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Fucking Men review at Finborough London

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Sex comes first, so to speak, in Joe Di Pietro’s intimate, revealing and appealing snapshot of the sexual merry-go-round of contemporary gay life. The provocatively titled Fucking Men appropriates the structure of Schnitzler’s La Ronde to create its own circular cruise (in every sense) through parks, internet chatrooms, saunas and street pick-ups to arrive at somewhere both surprising and profoundly moving.

In the midst of a lot of the quick, meaningless sex it portrays, some of its characters are seeking more resonant connections, and intriguingly, in this context, it is the two characters who work in the sex industry – a prostitute and a sometime porn actor – who are looking for it most.

But as other characters, including a young soldier experimenting with gay sex for the first time, a supposedly bisexual college student hitting unashamedly on his tutor, and a married closeted Hollywood star, try to come to terms with their gay selves, Di Pietro also lifts the lid on the closet in provocative ways, as well as throwing down the gauntlet on the challenges of maintaining sexual interest in long-term relationships.

Phil Willmott’s fast, punchy production keeps the sexual tensions between the characters simmering throughout, and teases with occasional displays of bared male flesh but never goes full-frontal. With six excellent actors held over from the Finborough’s workshop staging of the play earlier this year, a mostly terrific ensemble has been forged that newly includes fresh-faced James Kristian as the college student, Guy Fearon as the closeted actor and Patrick Poletti as a journalist, but Scott Capurro hits all the wrong notes to caricature the playwright as a needling, nerdy queen.

Production Information

Finborough, London, May 14-June 7

Author
Joe Di Pietro
Director
Phil Willmott
Producers
Steam Industry and Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre
Cast includes
Shai Metuki, Nick Keith, Chris Polick, James Kristian
Running time
1hr 30mins

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