Pretending Things Are A Cock: Still Cocking After All These Years

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

This is a searing intellectual insight into the powerful geo-political forces that shape 21st Century society.

Nah, not really.

Jon Bennett is the exact opposite Puppetry of the Penis. They pretend their cocks are other things, he – well, the title speaks for itself. He poses for pictures in which any object, from landmarks to household implements, are made to look like his dick.

The problem he faces, though, is how to make this a show. The stairwell up to the Tuxedo Cat venue is decorated with these childishly entertaining images from around the world. But what do you talk about for 50 minutes?

‘Every cock tells a story,’ Bennett assets, and he tries to imbue each silly image (which we can’t always make out clearly) with a deep, meaningful story. Perhaps posing with Rio’s statue of Christ The Redeemer as his penis was a rebellion against his religious father? Well, since we’re in that general area, that is clearly a load of balls.

Through his tales, we learn that Bennett has wanted to be a stand-up since he was 14 – and has the comedy notebook from that time to prove it. Unfortunately for his dream-fulfilment, he’s no natural. He’s got some interesting travel tales as well as some childhood traumas, courtesy of his exhibitionist brother Tim, that a great comedian could spin brilliant material from. Yet here it’s told fairly straight, with a largely unemotive delivery.

They would make good bar-room yarns, but don’t have that twist; that passion of performance; that drive for the payoff to elevate them to great comic routines. He will forever, I feel, be damned with the faint praise of ‘reasonably entertaining’ – which is probably not what you expect from a late-night show with such a raucous-promising title.

Reviewed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, April 2011

Review date: 9 Jan 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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