Provocative relationship drama returns to the Alexander Bar

Provocative relationship drama returns to the Alexander Bar

Theatre lovers can look forward to the dramatic piece ‘Cock’ returning to the Alexander Bar Upstairs Theatre for a very limited from Wednesday, June 22, to Saturday, June 25, at 9pm nightly. The provocative production made quite a splash at the venue last year and those who missed out have these four performances to find out what the fuss was about.

Written by Mike Bartlett, directed by Paul Griffiths and starring Francis Chouler, Matt Newman, Melissa Haiden and James Skilton, the play follows the story of John (Chouler), who is unhappy in his relationship and wants out. Or maybe he just wants time out? A break from his boyfriend for a few weeks. Or maybe months? Actually, the whole problem is John doesn’t know what he wants. But the last thing he expects is to fall in love with a woman…

Winner of the 2010 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in An Affiliate Theatre, Bartlett’s sharp, witty script takes a candid look at one man’s sexuality and the difficulties that arise when faced with a whole new world of possibility.

Mike Bartlett has become one of the UK’s most recognised playwrights. In 2007 he was the Pearson Playwright in Residence at the Royal Court Theatre followed by a Writer-In-Residence position at the National Theatre in 2011. Plays include ‘Love,Love,Love’ (Best New Play at the 2011 UK Theatre Awards), ‘Artefacts’ (Old Vic New Voices Award), ‘Contradictions’ (Royal Court), ‘Cock’ (Royal Court and Off-Broadway – 2010 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre) and ‘Bull’ (Young Vic).
He was nominated for a BAFTA for his television series ‘The Town’.

The Alexander Bar has become celebrated amongst regular theatregoers for the intimacy of performances that take place at the venue, but ‘Cock’ brought this to a new level, with audiences seated centimetres away from the performers. Asked by The Next 48hOURS in an interview earlier this year what it’s like having the audience in such close proximity while navigating the complex emotional landscape of the play, actress Melissa Haiden’s response was: “The Alexander Bar is my favourite theatre in Cape Town, because of its brave, independent repertoire and the 40 seater space allows actors to play as intimately with one another as we would do for film.”

* Tickets are R100, or R90 if you buy online at