Men in the Cities

Chris Goode

Traverse Theatre

From 31 July 2014 to 24 August 2014

Rating: ***

Review by Philip Fisher

This world première is comprised of a monologue delivered by the playwright Chris Goode in his usual laid-back manner, only varied by a mind dump rant that allows him to get much off his chest.

Under the direction of Wendy Hubbard, Goode spends 90 minutes providing brief snapshots of London life in 2013, standing on a bare stage with a backdrop of electric fans.

In fact, that description can be narrowed further in that every character (except a silent WPC) is male and almost all are homosexual.

The opening and closing scenes, but no others, feature a father of a seven-year-old who is suffering from a mid-life crisis. He seemingly has little to do with those that appear in between other than struggling, like them, to come to terms with modern society.

Those that fill the bulk of the time include a gay couple plus the father of one of them, a man of 73 and boy of 10 with a common interest, a newsagent and Chris Goode himself along with his ageing father.

Their experiences help to illuminate the playwright’s view of contemporary life, with the outside world making significant in-roads as a result of the murder of Drummer Rigby and death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

With its cross between storytelling, performance poetry, acting and autobiography, Men in the Cities is a small-scale drama which is gently thought-provoking.