F*cking Men – Week 1: A week of discovery
RYAN (the porn star) What’s it about?
SAMMY (the playwright) Never ask a writer that. It’s agony to summarize.
The escort, the solider, the graduate student, the student, the married guy, the other married guy, the porn star, the playwright, the actor, the journalist. These are the ten men of Joe Dipietro’s ‘F*cking Men’, a contemporary gay play adapted from the classic play ‘La Ronde’ by Schnitzler.
The first week of rehearsals have been about exploring and discovering the play and all of its layers. We started with a read through of each scene followed by a discussion and analysis session where we picked apart each moment. There was also a lot of sharing of research teamed with personal experiences that helped to flesh out the character’s back-stories.
We then came to putting the work ‘on the floor’ for the first time. This is when the actors stand onstage and start moving around in the space. Fortunately, we have been able to rehearse in the theatre that the play will be performed in, a luxury that is not necessarily usual in the theatre world. The only restriction we have faced during rehearsing in the theatre has been a nine-foot set piece of human excrement, which makes its appearance nightly on stage in the show ‘Noonday Demons’, and has been the butt of many jokes in rehearsals, pun intended.
Director Geoffrey Hyland works collaboratively and is instinctual in his approach. Geoff talks with the actors about the ‘good’ choice being one that makes the actor play harder in the scene. In this first week there has been a real sense of ‘play’ in the room allowing ideas to be shared and multiple options to be tired out.
The cast of ten actors assembled are not only very talented but also very attractive. It has been quite steamy in rehearsals at times and there has also been a lot of shared laughter in the room as we explore the more intimate moments of the play. It is after all a play about connection, the connections made between men before, during and after sex.
We all hope to see you at the King’s Head in August.
Mark Barford - Assistant Director