Puppetry of the Penis

SKY CITY Theatre, Auckland

16/05/2007 - 19/05/2007

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

Created by Simon Morley and David Friend


The world’s most famous and strangest puppeteers are heading your way with their international smash hit show.

Simon Morley and David Friend, the original creators of the show, will be performing in Australia for the first time in since the show began. In the last 6 years, they have performed and trained companies in the UK, USA, Germany, Canada, Spain, France Argentina, Mexico, Holland, and Belgium to name a few.

Their show has also had extensive runs on the prestigious West End in London, and Broadway in NYC.  They have performed their show to hoards of celebrities including Elton John, Bono, Posh and Becks, Jackie and Joan Collins, Jessica Simpson, Hugh Grant, Naomi Campbell, to name a few. 

They have done thousands of radio interviews, and while in NYC, became a favourite of Howard Stern, the most famous radio announcer in the world. Here at home, their first Australian tour was followed in intimate detail by the Australia wide ratings winner Martin Molloy.

They also featured on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and attracted the largest ratings for the year.

Simon and Friendy have become masters of promoting their show with taste and hilarity.

Dates:  Wed 16 – Sat 19 May, 9.30pm
Venue:  SKYCITY Theatre, Cnr Wellesley & Hobson Streets, Auckland City
Bookings:  Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)
Tickets:  Adults $34 Conc. $29 Groups 10+ $29
Show Duration:  2 hours 

Theatre , Comedy ,

2 hours

Shamelessly audacious

Review by Nik Smythe 17th May 2007

It’s adult entertainment by middle-aged boys who never grew up. And to get out of the way what many of you may be reading this review just to check out, no, they didn’t ‘grow up’ at any time during the 70 minute penis manipulating extravaganza.

Simon Morley and David Friend may well have the most unique job on the face of the earth.  They tour the world, proudly exposing their entire bodies (except their feet) and demonstrating their repertoire of feats in the art of Genital Origami.  These fellers really ought to know better, but their adoring fans must be grateful they do not.

The opening 5 minute video promo does seem a trifle unnecessary – you have the money, we’re already here!  They introduce the show as being more like a workshop than standup comedy, and it is, their humorous vein aside (no pun intended; the mine of innuendo really is bottomless, so to speak).  The show really plays out as a series of singular genital contortionisms, lumped together in categories – animals, foodstuffs, Australia, and introduced with vigour like a circus barker’s sideshow.  For the benefit of the back row the artists’ ‘installations’ are projected on the full sized movie screen ‘in unnecessary detail’.

They are responsible to a point; although for the most part encouraging us to try these tricks out at home, (and there’s a book you can buy to that end, no pun oh shut up, sorry), they are clear on strict etiquette such as ‘remember, if they’re not your testicles ask permission first’.

It’s great to see people of all from all walks of life, from young couples to old grannies, gleefully appreciating what grown men can achieve with their wangers.  Some tricks are uncanny, such as the brain, the boomerang, and Yoda.  Others are more representative but often even more entertaining, like the didgeridoo which doesn’t look particularly distinctive… until he plays it!

I don’t suppose many people would be bringing their kids along, which is an arguable shame because they’d surely love it.  A number of the ‘dick tricks’ I was already familiar with from the swimming pool changing shed at primary school.  Interesting to note also, when Morley said the F word at one stage, I realised there is very little swearing up to or after that point.  I suppose they’re up to their necks in yellow cards as it is without going potty mouthed on it.

Ultimately, as amusing and innovative as each groin-based sculptural artwork is in its own right, after taking most of the first hour to get used to this insane spectacle, it gets a bit samey toward the end.  I wonder what potential there may be to develop a more narrative-based play utilising the props and creatures all devised from the singular resource if the actors’ cocks?  I’d probably be in the minority there though, wanting more depth and layers to this juvenile penis-driven comedy.

I can’t tell if it’s more strange that a couple of blokes can make a living (9 years on the job and counting) doing something so shamelessly audacious and simply not done, or that our society is so preciously private about body parts so normal to manhood.  As we stood up to leave, someone behind me commented, ‘I feel dirty.’ Did she mean unclean, or horny?  Or both?


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