Cock, Cock... Who's There? (Samira Elagoz & From Start to Finnish) - Edfringe Review

Cock, Cock... Who's There? (Samira Elagoz & From Start to Finnish) - Edfringe Review

Sam would like to invite you to her rape anniversary. But this show is not about her (well it is, but not only about her). Instead, this is incredibly powerful multimedia piece turns the gaze around onto the men that observe her, layering how they view her and how she views them viewing her.

Created six years ago and fresh from a two-year tour, Cock, Cock…Who’s There? predates #MeToo but is still very much part of this moment. Split between screen and stage, this production turns a painful experience into an observational documentary while Sam sits at the front providing narration. Interestingly, the theatrical element in this comes from drawing attention to the performances in every-day life, how men react to a woman (apparently) interested in their lives. However, Sam neither condemns nor condones but merely presents the cross-section of male society she meets, weaving them into her own personal story.

“Part experiment, part film, part f*ck you”

Few shows at the Fringe manage to be this intimate and raw while simultaneously being so clinical and distanced. Part experiment, part film, part f*ck you, this production carefully and cleverly highlights the struggle to not become a victim to horrific events. It is a show that does not compromise; either on audience or performer’s embarrassment- while uncomfortably explicit at times it purposefully makes you question why this is uncomfortable. Sam’s fascinatingly generative use of her experiences left me with genuine chills.

There are no easy conclusions with this story. Instead, this show resonates by hinging on the conclusions the audience draw, so the audience ends up leaving the show feeling something different depending on their experiences. In this current climate of questioning how we talk about sexual assault, by making the audience both think and feel, it is a fascinating way of initiating discussion.

As a science experiment and an autobiographical film screening, this production pushes the technical definition of theatre. However, if theatre is supposed to be provoking emotion, drawing the audience out of their comfort zone and exposing all our own prejudices, then this is the kind of theatre I want to see.

Cock, Cock…Who’s There? is playing at Summerhall, Aug 15-19, 21-26 at 18:45. Tickets available here.

5/5

Image: Samira Elagoz & From Start to Finnish

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