In Mancoin, part of Vault Festival 2019, Guy White proclaims to be “woke” and wants Bond to be black. Forget Q – he wants LGBTQ+ to form 007’s support network. Creating a cryptocurrency by the name of W0ke, his aim is to reward people for any socially conscious acts they commit, in the hope of ultimately changing the world for the better.
The irony of Guy White’s name is not lost on him, nor us, as Hubert Burton conversationally tells the audience of his character’s plight. The intimate setting of the studio at the Vaults forcefully invites us into the world of our protagonist, however, much is to be said for Burton’s performance. He manages to engage us and encourage empathy through a warm, honest and utterly naturalistic act, whilst also conveying the embodiment of a deeply flawed man who may not be as self-aware as he proclaims to be.
The show’s lighting is minimal and there are no sound effects here. They are not needed to tell this story or make these points. Instead, the spectator is simply presented with the bleak picture writer Felix Legge has envisioned, with its social satire effectively realised by director Anna Fox.
Three women (Gabby Wong, Shazia Nicholls, Suzie Preece), each equipped with a microphone, surround White but he is the centre piece, held up for observation and judgement by both the audience and his supporting cast. Whenever a female player speaks, White speaks alongside, which only accentuates his weaknesses and emphasises the bravado he feels compelled to adopt in order to survive.
There are many laugh-out-loud moments throughout this short play, which runs at just an hour, however, the underlying points and suggestions linger and we leave with our thoughts and ideas regarding gender roles stirred and shaken. What more can we ask for from theatre? This is selling out fast and runs only until this Sunday. Be woke and book.
Mancoin is at the Studio from 6th until 10th February 2019. For further information or to book visit the show’s festival page here.
Read more reviews from our Vault Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Vault Festival website here.