Patrick Mcpherson’s 60- minute solo performance in The Man came to the stage at the Lion and Unicorn in Kentish Town after the Theatre’s reopened after the first national lockdown in 2020. Due to many restrictions, this production was an excellent candidate for live Theatre as social distancing could be maintained throughout.
Opening the performance with a collection of songs which represent an image of what a “man” is deemed to be through the eyes of the media and into wider society. He has to be strong, hero, good man who doesn’t cry to live and dominate in a Man’s World.
McPherson conducts an interview-style dialogue where one of the twenty-four candidates (theatre audience) will be chosen to take on the role of the next “man”. Through comedy, charm and fast-paced dialogue, the audience is treated to a thought-provoking insight into the challenges that face men in today’s society. Showing a “strong exterior no interior” is one of the mantra’s used in the application process.
With a brief reference to male suicide rate statistics, the audience is under no illusion that the pro-masculine language which McPherson uses satirises and dissects the image of masculinity rather than supporting the idea.
I especially liked the main character being named Guy. After all who else could you ask to go in search for “the man” but a Real Guy?
Director James Lane has created a modern outlook on how an outdated masculine opinion on men is still deeply rooted in the C21st. Combined with McPherson’s strong performance the pair highlight the importance of understanding that men are all individuals too and should be accepted for who they choose to be without preconceived ideals and stereotypical behaviours forced upon them by society and media.
Review taken from an archived copy by the company. Not available on general release.