Twonkey’s Kingdom @ The Edinburgh Fringe 2 – 26 August 2012

Twonkey’s Kingdom has been announced for this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. There will be 22 performances from the 2 – 26 August at The Hive. The show is once again part of the Free Fringe*, and can be found on page 19 of the official Festival Brochure or here.

You’ll note that the online entry includes a link to Mr. Twonkey’s blog. Anything not linked to there (reviews as they come out, etc), I’ll try and cover here. This blog has gone from not much more than 50 hits a month for the first six months, to almost hitting that by lunchtime in recent weeks (some days it barely gets a look, I should add). I have no idea why the sudden change, but it puts the pressure on to try and stay on the cutting edge of all things Twonkey in the lead up to, and during, the grand finale**.

The show deserves to be a smash hit, and almost certainly will be (how about some Awards this year?!?). Not being a performer, I probably don’t know the half of what can hamper a show’s success. But things like the reviews:- they filter out over the month, which is how it has to be to sell newspapers throughout August. But what of the poor sods who get four or five star reviews two days before the festival ends? Fat lot of good that’ll do ’em. I’m also not sure if a show, barring the act being on the telly, kicks off with the goodwill it has generated the previous year, or whether you have to win the Festival all over again from the start.

Anyway, I think the best advice would be: Go early! Try and see Twonkey’s Kingdom in the first week if you can. Before the glory hunters arrive. By the final week, when the reviews will already be out, and the festival crowds have doubled, it will be packed out every day. (Team: Playboys With Hunchbacks wont get to Edinburgh until the weekend beginning Aug 10th, but if anyone wants to comment on the show’s opening week, please do).

I also note that the venue has a pretty packed (and impressive) line-up. Twonkey’s Kingdom begins at 3pm, with another show beginning at 4pm. So Vickers will probably have to vamoose as soon as he’s done. Which is a pity as he’s been very obliging when asked to do encores at the Variety Night and in Brighton.

*the Free Fringe means what it says: you don’t pay to buy a ticket, but are obviously not guaranteed entry if a hundred folk show up. A bucket is normally by the door for donations if you’ve enjoyed the show. And unless it’s been offensively bad (and I can recall hardly anything that falls into that category***), I’d recommend putting in at least £5 every time. It costs these acts somewhere around the £400 mark just to be registered as an official Fringe act, and be added to the catalogue. Which means it can take a good week’s worth of performances and donations just to cover that cost alone. Twonkey has a spectacular advantage over other acts, however, in that he’s selling CDs too. So rather than just donating cash, you can buy discs from him (normally at £5 each) instead. His 3 Fringe soundtrack CDs are all classics and I’d recommend you buy ’em all.

**What next for Mr. Twonkey after this? Vickers has referred to this as a trilogy even from before Twonkey’s Castle finished its run. But I can’t think of a reason why he shouldn’t just keep going. ‘Twonkey’ is a brand now, especially at the Fringe. And you can always expand on a Kingdom: Twonkey’s Planet, Twonkey’s Solar System, Twonkey’s Galaxy, Twonkey’s Universe, Twonkey’s Multiverse (or is it Omniverse?). And if Stephen Hawking hasn’t come up with anything bigger by 2018, I have just one word – prequels. Where George Lucas and Ridley Scott have embarrassed themselves, Twonkey will once again be king. Can you imagine a new CD of the caliber of Fucking Storys, Oom-pah! and Nest of Knickers every single year?

***A play called Fatboy starring Mike McShane is the closest in 12 years and almost 1,000 shows I’ve come to thinking something was utterly worthless. And even then, me and my mate decided that it was almost justified for the sight of McShane’s bingo wings.

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