Through Two Peepers in Tune with the Times

Australian Art in London!

Australians Put Privates on Parade for Stage Hit

By Paul Majendie

LONDON (Reuters) - A pair of irrepressible Australian comics have taken London's theaterland by storm with the help of two very unlikely props -- their penises.

Simon Morley and David Friend are breaking box office records with ``Puppetry of the Penis创 which they hail as a celebration of the ancient Australian art of genital origami.

The Eiffel Tower and the Loch Ness Monster never looked like this before and Kentucky Fried Chicken certainly won't taste the same again once you have seen their ``fast food创 version.

For what these irreverent wits have done is to strip down to the bare essentials, manipulate their genitalia into some startling effects and project the results onto a giant screen.

Audiences howl with laughter as they admire the baby kangaroo in his pouch or try to coax the mollusc out of his shell.

But they are warned, amid all the contortions: ``Do not try this at home.创

The show at London's Whitehall Theater -- appropriately set between Nelson's Column and London's famed Big Ben clock -- has now been extended until next year. Seats are selling fast.

Despite its startlingly frank content, the show is not smutty. The puerile puppeteers frolic innocently round the stage like two little boys who have just discovered what is happening ``Down Under创 for the first time.

Critics have hailed ``the outgoing Aussie personalities that are as big as their very public private parts.创

``It is very juvenile art,创 the 33-year-old Morley concedes. 创But it is art. Andy Warhol would stick up for us.创

They are never tempted to rise to the occasion on stage.

``You get a tingle now and then but nothing ever comes of it,创 said 31-year-old Friend.

The pair first teamed up back home in Melbourne where they took the city's Comedy Festival by storm. ``Princes of Protuberance,创 proclaimed the critics.

Next came acclaim at the Edinburgh Arts Festival. Now it's London. After that could come a European tour.

It may not be quite what their parents had in mind for their sons and Simon Morley admits: ``My mother is tortured by what we do. But David磗 mum thinks it磗 funny. She just wishes he was someone else磗 son.创

The audiences certainly rave about the genital gymnasts -- especially women who shriek with unabashed laughter at their unusual interpretations of boomerangs, emus and didgeridoos.

And the show certainly demystifies sex with a vengeance.

One 60-year-old woman, still guffawing, came up to them afterwards and said: ``I have been waiting 40 years to laugh at a penis like that.创



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