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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

'Cock' at The Royal Court

An hour and a half of laughs, irritation and few tears.

The Jerwood Theatre upstairs looked like it had shrunk when I walked in. An mdf intimate circular bandstand had been constructed for about 50 people, to create a theatre in the round. Even though I bitch about the West End theatre-goers for seeing a play just because it has denise van-outen in it! I am not ashamed in saying that I was attracted to the play for one reason. The ever so gorgeous and talented Ben Wishaw. Also the Royal Court has never disappointed me yet with a production.

The play is about John (Wishaw), and his struggle to know himself. John lives with his long term boyfriend (Andrew Scott) , who he argues with and eventually splits up with, temporarily. During the split he sleeps with a woman (Katherine Parkinson). This is when the real confusion starts with John, with both parties asking him to choose and define who he is.

The acting was completely believable which established the characters very quickly. I was mentally involved in the relationships between them all. The small stage and close environment made the play seem really personal, as did the emotional performances and content. The characters were expressing love and being in relationships and all the emotions that go with that. John's selfish actions caused upset and this was acted so passionately by Scott and Wishaw that spit was flying across the stage. I love it when that happens!

The writer of the play Mike Barlett did a really good job! The lines were very witty and intelligent with running comparisons and jokes getting bigger in each scene. It is the best piece of writing that i have seen onstage in a long time. There was no set and barely any physical action. And at one point there was a sex scene with only words and panting, letting the writing really shine out. Actions were not really needed for this brilliant script.

John's character started to get a little irritating towards the penultimate scene with his constant indecision about who he wants to be with whether he is straight or gay. Then came a moment of clarity for this weak character gave a long speech which spelled about the main messages of the play; it does not matter if you are straight or gay so don't try and define yourself and it showed the difficulty of knowing oneself.

The final scene of 'Cock' left me with tears in my eyes. The bright lighting and circular stage also meant that I could see the range of emotions that the rest of audience were put through, which was really delightful! Even if they were balling their eyes out!

If I could see it again I would, but I think it may be sold out. My night was finished off nicely with Wishaw and cast out in the Royal Court bar, but me and my mates got a little star struck and jittery so we had to leave before making fools of ourselves!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Could art help to change the world at the copehagen summit?

Protest has always required a creative streak, from the varied tactics of the suffragettes to the fancy dress antics of fathers for justice, but in recent times the nature of it has changed significantly, bring much of it closer to art. For me this new creativity has brought new life to many movements and given me hope that they can affect real change.

But with the possibly world saving (or destroying), Copenhagen summit looming, i wonder wether this fresh breeze will be enough to push for the creation of meaningful treaty. The newspapers give us a constant stream of reporting that trys to prepare us for the worst, but i can't help feel a rush of optimism when i hear whispers of plans from groups like Climate justice action and Climate camp.

In light of these inspiring movements, projects and people i will be traveling to copenhagen in december with my own little project brewing. I've been amazed by the increasing amount of passion there is around the issue of climate change, over the last few years i have seen more and more people (as well as myself), wake up to the realities of what is going on. What is even more amazing to me is the passion with which it is talked about and the obvious urge to do something about it.

I have realised however, that the very place where this passion is needed (in Copenhagen), is a logistical impossibility to many people, due to the amount of time, money and organisation needed to get there. This has really pushed me to try to give these views a platform and to try to stop people becoming alienated from what is going on at the conference.

To do this i will travel to Copenhagen over the weekend of the 11th, armed with an iphone connected to a recently started blog (, full of your messages to the world leaders, i will then get your messages seen, heard or even felt by a method of your choosing (i've had a good few ideas as well).

So.... go along to to give me your messages and ideas, or to find out more about the project.