Just the Tonic at The Caves
Aug 1-25 (16:10)
This is my last comedy review of the decade, of the Tweenies, & so Twonkey’s Ten Year Twitch is a most appropriate choice. Paul Vickers began Twonkey’s Scandinavian saga back in 2010, & more than any other act has marked the progress of the decade. Back in 2010 Obama was president, Boris Johnson was widely derided, Brexit wasn’t relevant & people kinda liked each other, not being constantly bombarded by the elitist & populist control of the media which is sewing division daily in our lives. But one thing that hasn’t changed in that time, well not significantly at any rate, is Mr Twonkey’s sparklingly original cabaret. I’d caught the very first one (I’m a friend of the family) & his second show was included in my personal blog of 2011, which is something of a Hobbit to the Mumble’s Lord of the Rings. Here is the write-up;
Then came the climax of the Beehive session, & PAUL VICKERS surreal show, TWONKEY’S CASTLE. Meeting up with his brother, VICTOR POPE & his mum Anne (see yesterday), we found ourselves right at the front & in the midst of the action. Words cant really describe what goes on in Paul’s mind as he floats from piece to well-written piece, delivering his puppet-peppered comedy with a dead-pan relish. He also sings, & bloody well at that, which gave the show a category of Cabaret. But its not cabaret – you cant really label it. Perhaps Vic Reeves & Des O Connor high on helium gas while Monty Python dance about them naked is kinda close, but its an hysterical ride through a man’s imaganation, & a mind thats growing confident with his material. He’d unleashed Twonkey on the Fringe last year (see you tube below) & where next Mr Vickers… Twonkey’s Space Station?
The beauty of that write-up is that I could just copy & paste it & it will still stand for today – its all a bit like The Fast & the Furious franchise, which just gets better & better. The only difference between then & now is that certain members of the 2019 audience have their favorite puppets & characters – mine is Mr Vines, Twonkey’s dodgy manager figure. I also saw something this year I thought I never would; a family of probable Christian fundamentalists walking out deriding Twonkey with a ‘that is sick‘ jibe. Twonkey is many, many things, but sick is not one of them.
The Wheel never lies… does that ring any bells? Mr Twonkey
Twonkey opens his show with a videolet of Subterranean Homesick Blues, whipping out the posters of ten years at the Fringe one-by-one… in the correct order! This year’s buzziest creation for me was Leonardo de Vinci’s landlady declaring that famous Renaissance artist was “ahead of his time, but behind on his rent,” while the Twonkiest moment – yes I think the Oxford Dictionary can accept that as a new word – would be when he played a mini-accordion while balancing a series of model fish… upon it’s top!
At all times the audience sat transfixed, mouths slightly ajar, little drops of saliva collecting in the corners of their mouths. We all (more or less) love Twonkey whether its your first visit, or your tenth, & I have seen all ten! So to conclude; Brexit will eventually be a mere memory, & Trump will die in prison, but Mr Twonkey, or at least the Twonkeyism that he invented, will continue to thrive. I got that knowledge straight from the horse’s mouth, actually, for on asking Mr Vickers will he be back for a new decade, he replied, ‘I’m sure I will keep going but in many different forms and in new and exiting ways. I just need to dream it all up again.’
Damian Beeson Bullen