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Robert Tanitch reviews Mike Bartlett’s Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre, London

Mike Bartletts tail premiered at the Royal Court Theater Upstairs in 2009 with a cast that included Ben Whishaw, Andrew Scott and Katherine Parkinson. The title may still put some people off seeing it.

Bartlett’s aggressive play tackles issues of sexuality and identity in a series of short and sharp bouts. How do you identify yourself? There are so many categories these days.

A young man (Jonathan Bailey) grappling with his sexuality can’t decide whether he wants to live a gay torn life with his longtime partner (Taron Egerton), a realtor, or live a straight life with a first time Girlfriend (Jade Anouka), a divorced teacher.

Marianne Elliott’s staging is highly stylized with its fluorescent lighting and chrome mirrored walls. There are no props; only pantomime. The stage rotates between scenes during jump cuts.

The production, which runs for 1 hour 45 minutes without a break, is characterized by its physicality and hyperactive body language. The movement is choreographed by Annie Linette Deakin-Foster in such a way that the actors are able to act out explicit sex scenes without sex and nude scenes without any nudity.

The biggest laugh is Jonathan Bailey’s physical reaction to a woman’s question, “Would you consider sleeping with a woman?” He literally gets blown away.

Bailey, who was hilarious as a hysterical gay man afraid of marriage in Marianne Elliott’s production of Stephen Sondheim society in 2018, has the charisma to play the lead role tail and engage the audience with this unattractive, vacillating character.

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Robert Tanitch reviews Mike Bartlett’s Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre, London

Source link Robert Tanitch reviews Mike Bartlett’s Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre, London

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