This man can't make up his mind

Cock, a play that premieres in Prithvi this week, takes a playful and candid look at a man's sexuality and the problems that arise when he realises that he has a choice 

Cock -- the play that will open at the 13th edition of Thespo at Prithvi theatre on December 14 � promises to be more interesting than its bold, eyeball-grabbing title. Cock is about John, who has been in a relationship with a man for seven years.  After breaking up with his boyfriend, John meets a woman and to his own surprise he ends up sleeping with her, an unplanned and awkward encounter.  John is gay but he doesn't want to end things there, he believes he has a future with the girl, but he also loves his boyfriend.

The cast of the play in rehearsal PIC/Vivek Venkatraman

The play written by Mike Bartlett and performed at the Royal Court in London is an intelligent and witty study of a man stuck between his longtime boyfriend and a woman he has begun to love. It's more about a confused and indecisive man, who doesn't know who he is than it is about his confused bisexuality.

Ironically, the indecisive lead character, John, who has an identity crisis, is the only one to have a name and identity in the play. The others are called M (man, John's boyfriend) and W (woman).

The play is being brought to India by first timers on commercial theatre platform, FTII graduate director Manish Gandhi and NIFT graduate producer Shweta Tripathi. "Manish and I met at Adishakti in Pondicherry, where we discussed a lot of plays and the play that excited me the most was Cock, because I had not read anything like that before and had certainly not heard of something like this being performed in India. It is contemporary and experimental but at the same time also very challenging," says Tripathi.

The play, along with the director, is also a theatre debut for the entire cast. Gandhi plays the lead role, Prabal Punjabi, who does standup comedy with Vir Das, plays M. W is played by LSR graduate Asmita Bakshi, who has no background of performing on stage.

"The cast is entirely new to theatre but the audiences in Mumbai are definitely in for some paisa vasool entertainment," says Tripathi. But she is also very clear about her target audience. "It is British humour; nothing is over the top, we are not trying too hard to be funny or spoon-feed the audiences. The play has a lot of sarcasm and dry humour and the mature audiences will enjoy it," she says. If you are bored with the in-your-face, slapstick Indian comedies, then this may just be a good break for you.

At: December 14, 9pm, Prithvi Theatre, Juhu Church road
Call: 26149546

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