Puppetry of the Penis at The Playhouse, Weston
So there I was, pen poised, and about to spend an evening watching two middle aged guys contort their scrotal sacs into representations of famous landmarks, animals, and unfortunate celebrities; undoubtedly niche viewing, but somebody had to do it!
I suppose I have occasionally speculated on how inconvenient it must be to possess a set of fleshy equipment that spends most of its time lolling about idly, wandering about your pants or perking up enthusiastically at often wildly inappropriate moments, but Simon Morley and David Friend have certainly invented a form of entertainment which takes their personal equipment to some extraordinary places.
This very personable duo romped their way through the show with a certain worldly weary charm and antipodean banter, which is pretty vital when you are dressed only in a short glittery cape, socks and trainers, and have to create some “genital origami” to order in front of an audience curious, agog and hysterical with laughter by turns.
Actually, the phrase “in front of” is probably not entirely accurate, as the show required their “party pieces” to be carefully digitally assembled, and in order to stay on the right side of not sexually explicit, this required turning their backs to the audience. This resulted in a lot of time watching bare bums and a lot of jerking movements (yes, I know…but that really is the best way to describe the action needed!)
In the space of two hours, these intrepid and unique exponents of their art created no less than 42 “ cocktales”, including such visual delights as the Eiffel Tower, the Loch Ness Monster, the Bullfrog, Yoda, and my personal favourite, the Slowly Emerging Mollusc… I leave you to picture the scene.
This is a form of performance which must require a lot of practice and dexterity, and it is apparently rare for a male volunteer to emerge from the audience when encouraged to join them; Weston-super-Mare manhood rose (!) to the challenge!
A hero called Andy leapt onto the stage, dropped his trousers, made a game and probably slightly painful attempt to create the “Hamburger”, and was heartily applauded for his efforts- – ’m only glad he didn’t strain anything when he then fell over his discarded trousers, as this might have proved a unique experience to any First Aider standing by.
This was a very amusing, if slightly bizarre evening, which certainly made the audience feel that they had witnessed a unique form of entertainment.
It made me smile, but I would probably not take an opportunity to return to see the show…once seen, never forgotten!
See what else is on at The Playhouse, Weston