5 Out Of 10 Men . . . (3 stars)

This article is from 2016

5 Out Of 10 Men . . .

Innovative ensemble theatre dissects the pressing issues surrounding male depression

Is it a cliché that men don't talk about their feelings? CALM, a charity dedicated to the prevention of male suicide, know that it isn't. They tell us 76% of suicides are male. And that suicide is the major cause of death in men under 45. 5 Out of 10 Men is an innovative piece of ensemble theatre using movement to dissect the pressing issue of male depression.

The window into the epidemic is a man that has experienced loss and is grieving. Performed in the round, a mixed cast pose questions in surrealist movement and invite men to be introspective. Harnessing the experimental style, the audience are also invited on stage to act out situations immersively.

This piece of new writing interestingly makes female leads talk about exclusively male problems. For instance, why must men use urinals when women enjoy total pee privacy? Is this something that affects men that they don't talk about? And why do men go drinking, then say 'I'm fine' and hide the truth?

At times, the production can feel weighed down by its style. The choreography is flawlessly rhythmic, but 5 Out of 10 Men is most effective when it backs up aesthetics by spelling out facts, or by focusing on the narrative of our wounded man. At the end, the audience are invited to gently hold him: a union of bodies against a terrible plight.

theSpace on Niddry Street, until 27 Aug (not 14), 4.55pm, £9, (£7).

5 Out of 10 Men…

  • 3 stars

An exploration of men's mental health.