Dickless

Fundamental Theater Project’s Dickless is a tale of rumours, girls, a headless cat and bizarre sexual conquests in the small-town of Dunningham. This is a one-woman show about gender identity and it is narrated from the perspectives of the main characters, Saff and Oli. 

Josiah tries to pull the two elements together all too conveniently

It's a small stage at the New Town Theatre on which to perform and the set is sparsely arranged with only a chair as a set piece. It is to the credit of Lauren Downie's performance that she manages to make the different scenarios come alive in such a small space. Whether the scene shifts back to her home, to the pub, or onto the street, you are instantly in the moment. The depiction of the town and its various inhabitants is also well-drawn. It makes it easy for the audience to get a sense of place from the dialogue and characterisation alone.

Dickless is written by the award-winning Aisha Josiah, and it is a naturalistic and unvarnished account of the types of characters that you would seek to avoid if they lived in your town. It's a play in two parts. In the first half, we get Saff's point of view as she tries to help her friend get revenge after her reputation is torn apart by a sexual experience that has now become something of an internet rumour. Saff is trying to lay low, having been caught out with someone else's boyfriend and the wronged girl is gunning for revenge. The boyfriend in question is Oli, and we get to see his perspective when the play shifts to the second act. Downie is convincing as both the male and female characters and she has to shift quite adroitly as the dialogue between the two quickens.

The title of the show is, in effect, the driver of it, but it could be said that Josiah tries to pull the two elements together all too conveniently. As a result, I'm not too sure that I buy into the grand narrative about gender identity. But as a tale about revenge and the depiction of the impetuousness of youth, this works really well.

Reviews by Paul Clark

Assembly George Square Theatre

Andrew Maxwell: Showtime

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Angela Barnes: Fortitude

★★★★
New Town Theatre

Dickless

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 5 & 6

Phill Jupitus: Achtung!/Acting!

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus Up the Stand

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Lucy Porter: Choose Your Battles

★★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A headless cat, bizarre sexual conquests and girls behaving monstrously. Just another night in Dunningham! An internet rumour and an incriminating photo launch an adrenaline-fueled quest for revenge through the brutal underworld of small-town England, narrated by Saff (who’s on the run) and Oli (who should be!). Peter Shaffer Award recipient Aisha Josiah brings us a tour de force, one person show that explores gender identity, the roles we choose to play and the roles thrust upon us. ‘Women never bought Freud's idea of penis envy: who would want a shotgun when you can have an automatic?’ www.FundamentalTheaterProject.com

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