Some of life’s events that most clearly insist upon gendered roles and interactions are the stag do and hen party. Traditionally in groups of men, there seems to be a requirement within stag dos to emphasise the masculinity of those partaking – through sex, alcohol, bravado and machismo. Therefore, it is the perfect subject for a play interrogating how we inhabit and perform gender.
Stag Nation shows the morning after a stag do, with the participants waking up and finding – to their surprise and discomfort – that they have changed sex. Malise Rosbech found it an interesting take on the subject:
The whole show is viewed through a pair of Butlerian lenses, enlarging and mocking the performative aspect of gender identities. When self-identified women actors perform stereotypical male identities and vice versa, the result is subversive: re-enacting established gender norms, but also exposing their instability. Stag Nation forces us to question the unstable meanings of ‘being a woman’ and ‘being a man’.
The picture is of a red deer stag. Picture taken in 2009 in Jægersborg Dyrehave in Denmark by Bill Ebbese.