Manwatching| a Curtainup Review
CurtainUp
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A CurtainUp London Review
Manwatching
"How many surgical procedures am I away from being super good looking?" — The anonymous writer
SPOILER WARNING: Contains sexually explicit descriptions. Not to be read by anyone signed up to perform the script.

It is the most unusual concept. A play written about sex and men and masturbation by an anonymous woman which has to be read by a totally unprepared man. No rehearsal allowed. Each man must come fresh to the script. In fact the script will be printed by a lone printer sitting centre stage after the man has arrived on stage. Our presenter is a well known comedian as are all the men invited but no-one will know who it is in advance. We saw Miles Jupp who wondered what would happen if the printer broke down mid-print and who related several amusing stories about his history of home printer destruction to the point where his wife had banned him from home printing instead sending his work to the Print Shop at the end of his road which charges 10p a sheet. He also confided that the last time he had been at the Royal Court was for an audition six years ago for a part he did not get.

Miles Jupp has this disarming smile as he reads the line ahead of speaking it out loud. We start with a list of male physical attributes... "cheekbones, butt, eyes, chiseled jaw line" and an absolute must, dimples. "But where?" I found myself asking. I shall skip over the debate about length as opposed to girth. She tells us of her test for attractiveness which is to play out the desired sexual encounter in a masturbatory fantasy to see if it has legs. The woman talks about her sexual fantasies from the age of twelve when the object of her desire was the scuba driving instructor, who was in his late thirties or early forties. He looked old and had a pot belly but "there was something benign about him." She thought it was really hot that he was not at all hot!

So to her first boyfriend at school which seems to have coincided with finding another girl really attractive so you can imagine which way the Jizz Quiz or the Masturbation Examination went. Then there was the mentally attractive PhD student who wasn't a physical turn on, in fact she found him so physically repulsive that she started wearing the blindfold so she didn't have to look at him.

In the context of available surgical procedures, she talks about levels of attractiveness. Her wit zings off the page and it is impossible not to laugh. This is The Vagina Monologues but with decent, or rather indecent, humour. The text has been published by Oberon in a tasteful cover looking like brown wrapping paper, the legendary plain brown wrapper!





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PRODUCTION NOTES
Manwatching
Written An anonymous woman
Directed by Lucy Morrison
Starring: An unknown male comedian, Miles Jupp on one occasion
Running time: One hour 15 minutes without an interval
Box Office: 020 7565 5000
Booking to 20th May 2017 at the Royal Court
Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge based on 12th May 2017 performance at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, The Royal Court, Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS (Tube: Sloane Square)
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