Pretending Things Are A Cock – The West Australian Review

Pretending Things Are A Cock – The West Review by Alex Wolman

Today - Fringe World 2013 Promo shots

COMEDY
Pretending Things Are A Cock
De Parade Teatro 2, Perth Cultural Centre

REVIEW: Alex Wolman

A pubescent male joke about penises continued into a career – how could this be anything but vulgar and offensive?

In his one man show Pretending Things Are A Cock, and its associated blog, website and book, Jon Bennett has found a way to make endearing the act of … well … pretending things are a cock.

The performance consists solely of Bennett commenting on a slideshow of photos from his website in which he is pretending that something is his penis while at the same time pulling a scrunched-up self-satisfied face. How could this possibly work?

With this show he has taken the internet joke to a new level; it is the logical conclusion of comedy in the age of blogs and social media.

By having a running commentary on humorous internet images, he is doing a behaviour that many of us perform and enjoy – the group internet sojourn. As a result, we feel an immediate connection and community with Bennett, and we are made to feel as if we are all ‘insiders’.

But all of this wouldn’t have worked if he were not such a charismatic and natural storyteller.

The yarns he tells, from unknowingly jumping on a cow until its stomach burst, to soiling himself in front of a gay Swedish man on his way to Machu Pichu, to losing a brown Haviana thong in Africa and then finding it months later in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, were so vividly and colourfully conjured that no film could have done them justice.

Bennett’s democratic and unpretentious show left me looking at the world in a completely new way.

Walking out of the tent, potential cocks filled the streets; photo opportunities exploded in front of my eyes. Is not the purpose of art to change the way we look at the world?

Pretending Things Are A Cock runs until February 3 and is part of Fringe World 2013. Tickets are available from www.fringeworld.com.au