Friday 07 April 1995
Harvey Fierstein once observed, "put a straight actor in a dress and they give him a Oscar". Such things are a touch fashionable at the moment but it's rare for women to play men's roles. Laura Benson's performance in Masculin / Masculine, Memories of an Hermaphrodite may cause more than a few ripples. The play is based on the bizarre but true story of Adelaide Herculine Barbin who was raised as a woman in the confines of 19th-century French convent life, but with the onset of the sexual urges of adolescence was forced to adopt the gender of a man, becoming Abel Barbin. The autobiography discovered at her/his death paints a fascinating portrait of sexual confusion and depair which has already inspired work by writers as diverse as Michel Foucault and Caryl Churchill. Benson's performance is unlikely to cause the same kind of noise as Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, but it looks like being a good deal less mannered.
`Masculin/Masculine, Memories of an Hermaphrodite', Gate Theatre, W11 (0171-229 0706) from 11 Apr
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
- 5 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God