New dark comedy about men and power discusses the changing landscape of Brexit Britain.
“In the end it’s an unsettling and slightly absurd show and yet it is immensely through provoking and very funny. Three days later I’m still processing the messages. That’s good theatre.” Quiet Man Dave
A new dark comedy with themes of gender, politics and expectations that is set against “a soundtrack of era-defining songs” (The National) is coming to The Civic complete with BSL interpretation.
First performed to a shell-shocked audience the day Trump was elected back in 2016 – innovative performance artists and theatre makers Two Destination Language look at changing roles for men, the ‘safe spaces’ they build themselves, and how much they love wires. Tracing the history of Britain's industrial decline since the 1975 vote to remain in the EU, Manpower admits the possibility: men haven't worked for decades.
Created between the Brexit Vote and the shift in US politics. The show explores how creators and performers Kat and Alister see, feel and think about gender, work and power. A lot has changed over the last century for men – traditional roles and expectations of masculinity are in flux. With these roles changing, continued privilege afforded to ‘the white male,’ and a political climate of fear, Manpower has a lot to talk about.
Talking about the background to the play, writer and performer Kat said: “When industrial work like mining and ship-building was taken away from men, a lot of them lost a sense of belonging and sense of purpose. Out of that came various parts of the population who feel that they don’t belong, and who feel threatened by immigrants.”
“When we were writing Manpower we very much wanted to juxtapose this east European woman with a British man who goes on about taking back our country and believes all the scare-mongering about immigration.”
The show itself revolves around a wooden building, DIY live, built on stage…. As Alister builds Kat begins to tell the story of her perception of the British working class. As the show unfolds, against period-defining music tied to moments, movements and happenings all will be familiar with, the politics becomes more troubling and futile vacuity of political language is laid out. This is a performance by two people, about the situation we ALL find ourselves in today, and how the words that created it have become part of the problem.
“a deeply cynical and darkly hilarious take on British masculinity since the time of Thatcher. She pointedly twists perspective, talking of men as passive creatures, hipsters: a “problem”.” The Stage
This performance is BSL interpreted by Caroline Ryan.
For more information and to book visit www.barnsleycivic.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01226 327000.