Cock

Cock by Mike Bartlett was originally performed at the Royal Court Theatre back in 2009, starring Ben Wishaw and Andrew Scott. This amateur production at the Putney Arts Theatre is a strong and enjoyable one.

The play is performed in the round, in a square space marked out with strip lighting. With bells to mark scene transitions, it is reminiscent of a boxing match (or a cock fight). There are no props and there isn’t any scenery, just the actors on stage, but thanks to some fine performances, the show is absorbing throughout.

The protagonist is John, a gay man whose relationship with his longterm partner, M, is on the rocks. John then meets a woman, W, and sleeps with her, but the relationship turns into something more. Confused about who he really is, John’s turmoil comes to a head at an awkward dinner party in which he, M, W, and M’s protective dad implore him to choose.

The play is sharp and funny, and I am impressed with the talent on offer in Putney. I’ve seen several productions here now and the standard is always very high.

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