Spotlight on… F*cking Men Stars, Harper James and Richard de Lisle

King’s Head Theatre Presents F*cking Men by Joe DiPietro Assembly George Square, Studio 2 4-29 August, 3:55pm (not 9, 16, 23) 
Following smash-hit, sell-out runs in London, The King’s Head are bringing their 5-star production of F*cking Men to Edinburgh for its Fringe premiere. Based on Arthur Schnitzler’s classic La Ronde, Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change) transplants the interweaving tales of sexual power, discovery and exploration to a contemporary urban gay subculture.  
A slick dramatic comedy of gay sexual manners, ten characters crisscross in a series of erotic encounters asking the important questions – is it all about sucking and f*cking? Are we really trapped by monogamy, or are our sexual encounters fuelled by the hunger for elusive, meaningful connections with each other? 

LISTING INFORMATION Venue:  Assembly George Square Studios, Studio 2, George Square, EH8 9LH Time:  15:55  Running Time: 70mins Dates: 04 – 29 August. Previews 4-5 August. No show Tues 9, 16, 23 August.  Tickets: Previews £10; 6-7, 10-11, 15, 17-18, 22, 24-25 & 29 August £13 (£11); 8, 12-14, 19-21, 26-28 August  £15 (£13) Bookings: assemblyfestival.com, 0131 623 3030 or Assembly box offices at Assembly Hall and Assembly Roxy, Assembly George Square and Assembly Checkpoint 

I was delighted to be invited to interview stars of the show, Harper James and Richard de Lisle, here’s what they had to say about the show.

Tell me about the show and how the rehearsal process has affected the transition from page to stage.

Harper: We spent a lot of time on characterisation before working on the scenes, this has brought the characters to life and through improvisation we blended the characters with the text.
Richard: The rehearsal process has been useful in developing the four characters I play. Using the process to experiment  with different accents and mannerisms until myself and the director felt the portrayal was staying true to what the writer (Joe DiPietro) was saying with the piece.
What is your favourite moment or favourite line in the production?
Harper: My favourite moment is probably the scene between the married men. I suppose its a scene for me that hits home. In the scene they confront their open relationship status and how it could affect the rest of their lives.
Richard: My favourite moments are when playing the playwright  character (Sammy). He has a lot of energy and my favourite line he’s says is “Je suis guilty!”
What do you hope audiences will take away with them from this piece?
Harper: I hope they will take away that a relationship is a relationship, whether gay, lesbian or straight we all have the same relationship issues to combat in modern society.
Richard: I would like the audience to feel they can relate to the characters regardless of their sexuality and enjoy the humour of the play as well as the most serious moments.
How does the space lend itself to the production?
Harper: Having performed in the round previously, this end on production gives the audience something different. It allows us to play on different levels but at the same time keeps the intimacy.
Rick: The space is fantastic. We have performed in different venues over the last year but this is the biggest one with fantastic acoustics yet still keeps the intimacy of the piece.
Have you experienced a fringe festival before? What has your experience been?
Harper: This is my first Fringe as a performer, and what a blast I’m having. So far its been a fantastic experience, so many performances from so many cultures. Its hard to cram everything in.
Rick: I’m a Fringe virgin and the whole experience as been overwhelming so far. The energy of the city is fantastic and the range of shows is amazing. It feels like an actor’s Christmas!!
Sell the show to me, what would you say to encourage potential audience members to come?
Harper: It’s a frank look at the modern world of gay men, its a story about relationsips and how we connect using sex in modern society. Its about sexuality, but also a look at how we all search for human connection.
Richard: The piece really works at the fringe because it ticks all the boxes of being funny, sad, poignant and also you get see some naked boys, which is never a bad thing!
Thanks for chatting to me, boys! You’ve sold the show to me, that’s for sure!!
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