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Review: Manwatching, Norwich Playhouse

PUBLISHED: 06:48 22 February 2018

Tim Fitzhigham: A gentle tirade.

Tim Fitzhigham: A gentle tirade.

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James Goffin finds some taboos are apparently still alive and well in a Norwich Playhouse performance.

Are there any taboos left? Apparently so, if the reception for this monologue written by an anonymous woman but read aloud by a man is any indication.

The gentle tirade consists of a series of anecdotes of inappropriate crushes, dangerous liaisons, and an awful lot of self-pleasure. While there are some proper jokes there aren’t any belly laughs here.

Instead, the piece thrives off the idea of sexual guilt: that our social mores still mean that talking openly about fantasy and sexual experience, especially that of a woman, elicits a nervous giggle. And the mainly female audience giggled a lot.

Tim FitzHigham was the male reader at Wednesday’s show, encountering the words for the first time as he delivered them. He overegged the eye-rolling and corpsing, but then this is a piece driven by reactions. Whether those reactions are genuine shocked innocence, or just playground sniggering, depends on your point of view.

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