Manless Mamet begins with a vulgar disco with overtly sexual moves. I begin to wonder if the audience is invited to the party too. We are, in a way. The two women aggressively cat-call male audience members. Their taunting is belligerent and relentless but also completely ridiculous.
The duo presented high energy and excellent chemistry. The show took on the classic odd couple trope. Eggleton was the loud, obnoxious “wise guy” - the kind of creep most likely to repost Lad Bible memes while Raynes is the giddy “nice guy,” trying too hard to impress his domineering, ‘alpha bro’ other. Rayne’s character is obviously infatuated with Eggleton and struggles to suppress their true feelings. Their grotesque banter is fast paced and unsettlingly funny. I wasn't always sure if I was allowed to laugh.
The show was split in four scenes; the bathroom, conversations over spiked coffee, the beach and back bathroom. Transitions were ever so slightly delayed on opening night, but all the while entertaining. The one male performer remains silent throughout and seductively introduces each segment much, like the mannequin-esque female assistant of a skeezy magic show.
The tone changes dramatically in the show’s final act which depicts a graphic, out of body experience. The women on stage women lose their masculine confidence and fade with the drowned out party music. The nose dive in energy is powerful and reveals the fragility behind these outlandish personas. I left the Gryphon theatre thinking this a show not for women but for men. It is important for men and casual sexism to be challenged this is loud, brash and live way.
Manless Mamet: Toxic Masculinity & Tequila packs colour, humour and social dichotomy all into a 25 minute run. I look forward to the continued development of this show, the themes that it consists of and the troupe’s future projects.