Puppetry of the Penis returns to Margate on Saturday 29 October with their newest and biggest tour yet!
Simon Morley chats about some of the stranger gigs the show has experienced over the years.
One that does come to mind, is when we were performing Puppetry of the Penis at the John Housman Theatre on 42nd St, NYC in 2002. We arrived at our theatre as normal, but were rather shocked to find the foyer full of men undressing, and stuffing their clothes into plastic bags provided. I quickly retreated to the relative safety of our dressing room, and demanded to see our producer Ross Mollison.
I was then informed that he was not available, and that he had sold the entire house that night, 350 seats, to a gay/naturist/theatre loving group he was apparently a member of. This group of men I later discovered, love to sit naked and enjoy the variety of theatre that Broadway has to offer.
The only difference was, we were also naked. All of our witty banter about us being naked was out the window, and irrelevant. After performing an installation, before we could move on, we would have to explain and help out those who were standing in their seats attempting to construct what we were doing! Not so much a show, more of a workshop!
One more that comes to mind in case you have room. As I said, there’s plenty of them!
We were doing a rural tour in Victoria, trying to raise money to take our show to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival. We found our selves in a small pub outside of Castlemaine, and this particular night, I was sporting the mother of all hangovers.
Time came, and the show must go on. All was fine till we reached the audience participation section of the show, where we perform the Fruit-bat. For those unaware of this particular installation, it involves me doing a handstand, while a member of the audience holds my ankles. I, a little too quickly it seemed, chose a little old lady a few rows back. As I called her up, my partner Friendy tells me “shouldn’t have done that mate!” Before I could get an explanation, I realised that maybe, this run of the mill Nanna, might have had a little too much to drink, but, the show must go on!
Up I go into my Fruit-bat position, and our Nanna quickly becomes, what we now call, a slider. I feel Nanna’s hands leave my ankles, and slide down to grip my thighs. I then here her exclaim to the audience, that she was about to “kiss arse!” She then proceeded to nuzzle. At this point, a combination of the fruity Nanna, and my wicked hangover caused me to crash to the ground, hoping the Nanna would relinquish her iron grip. This proved to be incorrect. Nanna wasn’t letting go, and to the floor she came, still with her nose wedged firmly in my nether regions. You might think, that would have to be the strangest image imaginable, but ney!
My partner Friendy quickly comes to my aide, and takes the Nanna by the ankles, and try’s to drag her off me., but she wasn’t letting go. So here is a fully grown naked man, holding a fully clothed Nanna by the ankles, dragging her from the nether regions of another naked man lying and wriggling in uncontrollable fits.
You can book to see the “Ancient Art” of genital manipulation online here.