Cooking Run Shortened for Penile OrigamiDate: 4 September 2000
Cooking with Elvis' just-announced extension at the Whitehall Theatre has been called off in order to make way for another cult-hit transfer from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Pupperty of the Penis, an adult cabaret show in which two males perform the 'ancient Australian art of genital origami', opens for a limited five-week season at the theatre on 20 September, following previews from 18 September 2000.
Cooking with Elvis has been on-again, off-again in the past few weeks. At the beginning of August, producers announced that Lee Hall's black comedy about a troubled teenager with a vegetative Elvis-impersonating father, which opened at the Whitehall on 14 March following previews from 6 March, would close on 2 September.
But then at the end of last week, just before the planned closure, an extension to 21 October was announced, along with a new cast headed by Kate Fitzgerald from TV's Brookside. Now, however, the show, which was a hit at last year's Edinburgh Festival, is due to close at the Whitehall on 16 September.
This year's Edinburgh hit is even more surreal. Pupperty of the Penis features two 'well-endowed' Australian men, Simon Morley and David Friend, who manipulate their genitalia into various shapes, objects and landmarks. Amongst their popular impressions are The Hamburger, The Windsurfer, The Loch Ness Monster and The Slow-Emerging Mollusc. Though the Whitehall is small by West End standards, the staging ensures that no one could possibly miss anything. A video camera projects all the intimate details onto a large screen.
During the Edinburgh run, Pupperty of the Penis was seen by the West End producers, David Johnson and Richard Temple, who realised they had a hit on their hands when the woman sitting next to them wet her pants during the Puppeteers' Kentucky Fried Chicken impression. Pupperty of the Penis had its debut at the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 1998. A subsequent sell-out season in Sydney led to a national tour of Australia.
Due to the obviously rather risque material, Pupperty of the Penis is for adults only. It includes full-frontal male nudity, albeit of a non-sexual nature.