Review – F***ing Men by Joe DiPietro, Finborough Theatre

Tuesday 27 May 2008

That Mark R****hill has a lot to answer for. Once he unleashed the title of S****ing and F***ing on the world there was no **ing back.

So now US playwright Joe DiP****o picks up the b**** with this take on Schnitzler’s La Ronde at the F**borough Theatre.

As Phil is currently indisposed,  Andrew is free to explore the underbelly which is fringe theatre.

Without Phil’s overbearing dismissiveness of anything outside Zone One artistic guidance, Andrew was easily persuaded by Sue to schlep over to Earls Court to take in pre-theatre dinner at the Finborough (very good mushroom soup).

This was followed by the play which is described thus:

Set in today’s America, this insightful drama looks at a succession of couples and strangers as they negotiate the before and after of lust, love and betrayal and the pursuit of gay sex. Some stories are poignant, some hilarious, but collectively they provide a fascinating snap shot of the American male in pursuit of man-on-man action. A fearless dissection and shameless celebration of homosexuality that will fascinate male and female audiences of every persuasion.

So there you have it. Something for everyone.

Well, it was OK. A rather large cast featured all manner of gay men: the closeted army man, the hustler, the gay teacher, the gay couple who don’t have sex any more (with each other, anyway), the sensitive porn star, the pre-liberation gay with a wife/beard. The only thing they have in common is that they are chasing after sex.

Unfortunately the very episodic nature of the story makes it difficult to engage with any of them.

It all gets a bit of a lift when comedian Scott Capurro gets his turn as the playwright Sammy and plays some welcome comedy but when his character turns nasty it all gets a bit unpleasant. Patrick Poletti turns in a dignified performance as the closeted TV journalist Donald.

But apart from that everyone seemed mostly, well, very young. Quite depressingly young.

But really the problem is that watching other people have sex isn’t very interesting. Come to that, having sex isn’t very interesting. It’s not as interesting as a good game of Canasta, anyway. But to be fair, what is?

But that’s all these people did. Nobody went to a garden centre, surfed ebay to add their collection of vintage swimwear, played early music on the recorder or did anything remotely interesting. They just had sex.

You know how it is when you’re caught up in a Hollywood action block-buster and then the love story kicks in and the characters start having sex and you find yourself looking at your watch? Well, imagine that but without the action block-buster bits.

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