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Puppetry of the Penis

The subtitle of this amazingly popular traveling show, "The Ancient Art of Genital Origami," is very funny. The show itself, however, is just a couple of naked guys playing with their weenies on stage. For, like, an hour. Performance duo Simon Morley and David Friend's "dick tricks" involve contorting their admittedly limber kibbles 'n' bits into shapes vaguely representing food, animals, and inanimate objects while filling in with the sort of well-practiced wisecracks generally favored by street jugglers. Perhaps if you're actually in the theater watching it live, it's a lot more entertaining (especially if, like the audience at the performance enshrined on this DVD, you're also consuming alcoholic beverages.) Watching it on home video, however, it just seems sort of silly. And long. And pointless. Both Morley and Friend seem like nice enough fellows, they're in good shape and they have remarkably flexible penises. But the results of their efforts just seem... well, uncomfortable more than side-splittingly funny. Considering that the show was an enormous draw at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and on London's West End — as well as spawning four traveling "Puppetry" road shows — people around the world must be genuinely fascinated by "genital origami." Or maybe they just want to drink and watch naked men touch themselves on stage. The DVD release of the 50-minute PotP show is your standard video record of a live performance — low-tech, poorly lit, and unremarkable. The audio is equally poor. If you've seen the show and want to own a record of it for posterity, then by all means pick this up. Or rent it if you're understandably curious. Otherwise, it's not anything worth going out of your way to purchase. Keep-case.
—Dawn Taylor

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