Jizz Sock (Beans Theatre Collective) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Jizz SockIn Jizz Sock (at the Toronto Fringe Festival), a masturbation expert learns that he has a brain tumor. When he wanks, his endorphins go crazy, leading to compulsive masturbation, endless toe-curling pleasure, and a ticking time bomb in his noggin. This news forces him to reconsider his life’s work, his relationships with family and friends, and the merits and shortcomings of his favourite single-player game.

Benjamin Goodwin, who performs this one-hander, is affable in a nervous sort of way, but the piece blows off in so many directions that things kept slipping away from me. The sheer volume of targets Goodwin chooses to go after — the American dream, fear of our own sexuality, discomfort with masturbation, overly-earnest condom-on-banana sex ed, misconceptions of the creative process, and so on — can be a lot to take in, and while he does a pretty good job of skewering them, they’re mostly so soft that the effort doesn’t pay off.

The raunchier stuff was more interesting, especially a 30-positions-in-90-seconds demonstration, followed by a most interesting echo. The first pass is merely silly, while the echo, through simple alterations to the staging, becomes downright accusatory, sharply political, and extremely important. I loved every bit of it.

But then he starts whining about his relationship with his brother (and his agent, and his fans, and his doctor…) and the moment passes and all you’ve got left is a stage lined with tissues.

Goodwin’s a nice guy and there’s a warmth to this piece which will keep you open to it, but I came away feeling that the show needs a tighter focus and a firmer hand in order to really get where it’s going. As it stands, I was nursing my blue balls all the way to the bus stop.

Details

  • Jizz Sock is playing until July 12th at the Tarragon Theatre Solo Room. (30 Bridgman Ave.)
  • Tickets are $12 in advance, $10 at the door. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), from the festival box office down Honest Ed’s Alley (581 Bloor West), or from the venue box office starting one hour before the performance. Venue sales are cash-only.
  • Be advised that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and latecomers are never admitted. Set your watch to CBC time, and arrive a few minutes early to avoid disappointment.
  • Be advised that this show features full-frontal nudity and audience participation.

Remaining Showtimes:
July 03 at 08:15 PM
July 04 at 10:15 PM
July 06 at 05:45 PM
July 07 at 08:30 PM
July 08 at 04:45 PM
July 09 at 04:30 PM
July 12 at 02:15 PM

Photograph of Benjamin Goodwin by Jenna Marie Schwartz.

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