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Red Turnip Theater’s COCK

MANILA, Philippines—John, M, W and F are back.

After making a splash during its Manila premiere last February, Red Turnip Theater is bringing back the Olivier Award-winning play “Cock” for a limited one weekend re-run this October.

Mike Bartlett’s comedy about sexual identity was a surprise smash, playing to packed houses and critical acclaim. It also marked the directorial debut of Rem Zamora who created a stir with his “innovative” (PEP.ph) and “creative” (Business World) staging; a bare stage with only his four actors and Bartlett’s witty script.

Rem Zamora: “We always knew we had a fantastic script. When we first read ‘Cock’, I was on the floor. It was hilarious. It was also a little painful, cause it was so real. What I didn’t expect was the huge reception we got after we opened. There was so much buzz! Our houses filled up quickly and people really took to the show. People talked and debated over it. In fact, people are still talking about it. That’s why we knew we had to bring it back. Everyone who had come to the show wanted to see it again and those who had missed it the first run were begging for a re-run.”

“Cock” centers around a man (John) who must choose between his gay lover (M) and the woman (W) he’s slowly falling in love with. Adding confusion to the mix is M’s father (F) who is hell-bent on preserving his son’s homosexual relationship. The four decide to meet for an ill-fated dinner and that’s when all hell breaks loose. The show has been hailed as “a 90-minute whirlwind of language and deft theatrics, a human battle royale…”

The “year’s fiercest quartet of actors” (Philippine Daily Inquirer) have returned to reprise their critically-heralded performances. Topper Fabregas is John, Niccolo Manahan is M, Jenny Jamora is W, and Audie Gemora completes the cast as F.

Jenny Jamora: “I love how people became so invested in our characters. We would have houses where audiences would heckle and cheer out loud. People would choose sides and root for certain characters. I’d have people come up to me after a show and tell me that they either wanted to hug me…or punch me in the face (but in a good way daw).

“We perform the show in the round and we actually had an audience member who came to the show four times because he wanted to see the show from all angles. As an actor, I’ve never been part of something that’s generated this much discussion. It’s very rewarding.”

Zamora: “I think one of the main reasons as to why the show is such a hit is because the script is brilliant. People could relate to the situation and these characters, regardless of their sexual preference. It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve been blessed with an amazing cast who’ve brought the script to places I never thought possible.

“People have never seen a show and a cast quite like this one. I mean, where else would you find a show that’s got a hilarious, show-stopping sex scene where none of the actors take off any of their clothes ?”

“Cock” has brought Red Turnip Theater one step closer to achieving its vision of bringing more straight plays with an experiential angle to the local scene. It has also stayed true to what this company is gaining a reputation for- fantastic, ensemble acting coupled with great writing. The success of its first run could only be a testament to the growing market for this kind of theater.

“Cock” is a comedy… with bite. No props, scenery or furniture. Just actors, sharp dialogue and some clever staging. All essential. Absolutely Red Turnip.

Direction by Zamora, technical direction and lighting design by John Batalla, set design by Denis Lagdameo and sound design by Jethro Joaquin.

“Cock” will be staged at Whitespace — 2314 Chino Roces Avenue  Extension (formerly Pasong Tamo Extension), Makati — on October 3, 4 and 5 (Friday, 9 p.m.; Saturday / Sunday, 4 pm. and 8 p.m.)

For tickets, call Ticket World at tel. 891-9999 or email redturniptheater@gmail.com.

Tags : artscockred turnip theatertheater
Orly S. Agawin

The author Orly S. Agawin

Orly has been writing for The Jellicle Blog since 2008. He is a training and development consultant by day and an art enthusiast by night. He lives in Parañaque with his mom.

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