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Puppetry of the Penis review at Gilded Balloon

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The appeal of well-hung, hunky Australian men playing with their genitalia live on stage has not diminished for 2006’s crop of hen parties, voyeuristic couples and gaggles of girls on giggly nights out. This year’s puppeteers, Martin and Dan, are physically up to scratch, with the necessary well-toned physique and plenty of firm but loose skin about the genital area to transform into the almost 40 different “installations” on show.

While they quip that this is not stand-up, in fact it is to stand-up comedy that they need to look if the show is to maintain its audience. The lure of extreme close-up, high definition projections is not enough to ensure that the concept does not go stale. The package is important, but so is its presentation. While there is a guaranteed laugh to be had simply by standing there naked, Martin and Dan’s patter is a case of gently working the audience rather than working them to a frenzy.

The show-stopping impression is of President Bush, thanks to Martin’s simple positioning of a gilded picture frame. Blair is also depicted – a little behind. It is hardly cutting edge political satire but illustrates that the basic show is capable of growing and expanding.

Production Information

Gilded Balloon, August 2-28

David Friend, Simon Morley
Puppetry of the Penis
Martin and Dan
Running time
1 hr

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