The Cockwhisperer — A Love Story (Colette Kendall) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Colette Kendall in The Cockwhisperer -- A Love Story

“Yes, this is a love story, and yes, I love the cock!” comedian Colette Kendall proclaims at the top of her show, The Cockwhisperer – A Love Story. Kendall’s storytelling-based show traces her journey through love, sex ed in the late 1970s, body- and self-image, systemic misogyny, and of course, the cock.

This show was a lot of fun to watch, and the tone effectively ranges from lighthearted and sassy to dark and vulnerable. Kendall’s special blend of humour includes observational humour, poking fun at herself (at all stages of her life), peppered with some excellently crafted paraprosdokians. For a latecomer to theatre and comedy, Kendall seems at home on stage.

Kendall intersperses the show with “Cock Facts” and relays the importance of the cock throughout her life. The show is less to do with fun facts about penises and Kendall’s love of them, and more observations about her experiences with masculinity and men’s sexuality – both the toxic and nurturing versions. In her show, the cock is more concept than organ; it’s often used as a stand-in for masculinity.

The strength of this show rests in its honesty and sincerity. Occasionally it gets dark, but Kendall promptly brings us back to seeing the humour in these tragic moments. It’s a joy to witness her resilience and the way she’s able to see positivity in bleakness.

If I may offer a critique, I felt uncomfortable at times by occasional ableist lines throughout the performance. There are a few jokes in which Kendall compares herself or others to someone with a mental or developmental disability when recalling embarrassing behaviour. Most of these were throwaway lines, but nonetheless equate disability with negativity.

All things considered, however, The Cockwhisperer – A Love Story is a pleasure to watch and has some valuable lessons to offer through Kendall’s journey.

Details

  • The Cockwhisperer – A Love Story plays at the Robert Gill Theatre. (214 College St.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warnings: Sexual content; Mature language; Unsuitable for minors.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through usage of a painfully slow elevator. We recommend making sure you arrive a few minutes early.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Friday July 6th, 5:15 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 9:15 pm
  • Monday July 9th, 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 9:30 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 3:30 pm
  • Friday July 13th, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday July 15th, 1:00 pm

Photo of Colette Kendall by Kevin Thom

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