Review of ‘Clio a Giant Clitoris Puppet Learning to Love Herself’
By Craig Allan, Staff Writer
In the beds of numerous Canadians resides a mysterious figure. Some have said it does not exist, some have said it inspires madness, but overall it is something that many are unsure about. This enigma is the female pleasure spot known as the clitoris. Just saying the word may inspire laughter or awkwardness—but why? Why does this piece of the female anatomy make people so uncomfortable, and why do we undermine it to the point of questioning its existence? These are the questions that the people of Puppets Not Patriarchy, a physical theatre troupe, will answer in the most logical way possible: with a big puppet clitoris named Clio, in the play “CLIO—A Giant Puppet Clitoris Who Learns to Love Herself.”
Clio is the brainchildof puppeteers Julia Muncs and Hannah Pearson. They created the puppet to teach people about the clitoris. The play came out of their own desire to feature this too seldom talked about organ in a light-hearted way. The show itself is one of comedic and thoughtful musings about the female anatomy. Whether it’s a poor date with a too-rough gentleman, or the discovery of a vibrator, Clio takes you on a journey through her world. Her goal is to feel less alienated and invisible, and to be understood to the same degree that her penis counterpart is.
The show is funny, fresh, and thoroughly enjoyable. Actors and puppeteers Muncs, Pearson, and Stephanie Wong deliver their show with a wonderfully high-spirited and playful vibe—yet they still find time to fit in some serious moments into the production. A monologue from Pearson, where which she talks about her struggles with pleasing men whole also not fully understanding how to please herself, was a particularly strong highlight. Her struggles and experiences felt raw and honest. This can also be appreciated during the transitions, where audio from the women in production discuss their experience with sexual education in school and other moments of discovery in unraveling the mystery behind the clitoris.
Other highlights of the show include a tour of the clitoris from a woman with a thick Australian accent—played by stage manager and actual Australian Maddi Silvia—and an entertaining ukulele song from Wong. The show takes itself seriously (as serious as you can with a giant puppet clitoris)…yet not too seriously. It hits the right balance between informative and funny.
Muncs, Pearson, and Wong hope that the show will really take off, and even have visions of teaching it in schools. One can see from attending the show that there is an educational value to it. I definitely learned more than I thought I would going into the show—especially from the segment where they talk of the historical myths about the clitoris that were seen as fact by many throughout the ages. The only fault with “CLIO”is that the play itself is too short. The show never drags and keeps you wholly engaged—so much so that I was sad to see it end after only 40 minutes. The show will leave you pulsating for more.
“CLIO—A Giant Puppet Clitoris Who Learns to Love Herself” will be running at The Art of Love Sex Shop on 369 W Broadway on February 11 and 14. Tickets can be bought at artofloving.ca