My Dad Wrote a Porno: Live | Gig review by Steve Bennett at Just For Laughs, Montreal
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My Dad Wrote a Porno: Live

Gig review by Steve Bennett at Just For Laughs, Montreal

Belinda Blinks is the gift that keeps on giving.

The ‘erotic’ writing of Rocky Flintstone has not only spawned a podcast, but a podcast so successful that it can tour the globe. Forthcoming Edinburgh, Australia and New Zealand dates are sold out and this 11.30am appearance in Montreal – the first performance outside the UK – attracted an audience of hundreds.

For those not up to speed, My Dad Wrote A Porno came into being after writer and digital film-maker Jamie Morton, above, discovered that his father had written a series of pornographic books under the Rocky Flintstone pen name. The formula is simple - he reads a chapter and with the aid of pals James Cooper, below, and Alice Levine, from Radio 1, mocks the clunky phrasing and unerotic prose. That the writing is so very easy to ridicule makes it all the more funny, not less.

The chapter read out at Just For Laughs involved the titular Belinda going on a team-building exercise with her sales team, which quickly turned into an orgy… and presumably an HR nightmare.

For the exercise in question, the staff all had to throw some dice – a peculiarly unchallenging act of chance described in tedious detail and burdened with impossible meaning. This must be the first porno that’s got more Yahtzee than bukkake.

Flintstone has an unintentionally hilarious eye for irrelevant detail, with this chapter notable for the many descriptions of floor coverings. And when he reaches for an adjective it’s always delightfully inappropriate: witness a tongue being thrust into a ‘purple’ mouth.

His erotic language varies from the coldly gynaecological – unencumbered by the fact he clearly has very little understanding of the subject – to peculiar specifics. Nipples compared to ‘three-inch rivets which had held the hull of the fateful Titanic together,’ being the classic example of Flintstone's leaden writing.

The team are excellent at picking away the many holes in the book, with an easy, matey dynamic, and badinage that’s both cheeky and incredulous. In this show they even stumbled across their own new euphemism: ‘personal hotspot’.

In a concession to the live environment, Levine, above, broke off for a PowerPoint presentation about the female reproductive system just to show how off-point Flintstone could be. The audience provided a few suitable sound effects, with one volunteer recruited to voice the role of the sultry training guru Natasha Biles. Another couple were brought on stage to demonstrate the physical impossibility of the allegedly sexual stance Flintstone had placed Belinda and Natasha into… but as the pair awkwardly positioned their limbs according to the prose, it became more like a pervy game of Twister.

If only more literary criticism was like this…

My Dad Wrote A Porno clearly has a lot of fans already – the cheer that greeted the introduction of supporting character Des Martin is proof, were it needed, of that. But after his performance, it  has surely picked up some new ones, too.

Review date: 28 Jul 2017
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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