Keep these penises out of our theatre!

Protest at Puppetry show

It may have been on the road for 13 years, but Puppetry of the Penis is still proving controversial – with one local politician calling for the full-frontal stage show to be banned from a council-run venue.

Liberal Democrat councillor Roger Copping, pictured, is protesting against the ‘genital origami’ tour’s visit to Leamington Spa tomorrow, branding it ‘highly obscene’.

And he sniffed: ‘This is Royal Leamington Spa. This sort of show is more suitable for a place like Blackpool.’

David Friend and Simon Morley's show became the hit of the 1998 Melbourne Comedy Festival, and it has been touring the world ever since, more recently with different 'puppeteers'.

But Mr Copping, a retired physiotherapist and lecturer, said he has received complaints from ‘half a dozen’ women who, he said, are ‘appalled that this sort of show should be shown at a family venue’.

He told the Leamington Spa Courier: ‘It contains full frontal nudity. It is highly obscene and in very poor taste. The Spa Centre is a venue which is paid for by the council taxpayer and we should have more control over the sort of shows they are putting on.

However venue manager Anthony Flint maintained the show was a ‘bona-fide piece of comedy theatre', adding that all the publicity material made it quite clear what audiences would expect.

‘While I’m sorry if anyone is offended, we do have a responsibility to have a broad offer that appeals to a wide range of people,’ he said.

Published: 26 Sep 2011

Today's comedy-on demand picks

COMEDY STORE PLAYERS

The UK's longest-running improv team are putting a show online for the very first time since they started in 1985. They will be live-stream an hour of Sunday night footage from their archives from 7.30pm.

The line-up will feature Paul Merton, Richard Vranch, Neil Mullarkey Josie Lawrence, Lee Simpson and Andy Smart.

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... including Andrew Maxwell Breaks The Internet and a streamed version of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe curio Panopticon, from the Consignia sketch group.

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