Sunday 2 April 2017

Puppetry Of The Penis - Comedy Review

What: Puppetry Of The Penis
When: 2 - 9 April 2017
Where: The Palms at Crown
Created by: Simon Morley and David Friend
Performed by: Rich Binning and Barry Brisco

Rich Binning, The Hamburger, and Barry Brisco
If you haven't heard of the hit comedy show Puppetry of the Penis by now you haven't been living on planet Earth. Created for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival back in 1998, this show has grown exponentially over the years and is now a permanent Vegas show. For one week only Binning and Brisco perform it for us at The Palms at Crown.

I confess that I am one of the few people in the world who had not seen the show yet, so I was...excited(?) get the opportunity to experience this unique form of puppetry which could only be invented by the Australian ocker. It was a bit strange to hear the American accents of this new generation of puppeteers but given the scope and scale of the Penis machine it is not surprising.

Brisco tells us "There are two rules for Puppetry of the Penis: You want to keep it from being sexual and you want to keep it from being gross." Binning and Brisco manage that balance well and in between belly-laughs I couldn't stop myself thinking 'how can that possibly not be painful?' My plus one assured me it wasn't but I am still not sure I believe him.

The show begins with a trick we have seen many times before - the Woman. Not so funny because it has been done so often. Brisco follows this up almost immediately with the Vagina and it is at this moment I exploded into my first round of riotous laughter - which almost brought on an asthma attack! It was so unexpected and so graphically accurate - and then Brisco proceeded to demonstrate a game we all like to play...

Having gotten the gender genetalia issue out of the way the puppetry moved onto more abstract techniques. The traditional repertoire including the Baby Bird, the Hamburger (shown above), and the Loch Ness Monster featured along with a bunch of new tricks.

One of the exciting elements of the new tricks is the use of props to complete the picture. Everyone who knows me is aware of my adoration of science fiction so ET was a big favourite although it was Yoda which really blew me away. I also had a lot of fun watching the recreation of the Myley Cyrus 'Wrecking Ball' video. The Trump puppet was also breathtakingly accurate.

The show runs for an hour with a fluffer (I had never heard that term before...) Nikki Britton getting us ready prior to the men coming out. Now that is a job opportunity I had never considered...This is about the right length for this show. Towards the end it felt like there was some repetition in the tricks and Brisco's lively patter also seemed to be running down.

It is a fun show for hen's nights and perhaps some younger lads could learn a trick or two... although they have probably already worked some of it out for themselves. There is an instruction book for sale if you want to develop puppetry skills for yourself or your partner. Binning and Brisco do offer to provide some onstage tutorials for any intrepid men in the audience but on the night I went there were, sadly, no takers.

I did find myself thinking that men spend far to much time with that particular appendage but it is really just a night of good, clean, and unique humour. It is a fun accompaniment to a martini or two and you may need a cigarette at the end...

3.5 Stars

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