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The ancient Australian art of genital origami



Review by Emma Whitelaw

THEY'RE loud, they’re rude and they’re lewd – downright Australian really.

Simon Morley and David 'Friendly' Friend have taken the typically Aussie 'can do' attitude to a bold new extreme.

Puppetry of the Penis is a two-man, two knob show that redefines the boundaries and literally reshapes one’s preconceptions of male genitalia.

It all started back in 1996 when the genius behind the show, Simon Morley, released a 'highbrow art calendar' showcasing 12 of his favourite 'penis installations' - aka dick tricks.

But it wasn't until New Year’s Eve, 1997, with a garage full of calendars to sell and burgeoning requests for live demonstrations, that Simon finally decided to unleash his talent on the world.

His natural choice of performance partner was David 'Friendy' Friend, whose reputation as the life of any party was quickly growing.

Friendy kept himself busy for most of the year, having created a solid business performing his repertoire of installations at Batchelorette/Hen’s night’s and private parties.

The rest, of course, is history. Having become a household name in Australia and receiving critical acclaim in both London and New York, the lads are certainly not shy; they’re bigger than Ben Hur and happily display their wares worldwide.

The installations featured in the show are just as continental and take you right around the globe. Featuring such iconic images as the Eiffel Tower, the Loch Ness Monster, Kentucky Fried Chicken, a boomerang and a didgeridoo – ouch!

All of which are filmed live and projected onto a huge screen at the back of the stage, just so the people in the dress circle can see – apparently. Look out if you're in the stalls, however, especially if you’re front row!

If the thought of a 6ft penis doesn’t send you running for the hills screaming, then perhaps Morley’s 'Gollum' (that talks!) will.

Although rather vulgar, it is the shock factor of this show that gets the laughs. The boys are extremely witty, but it is the sheer ballsiness of their act that makes it one of a kind.

It really is something that has to be seen to be believed! Hairy brains, a beating heart, a tongue, a sea anemone, a squirrel and, my personal favourite, the sore thumb, are all side-splittingly funny.

It’s much like a magic show where you cannot believe your eyes, but you simply must know how it’s done.

For those who cannot cure their pangs of curiosity, a book is also available for a bargain £10 outlining, in simple steps, how to create the amazing installations.

Their trademark installation, 'The Hamburger', was given a run through in the show and the boys encourage all the men in the audience to try the tricks at home.

Puppetry of the Penis is guaranteed to have you in fits of girlish giggles - girls and lads alike. It's certainly not for the faint-hearted, but after a recommended couple of drinks, even grandma would probably have a giggle.

Puppetry of the Penis, written and devised by David Friend and Simon Morley. Directed by Tim Fountain. Hosted by Hattie Hayridge. October 4 - 23, 2004 at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave, W1. Performance times; Monday to Thursday at 8pm
Friday and Saturday at 6.30pm and 8.45pm. Box Office 020 7494 5070.

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