first_imgPuppetry of the Penisdir Simon Morley27 SeptemberNew TheatreEngland’s Ashes victory is under discussion. British Woman: “Loser!”. Australian Man: “Thank you, madam, but you’re the one who paid to see my cock.”Simon Morley and David Friend have got it made. Their show, Puppetry of the Penis, can’t cost much to take on the road: they get three puffs of dry ice; they need someone to work a video camera; they’ve got two capes, no costume changes to worry about. (There’s no programme, so I didn’t catch the name of the warm-up act.) They ape a double-act in the tradition of the music-hall, Simon performing as if he’s doing a sarcastic stand-up routine, and David playing the younger hapless puppyish stooge who’s more likely to run about, to disappear off-stage and re-enter with a comedy prop.Simon has short-cropped dark hair; David is a vaguely messy dirty blond with comedy sideburns out of the latest Pride and Prejudice. Simon calls David “monkey boy” and bosses him about. They banter, they show affection, they watch each other’s backs. It’s not a particularly great example of the double-act, but it works the audience to heights of hysteria most comics can only pray for. Why? They happen to be naked save for plimsolls and socks. Neither is buffed. And both their penises look as though they have been rolled out with a rolling pin and then fretted with elastic. They contort them into wince-inducing shapes while keeping up a running patter in offensive stereotyped misogyny.And that’s why, on a one-off gig on a Tuesday night, the New Theatre is playing pretty much to capacity and predominantly to an older-than-student-age female audience. There are hen nights in, and 21st and 40th birthday parties, as well as a retirement do. “Are there any gay men here?” One couple bravely admits to it and is the butt of jokes thereafter. Repeat after me: comedy is cruel. Here it is really cruel.Fresh from a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe, these two guys rub their penises like boy scouts with so much kindling, and then stretch them into likenesses of the Eiffel Tower (with dark clouds obscuring the tip of the tower, so we’re told, though I wasn’t convinced) or Uluru (“Ayer’s Rock,” Simon explains. “Any Australians in the audience? Bet you feel homesick.”)A hamburger shape takes a starring role as does a chicken nugget (“I’m a big fan of the Colonel’s work,” says Simon; “Smell the magical spices!” says David, sniffing amazedly at his fingers) or Gonzo from the Muppets or the Loch Ness Monster (complete with realistic bobbing head movements). With the addition of a champagne cork-guard, the penis becomes a greyhound eager for the off and then morphs into a frightening Hannibal Lecter.Somewhere, of course, the line is crossed. But it’s hard to say where. Maybe it was being rash enough to agree to review the show at all. Maybe it’s the woman who, fifteen seconds in, shouts, “Show us your nob!” at the warm-up act. She gets a reproving ticking off.Maybe it’s the gleeful playing to type as macho ’Stralians who can abuse women and still be loved for it. It could probably be drawn at the warm-up’s characterisation of all Germans as either obsessed with sex acts involving urination or Nazis. It’s definitely the warm-up’s gag about how you’ll never find a man complaining about having his drink spiked, and then miming drunken appreciation of oral sex. There’s offence aplenty for the taking.If this is the male answer to The Vagina Monologues – as the warm-up seems to suggest – it’s a worrying look-out, but a bit of fun, nonetheless.ARCHIVE: 0th week MT 2005last_img read more

3-star commit Franklin ramping up for Syracuse career

first_img Published on August 29, 2013 at 1:22 am Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse On Zaire Franklin’s first day at La Salle College High School training camp, he stood up on the benches in the locker room and announced his arrival.Franklin had just transferred from Franklin Learning Center, a public school in the heart of North Philadelphia, and had never attended an independent prep school or spent much time — if any — in the suburbs.But with his new football teammates all around him, Franklin treated the room full of perplexed players to an off-key rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” with a dance to go along with it.“Only a few people knew who he was and he just started singing,” said Andrew Carlone, then a junior offensive lineman. “We all thought he was just really cocky, or extremely social. Little did we know, most of us had just met one of our best friends.”Nothing stops Franklin from being himself, and that’s just the way everyone around him likes it.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA three-star outside linebacker, according to, Franklin is a member of SU’s 2014 recruiting class. The Philadelphia native is expected to bring strength, speed and intensity to a class already featuring two other linebackers in Parris Bennett and Colton Moskal. Though it’s the intangibles Franklin provides that have, and will continue to set him apart.“I strive to be a complete player on and off the field,” Franklin said. “To me, leading is as important as playing.”It’s hard to catch Franklin not smiling and engaging with his peers. He slowly walks through La Salle’s hallways, stopping to give individual attention to any familiar face.But when a game nears, his transformation begins.“I don’t think I’ve ever talked to him before a game,” Carlone said. “And that’s crazy, because we’ve played a ton of games together.”It’s not something Franklin can explain. As competition looms, so does an alter ego that emits toughness and grit. He tucks away his smile, pauses his resounding personality and zones in.Pregame he sits alone, puts his headphones in and starts to tape up sitting in front of his locker.Just hours or even minutes ago he was acting like the mayor of a small school community. Teammates, teachers and students were hanging on his every word. Now he’s silent, seething and itching to get onto the field.“I really can’t help what comes over me when I’m going to play football,” Franklin said. “I love people and I love to talk, but it’s just a natural disposition. When I get on the field, I hate everyone I’m going against.”After finishing as state semifinalists in 2011, Franklin’s sophomore season, La Salle made it back to the AAAA state semifinals in 2012.Facing Coatesville, luck wasn’t on La Salle’s side. Three of the team’s most talented players left the game with injuries, and Coatesville took a 21-7 lead toward the end of the first half.With his team short-handed, Franklin hit another gear.“He was ‘all over’ the place that game,” said Ryan Coonahan, a current teammate of Franklin’s. “That game was just different, like really, really competitive. And he was right in the mix from start to finish.”The Explorers fought valiantly, but ultimately fell on the wrong-end of a 42-35 final score.In the locker room after the game, Franklin broke his natural vow of silence and addressed the team. To the graduating players who had just played their final game, he apologized. To the returning players, he stimulated the next step, telling them it was time to start training because that couldn’t happen again.“He’s probably the best leader and hardest worker I’ve ever been around,” Coonahan said.The days leading up to Franklin’s offseason workouts were normal. He bounced in the hallways, gave out high-fives like takeout menus and was his usual, goofy self. He encouraged his teammates to join him and shook off the heartbreaking loss by stretching a smile across his face.And then, when the weekend hit, he used that same loss as fuel to get better. He put his headphones in, taped up and practiced, silently, with his next task in mind.Franklin isn’t blind to the bigger picture. He just prefers to take things, especially on the football field, in chromatic steps.“With me, Syracuse is getting a really hard worker and I can’t get there soon enough,” he said, “but I still have a high school season to play.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more