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Cock

May 13, 2012
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Event: “Cock” written by Mike Bartlett (staged by Buds Theatre Company)
Venue: Drama Centre Black Box
Run: 10th – 13th May ’12

Firstly, a word or two about the discouraging turnout when we attended “Cock” on Thursday evening.

The only time I ever remember being in a theatre less filled than this was when we watched “Descendants of the Eunuch Admiral” in 2010 at the Drama Centre Theatre.

I reckon the black box was barely one-fifth filled on Thursday evening, and one knows that it is always tough for the performers whenever they see themselves faced with a largely empty room.

Nonetheless, credit should always be given to the performers for bravely trudging along.

“Cock”, directed by Rayann Condy, tells of a man named John (played by Walter Hanna) who, shortly after breaking up with his boyfriend (Koey Foo), meets and falls in love with a beautiful woman (Rebecca Lee).

The play explores one man’s psyche and sexuality, and towards the end of the play John is forced to make a choice – does he go with his former boyfriend, who constantly lords over him and treats him as the “trophy” boyfriend, or does he go with the woman, who has awoken his never-before discovered senses, both sexually and otherwise?

I felt that “Cock” was not so much a play about gay issues per se, but it was more a piece on discovering one’s self and trying to figure out what you really want in life, especially when it comes to relationships.

Relationships are always going to be complex, that much we know, but who you eventually choose will have a profound impact on the rest of your life.

“Cock” also asks the question – Are our identities an absolute construct, or are we ultimately shaped by the relationships we have with our partners?

It is hard to make of Walter Hanna’s portrayal of the character John, to be honest.

At times you want to view him as the poor unfortunate victim, caught between a rock and a very hard place, and at times you can’t help but think that he’s the selfish and cruel prick in all of this, playing both of them as puppets, twisting them round his little finger.

I thought the set design, essentially a myriad of cubes stacked randomly on top of each other, worked pretty well and served the needs of the play rather cleverly.

Overall, “Cock” was fairly easy to follow, although I felt that there was a lot of subtlety in the text which was not fully brought out in the acting.

I thought the production was slightly let down by the acting, even though the script itself had enough quality to at least hold everything together.

Now if only something could be done about the title.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2012 12:22 am

    I attended the Sat performance and it was all filled up! 🙂

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