Review of ‘F**king Men’: ‘Don’t tell mama’

The urban sexcapades of unrelated gay men come together in this fun rampage of passion, doubt and self discovery. Guillermo Nazara gives us his thoughts on this new revival of Joe DiPietro’s hit play, to let us know if anything (or anyone) got screwed onstage.

Father, forgive me. I tried not to do it… There goes all my credibility as a writer. Anyway, you’re not here for the truth, are you? You’re for the willi– I mean, for your will to learn more about a play that certainly won’t make you feel detached. There were indeed so many pieces connecting… Pretty much as in life itself, we can either go the judgmental way and choose to be boring, or we can accept that we’re all (f*cking sl*ts) human and enjoy the ride (just picture whatever you like, but don’t tell me). F*cking Men makes it easy to go for the latter, though. And the play is also really good.

Using sex as a guiding thread is often a double-edged sword (I swear on my life there was no pun intended there!). Nobody’s taken by surprise by the fact that the opportunity to see it onstage is almost a sales guarantee. But at the same time, it’s incredibly common to lose taste and create something that’s no more than empty coarseness – read this review, for that regard. Joe DiPietro’s script manages to combine such instinctive appeal (you will see a lot of give-and-take, that I can promise) with a more insightful reflection of what urban gay life means and whom its players are.

How can we be so different and yet so alike? That’s precisely the essence of a show where each one’s personal struggles and insecurities surface through the escape rooms of a sauna, a hotel bed or an encounter with an escort at your own house – either stemming from a homophobic upbringing, physical self consciousness or the simple uncertainty of what your own life means. Its dialogue is powerful, sometimes not as deep as it intends to be, but sufficient to feel relatable and truthful, and most importantly, entertaining.

Both the show’s pacing and storytelling quality are, in fact, the highest point of its writing, as the interest is constantly (and successfully) maintained through its short subplots, all of them intertwined by one simple notion: every new protagonist is the man the previous guy has done. It may sound camp on paper, but it actually works and feels, in some way, more transcendent that it may appear at the beginning. Perhaps because everything that is depicted feels astoundingly real. My only concern is that I felt related to every single scene…

Directed by Steven Kunis, the cast excels at their versatility (not the one that you’re thinking), providing us with compelling portrayals of well-defined distinctive characters. Alex Britt is perhaps the company’s best addition, thanks to his enticing stage presence and charismatic approach to his roles. On the other hand, Derek Mitchell combines both an impressive comedy bone with a quieter but effective rendition, while Charlie Condou exudes frail truthfulness in his performance.

SEX. And now that we have your attention… there will be more sex, but also a very good multi-tale piece that’s able to stir more than your primal appetite, and occasionally beguile your intellects. With a stunningly simple but hugely evocative set design by Cara Evans and captivating lighting by Alex Lewer, F**king Men has opened (again, no pun intended…) as actually one of the best commercial queer-themed offers of the season. And it’s also given me a few ideas to try out… Oh, hi, mum!

All pictures credit to Darren Bell.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

F**king Men plays at London’s Waterloo East Theatre until 18 June. Tickets are available on the following link.

By Guillermo Nazara

One response to “Review of ‘F**king Men’: ‘Don’t tell mama’”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: