lust and longing for present-day gay relationships.

A slick dramatic comedy of sexual manners, ten characters circle through a series of erotic encounters, exploring whether gay men are increasingly trapped by monogamy or whether their sexual encounters are fuelled by hunger for elusive, meaning connections. This fearless and audacious celebration of sexuality will fascinate audiences of every persuasion.

Playwright Joe DiPietro
Director Mark Barford
Associate Director Richard De Lisle
Cast Liam Darby
Richard De Lisle
August Ohlsson

Performance Dates 16 May 2018 – 2 June 2018, 8.45pm
King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street
London, N1 1QN

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