Jawbone

Theatre, Comedy
A man with no pants cradles a beer in front of Sydney city skyline
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

What does it mean to be a successful man? This new show picks at the edges of that itch

Playwright, actor and filmmaker Alex Lykos asks what it means to be successful in a provocative new comedy that pushes all the buttons while dismantling the mythology of the modern-day man. Jawbone, written and performed by Lykos, opens with a gala performance in the main room of the Factory Theatre on May 26, which doubles up as the 15th anniversary of Marrickville Theatre Company.

It will then transfer into the more intimate surrounds of the Fusebox room for the rest of the run until June 13. Lykos is the powerhouse behind movies Me & My Left Brain (2019) and Alex & Eve (2016), the latter adapted from his stage trilogy. He plays a man struggling with the benchmark, as he sees it, that he must be married with kids and in a high-paying job with an investment property and regular holidays to have actually made it. The problem: he’s ticked off exactly none of these things. So is he a failure? Turns out his family and friends (and most of society) think so. And the thing is, he probably agrees with them.

The one-man show follows him as he spirals down the self-loathing rabbit hole. When he hits rock bottom, that’s when he breaks from the shackles of his own comatose existence and begins living on the edge. Pushing back against his more “successful” married brother, he quits the job he hates and starts gambling, drinking way too much and exploring his sexuality. But will he find the answers he needs, or just more dead ends?

“Writing and performing this show has been both a cathartic and a painful experience,” Lykos says. “Cathartic in that the frustrations and anger I have had with life over the last 12 months I purged out onto the keyboard. Painful because in many ways this is a show about regret, and I was forced to look back at my life.”

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