Written by Robert O’Hara
Directed by Robert O’Hara
December 30, 2017
💉💉💉💉 out of 5.
Mankind was a most unexpected treat. The advert for it mentioned that it was a satire about a world in which there were no more women, and men were left to give birth to babies without them. Ouch! I thought this was going to be a cheap – woman hating – even gay celebration play – but I was wrong! Nothing in this play was gay and nothing in this play was about hating women – far, far from that.
From the first opening scene of an assuredly straight character/actor waking up in middle of the night to be greated by his F*** buddy’s line, “Dude, I’m pregnant.” I was hooked. These two guys looked like they’d would be much more at home at some sports bar swilling beer and cheering for their team, but here they were trying to figure out how sex can lead to pregnancy – and then – what then? These dude’s would certainly have been the love ‘um and leave ‘um type if they had been with woman but now that they got a dude pregnant what are they to do? I mean, really, dude!
Why are there no women in this world? The playwright would have us believe that all of the interest in regulating and legislating women and their bodies and their choices have actually lead to the extinction of women. Patriarchy is more then the rule of the day – it won. Men won – and no more women. So how does gender change the legal landscape of the land. What happens when a man needs/wants an abortion – well then it is truly a different game. It is understandable to regulate women – but come on, dude, if a dude needs an abortion it is another case.
This wonderful satire of how we view reproduction for men and women so differently is just so clever and so funny. It never gets old; it always moves on and explores new dynamics of gender to lampoon. The actually death of the child (I know, spoiler alert) leads to an entirely new religion – called “feminism” a religion that will certainly be more understanding of the choices dudes have to face.
This play is just so clever and so funny – I was worried it might go down the dumb and dumber path but no – it stayed in the satirical path reminiscent of the good ol’ plays of Christopher Durang.
HOWEVER, what was up with Act 2 ? It did nothing to cap the play off. It didn’t tie anything together. The messages it brought, I really did already get. Cut the play off at the end of Act 1. Leave me wanting more – – that’s a much better plan!