On Billie Piper and Bumholes

Blowhole is an hilarious and poignant one-man show, written and performed by Benjamin Salmon. The title may refer to the ‘blowhole’ you’d find in the partition between two stalls in a gents’ toilets: a gap (the ‘hole’), which enables the anonymous performance of fellatio (the ‘blow’).

Audiences feel euphoric, galvanised, and hopeful

Or it may allude to the nostril of a whale or dolphin.

I spoke to Benjamin and know where I'd put my money.

Let’s get the important stuff out there first. Summarise the show in a sentence for us.

Blowhole is the story of a twenty-something gay man on his quest to lose his virginity.

Something upon which many of us will have embarked.

Now, it’s a one-person play and that one person is played by you. Tell us one or two things about this one person.

The play explores the life of a character we know only as “Him” as he searches for connection within a city that feels increasingly devoid of intimacy.

He aspires to be Billie Piper circa 1999. And he spends a lot of time in the toilets where he works, trying to take the perfect selfie of his bumhole.

Again, very relatable. Would it be fair to assume this isn’t a man who is shy about his sexuality?

As a protagonist, Him can be outrageous.

He is incredibly honest, even brazen with the audience, but in a way that makes you very quickly fall in love with him.

Underneath it all, he has a vulnerability and a desire to be loved which makes an audience root for him in a really real way.

It feels like a bit like a modern version of the coming out journey; the inner turmoil focussed on sex rather than sexuality?

It’s all about the struggle to liberate yourself sexually and romantically. Whilst continuing to grapple with the most elusive and tricky relationship in anyone’s life: the relationship you have with yourself.

You’ve been performing Blowhole for a couple of years now. How did it feel having to rehearse again for Edinburgh this year?

Being back in rehearsals for Blowhole has been such a riot because the show is just so funny. Audiences love it because it pokes fun at the unrequited love, the rejection, and the dismalness that is so often a part of our modern lives.

Tell our readers why they should book to see Blowhole when it plays the Pleasance Dome (AceDome) in Edinburgh from 2nd – 28th August. You have exactly 50 words.

Blowhole is a delicate balance of the humour and the heartbreak of life. After seeing it, audiences feel euphoric, galvanised, and hopeful about their own lives and their own love stories.

This positivity is what makes Blowhole such an essential play - and why it makes for such essential viewing.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this article has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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