Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Bobby Gordon tells the tale of an American adolescence with a difference: his dad is one of the biggest (no pun intended … well maybe a intended a little) porn stars of the 20th century. Growing up in “the shadow of his dad’s erection” was no easy feat; Gordon struggles to unite his own instinctive softness with his father’s much coveted hardness.
Being told by your father that any of life’s problems can be solved by grabbing your dick is as confusing to a child as it is frustrating to a teenager when your dick is the very thing creating the problems in the first place. Gordon takes us through various stages of his pubescence describing in amusing detail his progression of sexual conquests. The one-man show culminates in Gordon’s proposal for a 21st century pornography featuring twenty-something intellectuals making rampantly passionate, yet highly egalitarian, love under a portrait of themselves at the Obama inauguration.
The show was received very well by men and women alike, however, at points the humour of the whole was replaced by moments of sentiment where Gordon earnestly portrayed the relationship with his parents and the struggle to find his own niche in life. These are certainly the weaker moments in the show and border on the kind of self-pitying teenage angst with no hint of irony that leaves the toes curled. Gordon’s representation of his mother is also somewhat cringe-worthy as its earnestness does not match the spirit of the rest of the show (particularly since Gordon is unintentionally comical, wrapped in a little red rug and speaking in falsetto).
However, despite these moments of misjudged seriousness when a little more awareness of the transience of his former teenage self’s issues may have been appropriate, Debbie Does My Dad is well worth a watch. it delivers exaclty what it promises and could well be a must see for many British men. In fact, I would urge all males between the ages of 14 and 25 to see it as it may offer a refreshing insight into the less-than-cool issues that hide under public male bravado. The audience left the auditorium with even the most cynical and macho softened round the edges.