Men in the Cities (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

Men in the Cities

Edinburgh Festival Fringe performer Chris Goode delivers a passionate monologue about intimacy and masculinity

Standing in a spotlight, with 17 motionless electric fans behind him, Chris Goode delivers a monologue about men in the city, their stories interweaving into a broad tale of masculinity, sexuality and intimacy in the modern world.

Goode’s writing is excellent, frequently funny and often unexpected. His characters aren’t predictable, and not always likeable. Goode is aiming for truth in all its complexity, over storybook simplicity and it’s at times electrifying to watch.

One theme that provides food for thought – and feels utterly contemporary at the same time – is Goode’s interest in how we’re impacted by headline news. How do we relate to hearing about the death of Lee Rigby? How does it impact and influence how we see and understand the world?

In one effective part Goode recalls an intimate night with a friend, peppering details of the encounter with thoughts of the day’s headlines: missing flight MH370, the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman and allegations against Woody Allen. It’s an astute realisation of the complex ways that the news infiltrates and shapes our lives.

Men in the Cities is a little long, and rather sprawling but with ambivalent characters, fruitful juxtapositions and moments where you feel you have been through the emotional wringer, its offers something raw and honest that is exactly what theatre should be.

Traverse, 228 1404, until 24 Aug (not 4, 11,18), various times, £8–£18.

Men in the Cities

  • 4 stars

Chris Goode and Company in association with Royal Court Theatre Three-time Fringe First winner Chris Goode (Monkey Bars) returns to the Traverse with an incendiary piece of experimental storytelling. Framed by two violent deaths – the apparently inexplicable suicide of a young gay man, and the murder of drummer Lee Rigby…