Review: ManCoin, VAULT Festival

Felix Legge’s ManCoin proves a  chilling reminder of how shallow wokeness can be, playing at the VAULT Festival now

“I’m one of the good guys, remember that”

#notallmen right? Felix Legge’s play ManCoin puts the case that, well, it really could be, it really probably is. Guy White wears his wokeness like a badge, his every statement parsed to align with liberal sensibilities, his new cryptocurrency designed to reward those who carry out good deeds. Right on man!  

But peek beneath the proffered bleeding heart and a shell of fragile masculinity becomes apparent, revealed in all its ugliness when Guy has a fight with his girlfriend Polly and a drunken snafu positions him at the forefront of the men’s rights movement. From there, his persecution complex runs wild, showing just how deep – or otherwise – self-proclaimed wokeness is.

Hubert Burton – late of The Inheritance – is expertly, horrendously, convincing as the embodiment of toxic masculinity in liberal clothing. But the masterstroke in Anna Fox’s production comes in the casting of three actors – Shazia Nicholls, Suzie Preece and Gabby Wong – to play everyone who isn’t Guy, often at the same time.

The effect of the splintered self – particularly when they are voicing Polly – is highly arresting, an eloquent way of reminding us that this isn’t just Guy and Polly’s story, it is entirely emblematic of society at large, of a patriarchy that just won’t quit. Hell, even I started to think wouldn’t it be interesting to see a play from a genuine #notallmen perspective – I’m part of the damn problem!

Running time: 60 minutes (without interval)
ManCoin is booking at the VAULT Festival until 10th February

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