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Puppetry of the Penis (Tour - Liverpool)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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In any other production, the combination of a pelican, a hamburger and the Loch Ness Monster would seem somewhat absurd. In Puppetry of the Penis however, absolutely anything is possible...

Starting in 1998 at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, this experimental - in the true sense of the word - theatre has captured the imagination of audiences across the globe. So much so, that teams of puppeteers now tour different continents sharing their genitalia origami.

Our lads - Rich Binning and Andy Fitch - capture the tone of the show well, delivering their lines with flair and certainly not lacking in the inhibitions department.

Stark naked - bar a pair of trainers - the pair twist their parts into various different shapes, providing puppetry that is as far from ‘Sooty and Sweep’ as you could ever imagine.

Although I have no desire of knowing how creators Simon Morley and David Friend began to have a conversation about their ‘testicle talents’ (never mind actually realising them in the first place), this is undoubtedly a fun and frivolous night of entertainment.

For those truly in the spirit, there is even an opportunity for some on-stage interaction. However, because of the show’s ‘intimate’ nature, the Empire as a venue just does not suit. Feeling more like a hen party - or some might say a disrupting intrusion into ‘male bonding’ taken too far - a smaller auditorium would have worked better.

And even though the involvement of 3D glasses does add to the overall hilarity, they are useless half of the time, and their flimsiness can prove to be distracting.

Innovative, imaginative, but definitely not one for the prude, Puppetry of the Penis is one lesson that - if nothing else - will have you thinking differently.

- Rebecca Cohen.


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