Red Turnip Theater Presents: Cock

The New York Times has called Cock “a terrific, tense little comedy,” while The Huffington Post calls it “a terrific contemporary play that puts much of other theater to shame.” Local press has also lauded Cock for its smart portrayal, led by Topper Fabregas as John, Niccolo Manahan as M, Jenny Jamora as W, and Audie Gemora as the unexpected guest (no spoilers!).

 

Red Turnip Theater Presents Cock

The cast of Red Turnip’s Cock, directed by Rem Zamora

The four actors have an impressive resume between them, with Fabregas acting in Boeing Boeing and The Producers, Manahan in Next Fall and Doubt, Jamora in Mind’s Eye and A Little Night Music, and Gemora in Sweeney Todd and Les Miserables.

 

Red Turnip Theater Presents Cock (4)

Jenny Jamora and Topper Fabregas, both members of Red Turnip Theater, explore gender identity in Cock

 

Red Turnip Theater Presents Cock (7)

John’s boyfriend and female lover meet for the first time

 

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Niccolo Manahan and the surprise guest in Cock

What makes Cock an interesting watch is the lack of props, scenery, and furniture. What the viewers get is a round “stage,” arranged like a cockpit. After all, what we are witnessing is an actual cockfight between M and W for John. And what a funny, tense, and intelligent cockfight it is.

When I spoke with Zamora a few months ago about Cock, he said the strength of a minimalist set design is that viewers can focus on the dialogue. According to Mike Bartlett, when you watch a sex scene on stage, you see the actors humping. As an audience member, the first thing you see is the action, the bodies, and you focus on that and the dialogue comes second. But if you strip away all that, and you concentrate on the dialogue in the sex scene, you’ll listen because there’s nothing to look at.

 

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Cock’s W making an appeal to John to choose her in this “ultimate bitch fight”

 

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W is the “other woman” in Cock’s gay couple

 

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Cock’s John and M already have a rocky relationship, further derailed by W’s appearance

Cock is Red Turnip Theater’s second production, after its successful run of Closer (yes, the one with Natalie Portman). Like Cock, Closer follows a minimalist approach to theater, focusing on the actors, sharp dialogue, clever staging, and lots of bite.

Red Turnip is a new theater company composed of five friends with over 50 years in the industry between them. They are swiftly becoming known for contemporary straight plays, modern stories with an experiential angle, and challenging material. So far, the group, composed of Jamora, Zamora, Fabregas, Cris Villonco, and Ana Abad Santos, is successful.

When you consider the origin of its name, from Zeneida Amador’s quote: You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip, but you can sure as hell paint it red, you know the theater company is out to do great things.

When in Manila and you want theater with bite, expect it from Red Turnip Theater and their new production, Cock!

 

 

 

Red Turnip Theater

Showdates | March 7, 14, 21, 28 and April 4 (Friday, 9 p.m.); March 8, 15, 29 and April 5 (Saturday, 8 p.m.); April 5, Saturday at 4 p.m.; March 9, 16, 23 and April 6 (Sunday, 4 p.m.) and special closing gala on April 6, Sunday, 8 p.m.

Address | Whitespace, 2314 Chino Roces Ave. Extension (formerly Pasong Tamo Extension), Makati

Facebook | RedTurnipTheater

Twitter | @RedTurnipPh

Instagram | @redturniptheater

Tickets | TicketWorld

Photos | Courtesy of Red Turnip Philippines

 

 

Red Turnip Theater Presents: Cock


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