I was all set in my mind to hate this; I imagined it being hammy, awkward and amateur. It was, after all, a play about gay sex lives to be performed in the back of a pub. I had images in my mind of either uncomfortable soft-core porn or over-pretentious dramatics involving a man in clown makeup reading poetry and eating an apple.
The play follows the intertwining lives of 10 gay men, tackling the usual gay issues of fidelity, trust and sex. Yes, of course, there’s a character who’s an escort in there. It wouldn’t be gay theatre if there wasn’t.
The setting was simple, if amateurish, reminding me of the various performances we put on during A-level drama exam week. Although if the boys in my school looked ANYTHING like the cast I would never have left.
Which brings us on to the most important part, the cast. They were fantastic. Those who weren’t stunningly gorgeous were hilarious and heartfelt. In fact many were gorgeous and heartfelt, a combination you don’t actually see in real life… so maybe a bit of realism lost there. Some of the acting was a little laboured; feeling over the top and out of place for such a small and intimate setting. When there were fight scenes you heard the fake slap, and when there were screaming matches you got wet. And not in a good way.
The initial intimacy of the play can be a bit overwhelming, but the rhythm of the scene changes is consistently good and you’re easily moved from one character’s story to another. Some of the best characters aren’t introduced until towards the end, by that I mean both the funniest character and then arguably the hottest character. Despite its low budget, the show is still appealing to a wide audience, nothing too gay niche to prevent the characters from being relatable.
I am forced to wonder, however, if the play would have been as engrossing if the cast weren’t as beautiful as they were. The good thing is you don’t need to find out.
Entertaining and full of eye-candy. Go and see F*cking Men at the King’s Head Theatre, Islington before the end of it’s run in September (extended for another month due to popular demand).
Worth it even if you’re just looking for new entries in your spank bank.