The Royal Court Theatre at Roundabout Edinburgh Festival Fringe


The Royal Court Theatre will be joining Paines Plough’s EARLIER/LATER Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme at Roundabout @ Summerhall with Manwatching, an explicit insight into heterosexual female desire.

Manwatching has been developed in collaboration with an anonymous female writer.

Commenting on the project the anonymous female writer states;

I have been thinking about what it means to be objectified, and whether or not that is really tied to desire or power. Although men are objectified by other men, I was at a loss to think of many examples of men being objectified by women, and the examples I could think of were quite complicated – frequently involving the man’s profession rather than appearance (in Sex and the City, for example, men are usually referred to in shorthand by whatever job it is they do rather than how they look or act), or their dominance was the source of objectification. Even though many women desire men, the most basic elements of that desire seemed oddly unexplored.
So I thought, who better to give the words of a woman desiring men to, than the voice of a man, as it’s so much more comfortable and familiar for us to hear about desire through the male perspective?


Written by an anonymous woman
Performed by an unprepared man
EARLIER: 10am on 14 and 21 August

LATER: 10.30pm on 10, 15 and 19 August
Roundabout @ Summerhall, EH9 1PL


So I think it’s fair to say that most women almost definitely do masturbate.  We just wait to discuss it until we’re in an oddly anonymous but public situation like this one.

A funny, frank, and occasionally explicit insight into heterosexual female desire, read out loud by a man.

Each show begins with a male comedian being given a script they have never seen before. They then go onto read said script for the first time live in front of an audience which explores what one woman thinks about when she thinks about sex and men.

Performers will include comedians James Acaster, Marcus Brigstocke and Nick Helm. More to be announced.

With direction and dramaturgy by Royal Court Theatre Associate Director Lucy Morrison, and dramaturgical input from Ryan Nobel, Lisa Heledd Jones, and Christopher Brett Bailey.

Manwatching is a work-in-progress being piloted at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It is being developed by an anonymous female writer in collaboration with the Royal Court Theatre.

Anonymous female writer’s work includes a lot of stuff that can’t be disclosed as she chooses to remain anonymous.

Lucy Morrison is Associate Director at the Royal Court where her credits include Hidden (Live Lunch), Who Cares, Pests and Product (also at Traverse and European tour). 

EARLIER/LATER is a series of early morning and late night one-off shows, featuring brand new theatre, poetry, comedy and music, programmed by Paines Plough in its Roundabout theatre at Summerhall.

Tickets can be purchased through the Summerhall Box Office.

Listings Information:

Written by an anonymous woman
EARLIER: 10am on 14 and 21 August
LATER: 10.30pm on 10, 15 and 19 August
Roundabout @ Summerhall, EH9 1PL
Age Guidance
Tickets £10 on the door
Running time 50 mins approx.

The Royal Court Theatre is the writers’ theatre. It is a leading force in world theatre, finding writers and producing new plays that are original and contemporary. The Royal Court strives to be at the centre of civic, political, domestic and international life, giving writers a home to tackle big ideas and world events and tell great stories