Witty, adroit and very original, there is nothing unseemly or smutty about this show and it is not loaded with baseless no toilet jokes but clever humour and even moments of poignant reality.
As all men know, their penis is one of their best friends and so a theatre piece about Tom (Richard Falkner) in conversation with his best mate Tom's Penis (Sam Hallahan in a superbly designed costume by Luke Hawker) is quite logical. Writer Dean Hewison has put together a very innovative piece of writing which the two actors bring to the stage with great confidence and clarity under Hewison's astute direction.
Tom's Penis is always with Tom and shares with him all the trials and tribulations of Tom's journey through life, which although specific to Tom and portrayed as very real to him, is the journey of every bloke ever born.
From the pain of circumcision, to the embarrassment of being too small to the rigours of teenage masturbation to the ecstasy of losing his virginity, Tom and Tom's Penis share with laughter and pain all that occurs during some of the most intimate moments of Tom's life.
But it's not all best mates as conflicts arise when what Tom wants is in opposition to what Tom's Penis does.
Premature ejaculation and impotency cause problems between the two, Tom's Penis even suggesting Tom could be gay.
And as age creeps up on Tom and the complacency of his long term relationship with his girlfriend sets in, the actions of Tom's Penis when Tom is drunk one night in a night club has dire consequences, ending his relationship.
Now home alone Tom's Penis suggests that he is never too old for new sexual experiences and encourages Tom to try self fellatio, one of the many hilarious sequences in the show.
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John Smythe - Theatreview.org.nz'It has often been said a man's brains are in his undies or his member motivates his behaviour, so a play that sees a man conversing with his penis is bound to be revealing... 'open/close
Mostly their relationship is dramatised as like a couple of flatmates. Together they track T's P's function in Tom's life as being limited to urinating before puberty then graduating to sexual gratification after puberty, and Tom has a hand in both, obviously. But although some nine women are mentioned and their roles in affording him pleasure, or not, are touched on, no mention is ever made of their capacity to give women pleasure; of the part that plays in their experience of intimacy (by giving pleasure you get pleasure: surely that is a basic life lesson).
Nor is there even the slightest mention of procreation, which the penis is an organ of; without which purpose the urges and actions that inform most of the play would not be programmed into human behaviour. Given we see Tom grow from schoolboy to 45 – abetted by Becconsall's excellent costume choices – it does seem odd that the question of pregnancy-cum-parenthood never comes up, either as something to be feared or desired; rejected or embraced.
The amusingly dramatised ups and downs of their relationship, and those with women – and doctors – do make Tom and his Penis come across as perhaps more insular and antisocial than writer/director Dean Hewison may have intended, although it does explain why they end up so alone together.
Obviously there is limited scope in what T's P can physically do but there are many more dimensions to Tom's life. While they are not the main focus of the play – and we do discover he has a job that involves wearing a suit and having meetings – I can't help but wonder whether more dramatic and comic conflict could be generated by pitting more of Tom's other wants, needs, desires and objectives against those dictated by his Penis.
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Gazing at this show’s title conjures up expectations of some sort of luridly masculine take on the Vagina Monologues; by all means though don’t take this shows name literally, it is anything but a man hunched over and having a chinwag with his member.
The premise is true, this is a show about a man talking to a penis but it is somehow tasteful, witty and respectfully artistic. The two characters are separated; the “my” is Tom played by Richard Faulkner and the “Penis” is a fully operational suit animated by Sam Hallahan. This duologue plays on the phallic adage of where the true home of a males brain is and the relationship of the two minds is relayed by biographing Tom’s life in chunks. Yes, there are more jokes than you can shake a dick at but there are touching, serious issues at play too empathizing with and forcing a dialogue about modern masculinity. Rejection, STDs, sexuality, impotence and prostate cancer are all examined, balancing the schoolyard wit with truly dark moments. The relationship between the two characters is somewhat antisocial (promiscuous, alcoholic) however it is relayed in an accessible way, offering depth of character.
I cannot reiterate enough the surprising tastefulness of this piece, Writer Dean Hewison deserves credit for somehow marriaging phallic absurdity with theatrical class.