MANWATCHING @ Roundabout Summer Hall (Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017) Review

Being a woman is not always easy and with the inability to talk about many topics, masturbation is a secretive revelation within the world of women. What feels like adult story time, settling down to a tale read by virginal monologue reader and performer Stuart Goldsmith, MANWATCHING claims a power and with great power comes great responsibility, discussing the female orgasm and many fantasies in its wake.


MANWATCHING, begins with a male comedian being given a script they have never seen before, in this case Stuart Goldsmith. They read the script out loud, sight unseen, in front of an audience. A living doll to enact the written text, the male comedian brings his own style to the performance, but it is the text that takes precedent. Depicting sociological interactions between women and men, this show voices the private monologue that dictates female actions. This is a show about what one woman considers when she thinks about sex with men.

A Royal Court Production that says ‘So I think it’s fair to say that most women almost definitely do masturbate. We just wait to discuss it until we’re in an oddly anonymous but public situation like this one’. Written by ‘Anonymous’ all we know is that the writer is a sexually active female, who has had some strange, darkly satanic fantasies over the years. Touching on contemporary references the most successful part of this performance is its ability to relate, acknowledged through the agreeable gestures conveyed by all genders of the audience.

Placing the text in a man’s voice is an extremely clever tool, it delivers a message that at least one man has listened to the personal account and experiences of a woman, leaving the female members of the audience feeling somewhat liberated. Graphic and descriptive until the ending climax, a vote is taken to identify the desirable qualities looked for in a man, I leave the theatre with a picture of my ideal match. 4/5

Review written by Megan Mattravers.

MANWATCHING is currently showing at the Roundabout Summerhall until Sunday 27th August 2017 as part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For more information on the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop