The play that launched Brendan Cowell’s theatre career is having somewhat of a fifteenth birthday celebration by returning to its birthplace at the Old Fitz.
Men was written by Cowell, who also starred in the first production, alongside Toby Schmitz and Anthony Hayes, in the three male roles of Poet, Penis, and Panther. Red Line Productions is now remounting Men with Ben O’Toole, Sean Hawkins and Jamie Timony. Cheree Cassidy will be the maternal presence onstage, watching these three try to out-macho each other.
It’s a script that requires intense acting prowess from the cast, but, with the pressures of masculinity changing, does it still resonate? Director Jessica Tuckwell thinks so, and will likely add complexity and empathy from her own vantage point. Warning: Men may provoke observations and discussions about Australian masculinity culture — make sure to go with friends who embrace debate.