“Cock” Reviewed by Rose Desena

This Week in Theater

Review by Rose Desena

 

Jealousy, rivalry, and conflict are the driving forces in Mike Bartlett’s outstanding script “Cock.” The playwright takes the audience on a journey of confused love and manipulation, exposing some ugly human traits.

 MozoStafforsmall

Why must we label ourselves? We know there are those who are attracted to members of the same sex, but what happens when they switch? Does it mean anything more than they changed their minds, or what about the pure simplicity of attraction? Is the question of sexual preference really all that complicated?

 

John (Patrick Stafford) is a young hot thing; he is the live-in lover of M, (Matthew Elkins). John’s confusion about his sexuality and his recent tryst with a woman has caused some turmoil between the two men. Rightfully so, he is supposed to be gay.

 CAST Cock smallap

A dinner brings W (Rebecca Mozo) into the scene and what unfolds before our eyes is much like a cockfight, not with spiked claws but with passion, strong will, and compelling dialog. They prance around each other puffing up and standing their ground.   Everyone becomes the victim, the winner, and the loser. Rebecca Mozo holds her own in the battle of the sexes. Gregory Itzin is perfectly cast as Matthew’s father, brought in perhaps as a referee but becomes more of a gentle antagonist. He stands on the sidelines trying unsuccessfully to be neutral.

Stephen Gifford (Scenic Design) creates an appropriate atmosphere, as we sit in a circle surrounded by bright green fabric, creating a true “cockfight” feel. It was a brilliant stage set and it created the perfect setting for the battle that unfolds quickly, enhanced with rapid-fire words that fill the small theater.

 

I loved Matthew Elkins in “A Bright New Boise,” and he is especially dynamic as the arrogant dominate male who refuses to let go without inflicting pain. Patrick Stafford gives a stellar performance as he brings to life his tormented character. I couldn’t take my eyes off Stafford as he spills his guts onto the stage until he is completely spent. The acting is fantastic and every character will stick to you long after you leave the theater.

 

Cock has everything you want from a play; it moves quickly and has engaging and purposeful dialog that will keep you fascinated and involved until the very end. The staging and directing are outstanding. “Cock” is quite possibly the best play I have seen all season.

 

Kudos to the Rogue Machine, you rocked it.

 

Don’t even think about missing this.  It’s a MUST SEE!

 

They have a show on Monday nights @ 8pm so if you live around the area skip Monday night football and check it out.

 

5 pm Saturdays and 7 pm Sundays.  Closes November 3rd.  Check site for tickets and exceptions.

 

“ Cock”

Written by: Mike Barlett

Directed by: Cameron Watson

 

Rogue Machine, 5041 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, 90019

855-585-5185 or www.roguemachinetheatre.com

 


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