Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

06/05/2014 - 10/05/2014

BATS Theatre, Wellington

03/02/2015 - 14/02/2015

BATS Theatre (Out-Of-Site) Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington

30/04/2014 - 03/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details


Conversations with My Penis is a new comedy play at the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival that explores the ups and downs, ins and outs of the most powerful partnership of a man’s life – him and his penis. Nothing else in a man’s body causes more regular doubt, frustration, fear, guilt, or – on a good day – joy. From April 30 to May 3, Conversations With My Penis explores them all.

Richard Falkner (How to Meet Girls From a Distance) plays Tom, an average guy with all the same penile problems we pretend we don’t have. Opposite Tom sits his penis, a man-sized boisterous and excitable pleasure-seeker who often lands Tom in trouble.

Conversations follows the relationship between Tom and his penis as they experience a lifetime of issues – from impotence to infidelity, from cancer to Viagra. The play is an absurd buddy-comedy with a lot of laughs and plenty of heart, and won’t take longer than an hour – it never has before.

“This isn’t a show about dick-jokes,” says writer and director Dean Hewison. “It’s loaded with heart and real emotional punch, as well as all the laughs. It’s a play you could conceivably bring your mother to. Go on – she’s seen one before.”

Written and directed by Dean Hewison (director and co-writer of Make My Movie winner How to Meet Girls From a Distance, 2013 48HOURS winner The Sleeping Plot, co-writer of Live at Six), and produced by Out of Bounds (FootBallistic, Hypnotastic, Out of Bounds Sounds).


As part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider, grab some mates and join us for a great night of laughs from 24 April – 18 May.

For the full Comedy Fest show line-up head to

Dates: 30 April – 3 May, 9:30pm
Venue: BATS Theatre, Cnr Cuba and Dixon Sts
Tickets: Adults $20, Conc. $15
Bookings: 04 802 4175 or

Dates: 6 – 10 May, 7pm
Venue: The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
Tickets: Adults $20, Conc. $15
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or 


The 2014 Comedy Festival hit Conversations (With My Penis) returns for a full season at BATS Theatre. The play explores 5 decades in the love/hate relationship between Tom (Aidan Grealish) and his penis (Carrie Green). It is an absurd buddy-comedy that tackles a lifetime of issues – from impotence to infidelity, men’s health to Viagra. It has a lot of laughs and plenty of heart.

“Yes, there are more jokes than you can shake a dick at but there are touching, serious issues at play too empathizing with and forcing a dialogue about modern masculinity… I cannot reiterate enough the surprising tastefulness of this piece.” – Rip It Up

“Witty, adroit and very original, there is nothing unseemly or smutty about this show and it is not loaded with baseless toilet jokes but clever humour and even moments of poignant reality.” – The Dominion Post 

Created by Dean Hewison (director and co-writer of How to Meet Girls From a Distance, co-writer of Live at Six), Conversations (With My Penis) explores the ups and downs and ins and outs of this unique friendship.  

Buddies don’t come closer than this.

Bats Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace, Wellington
3 February to 14 February 2015, at 8.sopm

TOM:  Richard Falkner
His PENIS:  Sam Hallahan

TOM:  Aidan Grealish
His PENIS:  Carrie Green 

A smut-free, heartfelt play

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 06th Feb 2015

Having had a successful outing earlier last year, Dean Hewison’s Conversations (with my penis) returns to Bats on the Propeller Stage. 

However for this production it is a different pair of actors, with Tom’s Penis now being played by a female, Carrie Green.

It’s not obvious why the gender change and in many ways of no importance as the story of Tom, played this time around by Aidan Grealish, and his life’s journey with his penis and their trials and tribulations together doesn’t need to be gender specific, even though it is a very male part of Tom.

The two being good mates from pre puberty through relationships, loneliness of being unattached and health scares are all played with great confidence by Grealish and Green, who does a particularly good job of animating Luke Hawker’s wonderfully innovative penis costume when only her face is visible.,

And although the timbre of Green’s female voice at times lacks a certain masculinity which is needed in the more robust exchanges between Tom and his penis, this is countered by the deep level of compassion Green brings to the more poignant and heartfelt moments.

These are very telling scenes and shows Hewison’s creative ability as a writer to not only pepper the play with the usual load of jokes and puns about men and their penis’s but also the real dramas that men go through in life.

Understanding the bodily changes of a male through puberty, not being able to perform when drunk then when finding a partner suffering premature ejaculation, and the many sexual activities men go through when unattached to enhance their sex lives are all brought to life by the two actors who work together exceptionally well. 

Being the director as well as the writer, Hewison has an intimate knowledge of his subject matter and is therefore able to orchestrate what is essentially a duologue with subtle moves and actions that makes the play visually interesting, moving it along seamlessly from scene to scene. 

This is not some smutty pornographic piece of theatre but an imaginatively written and produced show that is well worth seeing.


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Quirky, amusing and more

Review by Lori Leigh 05th Feb 2015

The title tells all. This one-hour romp, written and directed by Dean Hewison, is just that: a series of swiftly moving witty exchanges Tom has with his sex organ. Though at times Tom’s Penis will reflect on the past, structurally the piece is primarily chronological. It begins when Tom is 15 years old, masturbating, and at the cusp of losing his virginity and shifts forward to ten year milestones in his life as defined by his sexual experiences. We see him at 25, 35, 45, and finally at 55 years old and disconnecting with his virility.

As one would imagine—even though it initially promises not to be—the play is full of puns and “dick jokes”. There is also a lot of humour to be had from just watching an adult actor in a life-size penis costume traipse about the stage, and the penis costume is detailed, naturalistic, top-notch (Luke Hawker and Bonne Becconsall). This, combined with the occasional visual gag, such as green slime ejected downstage after the onset of a STI, left the audience in absolute hysterics many times the night I am watching. Rest assured, however, that this unique show is tasteful and never goes smutty or too cheap with its comedy.

On top of that, the show has a pair of nice performances. The charisma, energy, and excellent comic timing of Carrie Green, who portrays Tom’s Penis, carries the show (pun intended). She is just—watchable. In one scene, when Tom is 35 and drunk at a nightclub, Tom and his Penis perform an electrifying dance to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It”. It’s very, very funny.  Aidan Grealish is also competent and likeable as Tom, though I do wish he had done more with his physicality and voice to convey the development of Tom through the decades of his life. He is relatively static from 15 to 55.

At its least, Conversations (With My Penis) is simply a sequence of quirky and amusing sketches a man has with his penis-as-alter-ego. At times, however, the piece broaches on much more, chronicling a man’s life, his sense of identity and relationships through his sexuality: circumcision, sexual awakening, questioning (“Am I gay?”), infidelity, experimentation, and even testicular cancer. Because this potential was teased, I wanted further dimensions and depth from the hour. What did all these conversations add up to or mean for Tom? What did his relationship, complete with triumphs and tribulations, with his Penis say about his life? Perhaps there is power for greater resonance here?

To be fair, I am probably not the target audience for Conversations (With My Penis) so I account it a true testament to the piece that I was engaged and had an enjoyable time. I cannot explain exactly how, but it helped the complexity of the show and made for a less alienating experience to have Tom’s Penis portrayed by a woman.

Recommended if you need to get back in touch with your – or your partner’s – penis, or just understand them and their owners better.


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Tight and amusing with a heart and conscience

Review by Stephen Austin 06th May 2014

A man’s relationship with his penis is the most intimate, complex, connected of his life.  And it’s also completely inescapable. 

Dean Hewison’s brightly upbeat script tackles all of the issues of growing up and coping with all of the stages and problems of masculine development with wit, charm and plenty of good humour, and turns to the more uncomfortable issues at hand once it has its comedic agenda firmly laid out.  It ebbs and flows with an ease and natural buoyancy that is unusual for a subject usually reserved for the cruder end of the comedy spectrum. 

Sure, there are dick jokes aplenty and they’re rattled off with superb pace and control by Richard Falkner and Sam Hallahan as uncomfortable everyman Tom and his long-suffering, over-worked Penis.  They have a rapport that works and manage to balance the characters well, saving the piece from turning them into cyphers of each other, which could so easily happen with two characters wrought from the same psyche, no matter the demarcation of character defined by the text. 

Both performers are totally committed to the material and find the pathos and detailed darker melancholies of aging, but tend to a delivery that’s a little on the traditional RP, so it feels slightly lacking in spontaneity, especially for Hallahan, but this could be put down to the restrictiveness of the full-body penis costume that he has to manage throughout the performance. 

As well designed as that costume is, it’s pretty unwieldy for any actor and must weigh a lot, but he never seems to break a sweat.  It’s also just a couple of inches too tall for the Basement space and he as a bit of a hard time navigating the lighting rig, slightly spoiling the full impact of the climax of the show. 

There are moments when this feels like a bit of a checklist of ‘male problems’ and the dips into the dramatic sometimes seem a little ‘by-the-numbers’, but Hewison is always conscious of pacing and he capitalises on the singularly awkward to make this work find its laughs.

I note a mostly female audience on this Auckland opening night, giggling their way through the innuendo and guffawing at the ridiculous physicality of both performers.  This would seem to be the target audience, but I’d have no qualms in recommending this to anyone of either sex.  Most age groups would get something relevant out of this as well. 

It really is a tight, amusing script, with a decent heart and conscience.  And that’s all it really needs to be, so it delivers that load fully. 


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Man’s best mate shares life of laughter and pain

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 03rd May 2014

The images conjured up by the title of the new late night show at Bats Theatre, Conversations With My Penis, are no doubt wide and varied and probably not all that seemly. 

However be rested assured that this is no lurid pornographic show. Most grandmothers would get as much enjoyment from this production as their grandchildren. 

Witty, adroit and very original, there is nothing unseemly or smutty about this show and it is not loaded with baseless no toilet jokes but clever humour and even moments of poignant reality.

As all men know, their penis is one of their best friends and so a theatre piece about Tom (Richard Falkner) in conversation with his best mate Tom’s Penis (Sam Hallahan in a superbly designed costume by Luke Hawker) is quite logical. Writer Dean Hewison has put together a very innovative piece of writing which the two actors bring to the stage with great confidence and clarity under Hewison’s astute direction.

Tom’s Penis is always with Tom and shares with him all the trials and tribulations of Tom’s journey through life, which although specific to Tom and portrayed as very real to him, is the journey of every bloke ever born.

From the pain of circumcision, to the embarrassment of being too small to the rigours of teenage masturbation to the ecstasy of losing his virginity, Tom and Tom’s Penis share with laughter and pain all that occurs during some of the most intimate moments of Tom’s life.

But it’s not all best mates as conflicts arise when what Tom wants is in opposition to what Tom’s Penis does.

Premature ejaculation and impotency cause problems between the two, Tom’s Penis even suggesting Tom could be gay.

And as age creeps up on Tom and the complacency of his long term relationship with his girlfriend sets in, the actions of Tom’s Penis when Tom is drunk one night in a night club has dire consequences, ending his relationship.

Now home alone Tom’s Penis suggests that he is never too old for new sexual experiences and encourages Tom to try self fellatio, one of the many hilarious sequences in the show.

But then this leads to a more sobering time when Tom is diagnosed with testicular cancer, and the subsequent effect this has on the two is quite devastating.

There are many other moments where the two cajole and argue, both highly amusing and heartfelt that go to make this unique show highly entertaining and one not to be missed.  


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Home truths entertainingly exposed

Review by John Smythe 01st May 2014

It has often been said a man’s brains are in his undies or his member motivates his behaviour, so a play that sees a man conversing with his penis is bound to be revealing. 

The man is Tom, played with lugubrious truth by Richard Falkner, while Sam Hallahan brings a somewhat lighter touch to his penis (to the role of Tom’s Penis, that is: phrasing here is a minefield). Their inseparability is the first gag offered by T’s P, who steps forward to offer editorial commentary and narrative links to their story.

The photo that accompanies this review does not represent the phallic realism of the penis costume, designed and constructed by Luke Hawker and sewn by Bonne Becconsall, with much loving detail paid to anatomical correctness. Because of the way it is worn T’s P is upright most of the time and a clever device is employed to indicate erection, as and when required, much to the delight of the opening night audience.

Mostly their relationship is dramatised as like a couple of flatmates. Together they track T’s P’s function in Tom’s life as being limited to urinating before puberty then graduating to sexual gratification after puberty, and Tom has a hand in both, obviously. But although some nine women are mentioned and their roles in affording him pleasure, or not, are touched on, no mention is ever made of their capacity to give women pleasure; of the part that plays in their experience of intimacy (by giving pleasure you get pleasure: surely that is a basic life lesson).

Nor is there even the slightest mention of procreation, which the penis is an organ of; without which purpose the urges and actions that inform most of the play would not be programmed into human behaviour. Given we see Tom grow from schoolboy to 45 – abetted by Becconsall’s excellent costume choices – it does seem odd that the question of pregnancy-cum-parenthood never comes up, either as something to be feared or desired; rejected or embraced.

The amusingly dramatised ups and downs of their relationship, and those with women – and doctors – do make Tom and his Penis come across as perhaps more insular and antisocial than writer/director Dean Hewison may have intended, although it does explain why they end up so alone together.

Obviously there is limited scope in what T’s P can physically do but there are many more dimensions to Tom’s life. While they are not the main focus of the play – and we do discover he has a job that involves wearing a suit and having meetings – I can’t help but wonder whether more dramatic and comic conflict could be generated by pitting more of Tom’s other wants, needs, desires and objectives against those dictated by his Penis.  

Opportunities to physicalise the action beyond the titular conversations are well explored and a good range of emotions are navigated in the process. There is pathos to give the comedy depth and yes, it does all come to a truly dramatic climax – again to the audience’s great delight.

As it stands, Conversations With My Penis exposes home truths entertainingly but with more development it could be more insightful. Need I add it is neither gross nor prurient and anyone over sixteen could get value from it.


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