Cock comes to Royal Exchange

LOVE TRIANGLE: Mike Bartlett's hit play Cock will be staged in Newcastle. .
LOVE TRIANGLE: Mike Bartlett's hit play Cock will be staged in Newcastle. .

IT’S a love triangle with a difference. The latest production by Newcastle-based Stooged Theatre is the Mike Bartlett play Cock. 

The four-hand play is the story of a man torn between two lovers, one a man and the other a woman. 

The story begins when John feels a needs a break from his “needy” boyfriend. 

“He needs to find himself, he needs to be single,” director Matthew Lee said.  “John then meets the girl of his dreams.” 

“Full of guilt and indecision, John feels the pressure as, the truth be told, he doesn't know what he needs.

“And his boyfriend and new girlfriend need him to decide.” 

Lee first saw Cock performed a number of years ago in Sydney.

“It completely blew my mind,” he said. “It was interesting, relevant, a spellbinding piece of theatre.

“It’s four actors on stage without any set, props … and it’s about their relationship in this terrible tense and awkward situation that unfolds between them.

“There is nothing to distract you, just their relationship. It’s chaotic and very funny.

“It starts and you think it might be a rom-com, but it builds and builds and builds.” 

It is the story of two lovers fighting to win John. 

“The themes are purely to do with sexuality,” Lee said. “John has got himself into a situation where he does not quite know what he wants.

“And everybody wants him to decide what he wants. 

“People are trying to put him into a box. The take home message is sometimes people don’t need to be put into boxes. Sometimes they just are what they are.

“He’s still figuring it out and that’s okay. But everyone around him wants to give him a label.” 

Lee said the production was not intentionally timed to coincide with the marriage equality survey.

“It’s quite poignant for us,” he said. 

The production features Benjamin Louttit, Drew Holmes, Elise Bialek and  Alan Glover 

Cock will be staged at The Royal Exchange, Bolton Street, November 9.