Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cock

Watched Mike Bartlett's play Cock yesterday at the Duke with GH, TM and J. John could not decide between M (for Man) and W (for Woman). Directed by James Macdonald, the play focused quite relentlessly on gender and sexuality. At first the play seemed rather simple-minded about the complexities of people. After all, we are more than our gender. But it convinced me in the end that its single-mindedness paid off dividends. The choice was that much more stark.

The play opened in 2009 at the Royal Court Theater in London. It moved here with the creative team, but with an American cast. Cory Michael Smith was appropriately a cipher to the audience and to himself as John. As M, Jason Butler Harner was over-the-top and so provided a nice contrast with the cool and gentle Amanda Quaid as W. Quaid was the revelation of the evening, to my mind. Quick-witted and full of suppressed energy, she more than held her own against the men. Cotter Smith, as M's father who came to dinner to fight on his son's behalf, was rather forgettable, although, to be fair, the part was under-written.

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