PLAYWAVE CREATIVE REVIEW: VIRGINS & COWBOYS
Virgins & Cowboys by Morgan Rose at Griffin Theatre Company. Photo by Ashley De Prazer.
Playwave Creative Review: VIRGINS & COWBOYS
Reviewed by Lara Franzi
Virgins & Cowboys is a teasing and taunting play that engages you over an intimate stage. Writer Morgan Rose brings us this raunchy depiction of eager adulthood, following the Flight Festival of New Writing in Melbourne. The play is driven by protagonist Sam’s chance to take two womens virginity, played by actor Kieran Law. Rose catches us through her saturated characters to explore their wrangling of new relationships and individual expectations. With Dave Sleswick’s creative vision, he brings their personalities onto the stage through his clever overlaying and dissecting of colours to contrast each character. Viewers need to know that the 90 minute play is shamelessly filled with adult themes and coarse language. It is an absolutely breathtaking and raw performance by each actor, not a doubt to their ability or confidence for the stage and portrayal of emotions.
It’s a sensitive topic, taken roughly; Virginity.
It is considered through the character’s differing perspectives. Presenting a tedious anticipation of nervousness, sided by a brute dialogue of judgment and assumptions. Rose explores the wasting value of virginity within our westernised culture of ‘throw-away’ relationships. Virginity no longer holds its value or necessity in the religious sense of waiting til marriage. Instead our society proposes an idea of ‘one-night stands’, disconnecting the physical from any emotional connection. This damage of our society is previewed through the character’s inability to attempt any real relationships, instead illustrating a callous mix of prepared responses and mirrored actions from the movies.
Interestingly Virgins & Cowboys also considers a generational point of view through Katrina Cornwall’s character Steph who is a 29 year old virgin. She is focused on the future value of a relationship, considering employment and lifestyle security over the person. This is compared to Penny Harpham’s 19 year old virgin, Lane. Who is more distracted by Sam’s charms and their giddy romance.
Virgins & Cowboys invites you to invasively explore these young lives through their self-focused broken conversations. It’s a jarring comedic play that mustn’t be ignored for it’s controversial topic. It purposefully challenges our set ideas about sexuality that should be dynamic and adaptable to each individual. Not controlled by our societal benchmark to retain one’s respectability in the public eye. This is a current piece that I felt has shaped my perspective. Allowing me to take a step back from our societies claustrophobic value of sexual expectation, which don’t reflect my own. Morgan Rose’s Virgins and Cowboys has left an impression on me that I’m thankful to have experienced.
It’s a stoic play that will bury into the back of your mind. It shines light to the unsaid declaration of our culture, presenting a twisted world that has been birthed in a new generational life of consumption. This living theatre depicts a relevant concern in our world of independent decisions. Catch this fearless play while you can at Griffin Theatre before the 16th of December.