Posts Tagged ‘brighton fringe’

Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop blows Brighton away

The Quadrant, Brighton:  May 1st and May 2nd 2015

He’s back! This is our FIFTH annual Twonkey show (his sixth) since we discovered him in what seems both like yesterday and a lifetime ago. We have temporarily put our tired movie-sequel-analogies on hold this year… it’s next year, Twonkey #7, that is the big precarious one when it could all go Mission To Moscow tits up!

Brighton once again gets the show (and accompanying album) a few months ahead of anyone else. But is it any good? Or does it stink to high heaven? Are we going to have to bash the bishop?

We held off on this review, until we found out if anyone received Mr. Twonkey’s celebrity endorsement in the general election. But now, with Big Dave freshly tucked back in at No. 10 barely an hour ago, we can happily shoot our load.

Enough of the suspense. Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop is another 50-odd minutes of classic five star Twonkey buffoonery and great new songs. The crowd loved it, the critics loved it, and most importantly we loved it. The plot, such as it ever is, involved Mr. Twonkey being sacked from his job at Looney Tunes. And, as only he could, Paul Vickers kinda reckons it’s more or less a true story.

All of your favourites are still here. The ship’s wheel with its powers of prediction – now a smaller, plastic travel wheel (in Brighton at least) – is back, hilarious and accurate in equal measure, with a double helping of dirty. The wheel even came with a prize for one lucky punter, a private performance of Dracula in Skipton.

Way back last October, when the Dracula in Skipton: Finger Fantasy routine debuted in London, we said we were too drunk to follow it. Shame, sobriety, an addiction to energy drinks, and a long dark teatime of the soul followed for us.

Well, wouldn’t you know. It wasn’t us, it was him! It feels like a proper narrative, but is so quickfire, absolutely none of it lands, despite Vickers moving his fingers in  perfect harmony with the dialogue. Being delivered directly to the competition winner, right in his/her face, just makes it funnier. Safe in the new knowledge that we’d been tricked, we went straight from the show to the ‘Offie’, laying waste to a six pack of Carly Specials on the train back to London. A few spots of bother, nothing serious.

We forgot to take photos, so knicked this off Twitter (2nd night photo)

We forgot to take photos, so knicked this off Twitter (2nd night photo)

Have you, like us, been wondering what happened to Hugh Grant since hard-hitting witness protection drama Whatever Happened To The Morgans? We reckoned he’d got his recent training in the method all higgeldy-cock, and has been hiding in character post-production. But no. Mr. Twonkey has the answer. Fear not for Hugh, he’s living it large on a gold-plated nuclear sub, banana’d up to the eyeballs.

And every year, without fail, there’s at least one new showstopping tune. This year, it appeared to be the instantly memorable This Is Showbiz, premiered at the end of the play Jennifer’s Robot Arm. But, as in other years, an early-debuted stunner (see Pissed As A Postman) is suddenly trumped by another (see Mother Shipton) come showtime. And it turns out that Mugulvery’s Farm is this year’s smash. It’s a peach.

Watching the debut of the new show, and immediately following it with a viewing of the newly released video of the last one, we can see changes creeping in. The fishnets for instance, fully recognised now as an utter liability, have been promoted to a main prop, guaranteed to cause  unpredictable chaos. At one point, the nets stick Twonkey to a chair amongst the Brighton crowd, which meant he couldn’t get all the way back to the mic for the next number. He just leaned as close as possible, kept calm and carried on. The uplifting spirit of David Cameron’s glorious England.

And the physical comedy is fabulous these days. He tried to lock a pig between two cheese wheels (don’t ask), one handed at that. It was the kinda stunt that a mime would spend hours getting wrong just right. But we have the feeling Twonkey was winging it, his confidence in failure absolute. A full glass of red wine was sitting just millimetres from this calamity, adding to the tension. Alas, the glass turned out to be as real as Nigel Tufnell’s trousersnake.

What a show! Count the days until August from right now.

Mr. Twonkey’s Acid House Circus Tour continues at London’s Soho Theatre on Fri May 22nd and Sat May 23rd.

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Twonkey Product: 2015 is an absolutely jaw-dropping cork-shaped USB stick containing… an album, two videos, an album sampler and an audio book read by the author! Reviews are as imminent as David Milliband’s learjet back to Labour HQ.

Twonkey’s Private Restaurant *****

3rd May 2014, Temple Bar, Brighton

the aeronaut

‘A chariot made from garlic bread, will disappoint in years ahead’

He’s done it again folks. Paul’s latest show, Twonkey’s Private Restaurant, is another home run. You might think we would say that, but it’s just plum true. Nor did it come as a major surprise. Parts of the show have been previewed at one-off gigs, on youtube or Soundcloud, and the Paul & Pierre album. If a skit had been road-tested, we’d have seen it. We’re here, we’re there, we’re everyfuckingwhere, we’re Team: Playboys With Hunchbacks!

And full marks to Brighton for providing this classic cabaret with a Full House on opening night! If you’ve seen Twonkey before, you’ll know what to expect. If you loved it then, you’ll love it now. If you weren’t sure then, you’re just a show or two away from what is known to Fringe hipsters as a ‘Twonkey Epiphany’. Expect a busload of good reviews come August, although Three Weeks probably still won’t get it. ‘Three Weeks’, incidentally, is a reference to the length of the Fringe Festival, which is always closer to four weeks, and shows what clueless arseholes they actually are.

Every year Paul (& Friends!) somehow manages to come up with another bunch of great new tunes. The previously previewed Pissed As A Postman and Mother Shipton are both showstoppers. And they’re joined by a couple of new ballads and a few more Paul & Pierre tracks, all of his usual high quality. The ships wheel is back, with a whole new set of sexual predictions, just as funny as previous years (even if nothing can top the snail in Great Yarmouth). Other great additions are a (fictional) account of a youtube parody of a new track, and a song which is given a huge build up only to consist of just two barely-sung sentences. And it all ends with a new version of 2011’s Hot Beryl! We even learn of a Hawaiian Beryl: half beer, half gin with a pineapple chucked in.

There’s also evidence that as Paul approached part #5 in his Twonkey Pentalogy, he had a look at other #5s just to see if/where they went wrong. He may have watched Prometheus (Alien #5) and its DVD extras. How so? Well the film revisits props from the original Alien known as ‘Space Jockeys’. Mr. Twonkey has used that description literally as the origin story for puppet Chris Hutchinson. Prometheus (so bad it was almost good) was also the first sci-fi from Ridley Scott since Blade Runner, the film which gave Paul’s band Dawn of the Replicants their name.

Twonkey herself gets no mention in the show whatsoever now. Having said that, Private Restaurant is probably more consistent to its own theme than Twonkey’s ever been before. Food and hunger are never far from a sketch or a song. Mother Shipton, a real life fortune teller, got no introduction before she was discussed. Maybe Brighton are a more knowledgable audience and would have known all about her. The show lasted a mammoth 55 minutes, so is likely to see a few snips before the Edinburgh Festival. We’re glad it’s not up to us what bits to drop as there were no saggy sequences whatsoever.

We hope Paul has enjoyed his Brighton Fringe Private Restaurant debut. He has delivered another classic hour of cabaret and you should be counting the days till it’s next performed at the Edinburgh Fringe. We are! The new songs are wonderful, most of it is funny, and much of it is priceless.

Hell, we even left the show with wood! Which is quite an achievement at our age. This may have something to do with the new Twonkey album ‘Giddy World‘. An album review will be the next bus at this stop. We’ll leave you for now with this teaser pic:

twonkey wood

 

Twonkeys Kingdom Here We Come!

At last – finally have tickets for Twonkey after all those free shows. Can’t wait.

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I also discovered a youtube video taken from the Twonkey Variety Night (December 2011), featuring Hamish Hawk. A few people were filming pretty much the whole evening, so I filmed a few bits myself. But as these could be early drafts of Twonkey’s Kingdom (not to mention they aren’t really mine to share), they wont be going on youtube. Mr Vickers has already uploaded a fair amount from Twonkey’s Cottage and a bit from Twonkey’s Castle which are easy to find.

Anyway, here is the video. For attendees, it’s a great reminder of a fantastic night. Mr Vickers appears throughout although you wont know it’s him until he is unmasked in the very last seconds like a Scooby Doo villain.