This Will End Badly is a thought provoking and necessary piece of theatre. Three intersecting monologues skilfully performed by one man (Ben Whybrow), explore what it is to be a man in the modern age. In an era where there is such a focus on feminism, it is refreshing to centre on a male’s thoughts. Raising awareness of male suicide and emphasising that men have emotions too, Anna Haigh Productions are working with CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserable; a charity that works to prevent male suicide).
The three monologues explore three different personalities of men. One is the anxious man lacking in confidence, struggling to cope with life and contemplating suicide. The other explores the mind of a man in a bar trying to ignite a relationship with a woman no matter how short or long he intends that relationship to last. The third monologue follows a man with a constipation problem caused by a difficult break up with the love of his life.
The “constipation monologue” is an interesting one. It digs down to the real biological processes of man (and humans in general). If we want to go with stereotypical reactions to break ups, women cry hysterically and men come off lightly. But with this insight into a man’s thoughts and bodily functions, we see that man does react. But due to certain social stigmas he is forced to repress these emotional feelings that are eventually internalised and (in this case) cause a man to fail at carrying out a basic animal function.
This Will End Badly makes you laugh, think and even fear. Seeing a man so emotionally exposed is hard and unusual to watch. The production really emphasises how bad society is at representing what it really means to be male. The audience is reminded that being a man should not be solely attached to the idea of a physically strong and emotionless being. Showing emotions is not emasculation and society needs to accept that men need emotional support in the same way that women do.
For a mentally stimulating and insightful evening, visit http://thiswillendbadly.co.uk/ (last show 16th February 2016)