Straight White Men & Untitled Feminist Show: two plays
Southwark Playhouse, London
From Wed 10 Nov 2021 to Sat 4 Dec 2021
Two compassionately subversive plays about identity, by Young Jean Lee, a Korean American playwright whose work is groundbreaking, humorous and often thrillingly transgressive.
In Straight White Men, it's Christmas Eve, and Ed has gathered his three adult sons to celebrate with matching pyjamas, trash-talking, and Chinese takeaway. But when a question they can't answer interrupts their seasonal cheer, they are forced to confront their own identities.
Raucous, surprising and fearless, Straight White Men takes an outside look at the traditional father/son narrative, shedding new light on a story we think we know all too well. It had its UK premiere at Southwark Playhouse, London, in 2021, following US productions including a Broadway run that made Lee the first Asian-American woman to have a play produced on Broadway.
In Untitled Feminist Show, six charismatic stars of the theatre, dance, cabaret and burlesque worlds come together in an exhilaratingly irreverent, nearly wordless celebration of a fluid and limitless sense of identity.
Untitled Feminist Show isn't a show about feminism – it is a feminist show. It premiered at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in 2012 before transferring to the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.
'Young Jean Lee is, hands down, the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation' New York Times
'Young Jean Lee's Untitled Feminist Show is one of the more moving and imaginative works I have ever seen on the American stage… what makes it so transcendent is its delicious ability to alternate the pain of being different with a sense of humor about lives not lived among the status quo'New Yorker
'The twisty, turbulent, argumentative work of Young Jean Lee… will make you flinch, but it's hard to look away… Lee has always been interested in exposing how we perform our identities. But in Straight White Men, she drills into something more core. Shuck off, subvert, cleave to your gender or race all you like, but a universal horror of weakness remains – a collective orientation toward status, power, control'New York Times
'A timely identity study that gives a powerful critique of 21st-century white male psychology'Guardian on Straight White Men
'Funny, well-observed, often surprisingly gentle, and refreshingly nuanced'Evening Standard on Straight White Men
'A subtly judged balancing act, an often fascinating blend of absurdism and realism'The Stage on Straight White Men
'Hilarious and probing satire'Arts Desk on Straight White Men
18 Nov 2021Size: 198mm x 129mm
Also by Young Jean Lee: