Disclosure: this is a post I wrote earlier. My husband fell through the roof yesterday and I haven’t been much good for reading or anything else. (He’s going to be fine – apart from 7-10 fractured ribs.) Thankfully, on days where I’ve had time to read two plays, I’ve been doing so and storing a few extras in drafts in case of emergency.
Language warning: This post contains rude words.
That Steven Berkoff can be a right filthy fellow! Massage is a three-hander and is a play where he’s given himself free rein to be as dirty as he pleases.
Unbeknownst to Dad, Mum works in a massage parlour giving hand relief and a whole lot more to the needy gents of the area. Dad regularly visits a prostitute further afield, where he won’t be sprung. The third character is a man visiting Mum in the massage parlour.
The play is a comedy but so weighted down with descriptions of cocks, balls, and Vesuvius-like eruptions it ends up being quite a mouthful (!). I tired of it on the page quite quickly, the ending being what I expected and not nearly as surprising as Berkoff’s usual fare. But, when he isn’t finding new ways of describing genitals and orgasms, Berkoff does still do a good line of British humour.
MUM: Another day of blissful graft / have a nice day love / ’twas good to see the men of england going home all happy to their tea / no more will infants feel the bloody kick / nor mother nurse a blackened eye since jack and albert, jeff and fred will be released in cock and head and all be peaceful, like before the set [tv] and chortle at the football / go to bed / a quiet fart under eiderdown, g’night love / up and down the breadth of royal england from noble prince to dustman bill /
Although the play is written for one woman and two men, Berkoff dressed in drag to play the part of Mum when it showed in England in 2006. Apparently this was a much more successful production than previous ones, which had seen audiences in mass walk outs…
Publisher: Faber and Faber (in Steven Berkoff Plays 1)
Cast: 2M, 1F (or 3M with one in drag)