If some of the detail of Mike Bartlett’s Cock now feels a little dated, the skill of his writing is as fresh as ever, performed brilliantly at the Ambassadors Theatre.
Watching Mike Bartlett’s play Cock today, it seems strange to think that it was actually written 13 years ago, as it covers themes that are so resonant with life in 2022.
Mike Bartlett’s Cock invites suggestive comments, but the main thing about the play is that it has proved to be a magnet for star casting.
Theatre has always been a place to explore identity by using different character perspectives to consider points of view, social structures or inherited notions of what an individual can and should be.
Television and big screen fame is a major driver for West End producers. Opened last week are Taron Egerton and Jonathan Bailey in a new production of Mike Bartlett’s COCK, and the lowest ticket price is £65, with the bulk at £100 or more, so it also translates to big prices.
Mike Bartlett’s mischievous, half-earnest play is about a gay man wrestling with his identity (and his furious partner) after falling for a woman. Who he loves both as a person and – to his confusion – as an anatomy. It’s clever to revive it in this even more gender-anxious time.
Taron Egerton, Jonathan Bailey, Jade Anouka and Phil Daniels will star in C O C K, the first West End production of Mike Bartlett’s Olivier Award-winning play about love and identity.