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Manless: Toxic Masculinity and Tequila

Media Release

If you know theatre, you know David Mamet. But do you really know Mamet? Or do you just think you do? Manless Mamet reads between the lines written by one of theatre’s most prolific playwrights to explore the language men use in relation to women, on at Fringe at the Gryphon 14-16 March during New Zealand Fringe Festival.

Manless Mamet is a feminist, female two-hander comedy; a boisterous romp simultaneously pushing the boundaries of female aggression and putting the toxicity of masculinity under a drunkenly held microscope. Adapted from scenes in David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Manless Mamet gender-bends catcalling and focuses on the hyper-masculinity and toxicity of this language. Plus, there’s a lot more tequila.

“Our kaupapa embraces female rage - a powerful tool that got women to where they are today,” says writer and performer Lydia Raynes. “We hope to first open our audiences’ mouths in shock, then keep them open with laughter and finally leave them raucously raw.”

This power of this rage was made apparent at the 2018 Short & Sweet Festival in Auckland, where Manless Mamet won Best Play, Best Director (Kacie Stetson) and Best Actress (Courtney Eggleton). In 2019 the team brings the next phase of the play’s development to New Zealand Fringe Festival, presenting a 25 minute, late-night season at Fringe at the Gryphon.

“We’re exploring these characters in a modern New Zealand context, and unpacking the ways toxic masculinity manifests around us,” says performer Courtney Eggleton. “Later we’ll be bringing them to the digital screen through a web series, and so the interaction we’ll get with our live audiences is so, so vital - the way they resonate, impress, or shock will help us take them to their next stage.”

Post show, fans of Mamet and those invested in the themes explored are invited to share their impressions with the performers in the FatG bar. A content note: This show contains explicit language and references to sexual violence.

“It's only words... unless they're true.” David Mamet

Lydia Raynes (writer and performer) moved to Auckland from Wellington where she gained a rich background in theatre through studying at Victoria University and performing regularly with two different theatre companies. With credits in both theatre and screen in Auckland, Wellington and Australia, Lydia is dedicated to constantly working on her craft.


Courtney Eggleton (performer) has theatre credits across Auckland as both performer and producer. Since graduating, she started training at the Kacie Stetson Studio and is developing her screen acting technique. This year she performed a solo work entirely in German at Rangmanch Inc.’s International Theatre Festival.



Dates: 10:15pm, 14-16 March 2018, 25 minutes

Venue: Fringe at the Gryphon, 22 Ghuznee Street