Testosterone, Pleasance Courtyard, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Rhum and Clay Theatre Company
Kit Redstone (writer), Julian Spooner (director), Matthew Wells (movement director), Douglas Rintoul (associate director), Jolie Booth (producer), Alberat Jones (production designer), Geoff Hense (lighting and sound director), Alex Lui (associate producer).
Kit Redstone (himself), Daniel Jacob (the Diva), Julian Spooner (Marlon Brando), Matthew Wells (the sportsman).
Running time

“I wanna be a man, mancub
And stroll right into town
And be just like the other men …”

The wiry, heavily tattooed man in boxing gear walks into the male locker room and apologies for his poor, deep singing voice - he is just breaking it in.

We are about to take a journey into his mind to try to discover what it means to be a man. Five minutes in this male bastion will confront a lifetime spent to reach this point. Beneath the huge, mirrored back wall there are skewed images and little place to hide.

The point where a person transitions from adolescence is difficult to pinpoint. Unless you are Kit, who can name the hour that he received a shot of testosterone and thirty minutes later was a man.

And so, in dreamlike, half remembered parts we visit those moments of fantasy, paranoia and desire.

The men’s changing room is a place of strutting, bro fist bumps and high-fives. You can almost smell the testosterone amidst all the macho posturing as they get to grips with their protein shakes. Where does Kit fit in? The search is through a series of slick, glitzy, choreographed scenes drawing from pop culture, iconic movies and noir fiction. The exaggerated characters become drag diva, swaggering bad-boy, team players and cowboys - all examining the experience of masculinity.

Questions are raised on what is lost by not being a woman; when did men lose the right to cry and why do we insidiously feed the violent anti-hero?

When it comes to a final alpha male shoot-out over a misappropriated towel, what can a man do?

This gloriously visual and engaging production retains the company’s usual playful, energetic physical style. It may not represent every part of the transgender debate but this personal story is a heroic exercise in theatre.

Show Times: 2 – 27 (not 14, 20) August 2017 at 5 pm.

Tickets: £9 (£8) to £11.50 (£10.50).

Suitability: 14+