is a semi-autobiographical play telling the story of Kit, a trans
man’s, first visit to a male changing room. This scene broadens out,
through a divine force introducing flashbacks, fanciful enacted
questions and song and dance routines, into an interrogation of modern
masculinity. What does it mean to be a man, and what does it mean to be a
The central idea - of a play about masculinity, told through the eye of someone new to being a man - is a compelling one, and was executed well. The play darkens beyond the halfway point, introducing a Marlon-Brando style figure who explores the negative behaviours associated with masculinity, and going far beyond merely not crying unless at a sports match.
Beyond the conceit, there was a lot to love about this play. Kit Redstone is an incredibly likeable, charismatic central figure. His character’s straying into anti-hero territory is beautifully handled and he shows all the vulnerability and warmth that we need from the protagonist in an autobiographical show. Julian Spooner and Matthew Wells provide an excellently pitched parody of gym-bro behaviour, creating a thread of charming and hilarious physical comedy.
While some musical interludes worked excellently to break the tension on stage, some fell flat and they were all over-long. I liked the mix of earnest exploration of masculinity and more fanciful elements, silliness and song very much, but would have liked to see the ratio shift a little more in favour of straight monologues - those were the sections that really sung.
I was struck by how this play - about masculinity, and boasting an all-male cast - is incredibly respectful of women. A sequence on sexual assault is a breath of fresh air - finally questioning why men assault women rather than why women are assaulted.
In the post show talk, the men are asked about sexual abuse in the news. First it was Trump, they say, now it’s Weinstein… and soon it will be someone else. But, they say, “What do we do? Do we say, men are bad, we have to separate them from women? Or do we make our men better?”
This is intelligent, entertaining and important work.