Friday, 9 September 2016

So 2016 was a vintage year for Twonkey at the Edinburgh Fringe….WHY? well as Bruce Dessau from Beyond The Joke put's it:
The winner of the 2016 MALCOLM HARDEE AWARD FOR COMIC ORIGINALITY has been announced at the Gillie Dhu in Edinburgh.
The proud recipient is as follows:
Twonkey - bonkers hybrid of Michael Bentine and Captain Beefheart.
The judges were John Fleming, Claire Smith, Kate Copstick, Marissa Burgess, Jay Richardson and Bruce Dessau.
Below Sandy with the Award back at Twonkey H.Q plus a snap of some dangerous fireworks.........yeah.
The British Comedy Guide had this to say: Mr Twonkey, a character played by Paul Vickers, won the prize for Comic Originality at the Malcolm Hardee Awards for his show Twonkey's Mumbo Jumbo Hotel. Vickers, who lost out on the award last year to Michael Brunström, was picked by judges over Arthur Smith's museum of socks, Foxdog Studios and Come Look at the Baby to win the prize. He collected the trophy accompanied by one his many puppets, Sandy the hooker duck.
Plus Twonkey's Drive in : Jennifer's Robot Arm got a lovely FIVE STAR review from Nick Awde in The Stage:
Twonkey’s Drive-In: Jennifer’s Robot Arm – ‘Dark demented comedy works on several levels with an impressive totality’
If you go down to Sawdust Lane you'll be sure of a very strange surprise – a very odd Northern family indeed dwells there. In this debut play from Paul Vickers’ Twonkey franchise, meet starry-eyed Jennifer, the apple of her cheery chappy dad's eye and who manages to slice her arm off within the first few moments of the show under the illusion that she’s Pinocchio’s sister.
With heart-rending failure Dad tries to build her a new arm, watched by mum Pam with acerbic disdain. Cue a knock on the door and the entrance of a mysterious inventor who promises Jennifer the prosthetic she yearns for – but at a terrible price. Will Jennifer get to meet Pinocchio? And who is the evil demonic neighbour boy Patrick Promise?
Songs crop up at the oddest of places, nicely musical hall/pop rather than staid Broadway – the raucous intro number, Jennifer ripping up a book with gay abandon for If Pinocchio Could See You, Father’s plaintive Salt Shaker in the Rain, and Pam’s Screw a Little Harder (followed by a jaw-droppingly icky bedroom scene).
It is a simply cracking cast who run with the insanity of Paul Vickers’ vision and make it their own – Miranda Shrapnell’s dementedly endearing Jennifer, Ben Nardone’s desperately affable Father, Vickers’ benignly sinister ‘Mr Twonkey as Inventor’, pianist Pete Harvey’s silky chords, while Simon Jay’s Pam wickedly steals the show with a torrent of cruel putdowns, libidinous asides and Valium-drenched double-takes.
Of course it’s wilfully not everyone’s cup of tea, but you will appreciate writer Vickers’ and director Jay’s skill at getting their actors to play on several levels simultaneously with an impressive totality, creating a dark, demented, possibly absurdist comedy that alternately caresses and slaps you from all sides.
Kate Copstick enjoyed herself too the following review taken from “You’ll go ape for animal crackers” a feature by Kate Copstick in the Scotland on Sunday on 14 of August 2016 .The piece also covered Richard Gadd, Paul Currie and Spencer Jones-but here’s the bit about Twonkey:
Meanwhile, over on the fun side of slightly crazy, as I sit in a tiny room watching a beardy man entangle himself in a fishing net, sing a plaintive duet with a tree trunk and get psychic readings about the audiences sex lives through the medium of knickers I give thanks for the sadly departed indie band Dawn of the Replicants, from whose ashes arose the comedy phoenix that is Mr.Twonkey.
The audience do not so much come into a Twonkey show as fall down his rabbit hole. It might take you a minute or so to acclimatise yourself to your surroundings –especially as the beardy man is advancing upon you holding something that looks like a demonic brown snowman on a stick, hung with cowrie shells that make it a percussion instrument as he shakes it, singing a song about a Coconut Frog.
We are introduced to Edward Tight, the deep-sea diver who is staying in the Mumbo Jumbo Hotel along with Drunk Welsh Ann, Mystic David and several other characters. I won’t attempt to explain the plot, partly as it is very complicated and partly because I am not sure I followed it all, but that really does not matter when we have an opium-addled Santa, a brandy-identifying duck and Transylvanian Finger Fantasy, all of which leads to a song about Competitive Eating.Oh no. There is murder most…odd, in fact two of them. There is even gay marriage, hummus and a happy ending signalled by a song about Macaroni with an articulated fish accompaniment. Mr Twonkey’s blood type is joy and I am delighted to say he is highly infectious.
Fringe Review covered both shows Philip Hutchinson had this to say about Twonkey's Mumbo Jumbo Hotel: Twonkey (aka Paul Vickers) is well-known around the Fringe Festivals. His shows are rubbish nonsense – but in a marvellous way. From a similar school of surrealism as Paul Foot or Reeves & Mortimer in their Golden Age, you can expect an hour of ramshackle weirdness which is silly and pointless and is definitely not for everyone. If this is your thing, though (and it is mine), you have found a home here.
We are shown around the Mumbo Jumbo Hotel, which has the face of a violent baby. We are taken inside and shown photographs of what’s going on in there. This is when we find the man from Frankie & Benny’s who is clearly up to no good and has his own plans about the future of the building. We feel sympathy for the eight-foot tall man who has to eat off the top of a wardrobe in the alleyway. There’s a dangerous cuckoo clock. We are treated to a seance by torchlight. The highlight of the show, for me, was the puppet duck – his beak full of slices of cake (the first one fell out, so he got a second one) whilst Twonkey is singing “Happy hippos”.
He also loved Twonkey's Drive In : Jennifer's Robot Arm :
Twonkey (Paul Vickers) is an Edinburgh regular and somewhat of a hidden institution. His shows at Sweet Venues each year are like a Last Of The Summer Absinthe. Surprisingly, there is a plot – albeit somewhat absurdist. Jennifer is convinced that, like Pinocchio, she is made of wood. The nasty boy next door, Patrick Promise (who may well be an imaginery friend/fiend), tells Jennifer to cut off her arm with a circular saw to prove it. She does. She’s not. After attempts to fit a prosthetic arm fail, a mysterious inventor arrives with a fully-functioning robot arm for Jennifer. Everyone is delighted with it, but he wants far more money than they can afford. He chooses – with mutual agreement – to take payment in a quite different manner from Jennifer’s mother, Pam. Being a nymphomaniac, she is only too happy to accept. However, when it comes for the first installment to be paid, she is so disgusted by The Inventor’s appendage that she refuses to go along with it. He leaves, taking the Robot Arm AND their savings which were kept in a rare antique bowl. It’s only when it’s too late that they realise the value of the bowl (millions of pounds… it had something to do with Lord Nelson). The play has a happy ending – or as happy an ending such a twisted piece of insane Gothic could have.
Given Vickers’ Dadaist approach, it all hangs together rather well. Nardone is affable and possesses a very pleasant singing voice. His Father role is straight out of a fairy tale – everything is wonderful, he has no malice and loves everything and everyone. By total comparison, Simon Jay’s Pam is one of the most hilarious monsters you could want to watch. Not so much drag queen as drag slutty frump (think Les Dawson and Roy Barraclough as Cissy and Ada but with Lily Savage’s attitude). Everything he does is over the top and with filthy innuendo. His timing is perfect and this horrible creation needs a show of her own. In the lead role, Miranda Shrapnell sums up this show in her unique performance. She is full of energy and glee throughout and is clearly not what modern society would class as normal.
PLUS FOURS STARS IN BROADWAY BABY FOR TWONKEY'S MUMBO JUMBO HOTEL: In a tiny room at Sweet Grassmarket a man has placed a wide array of props, toys, figurines, dolls and detritus in an apparently haphazard way. Mr Twonkey, also known as Paul Vickers, welcomes his tiny audience before using all of his assorted trinkets to tell the tale of the Mumbo Jumbo Hotel, its denizens and the shenanigans that may or may not lead to its demolishing and the creation of a retail park that features a Frankie & Benny’s. He also takes a break to tell us about our own sexual history, using his psychic ship’s wheel of knickers (exactly what it sounds like): a ship’s wheel, hung with knickers (mostly lacey) to help Vickers to psychically divine your past sexual encounters. It’s bizarre and brilliant.
If you’re confused by that first paragraph, well you should be.
Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel is about the most confusing piece of theatre cabaret I’ve ever seen - and I’ve seen Vickers’ previous Fringe shows. Songs and monologues segue into each other as Vickers attempts to operate lights, music cues and locate lost or knocked over props. At one point, he has to take a few moments out to disentangle a large prop from the mic stand but only manages to attach it to the lowest button of his jacket and is forced to wear it for the next few minutes of the show until he can find an appropriate moment to detach himself.
The thing is; it’s brilliant. Vickers has created a bonkers world that, if you’re in on the joke with him, is consistently laugh out loud funny. He’s the master of bizarre asides and surreal set ups that sometimes lead to a place that only Vickers understands. Twonkey makes The Mighty Boosh look like Bob Monkhouse. Frodo Allan on 10th August 2016.
Steve Bennett from Chortle popped by too we scared him a little :The tiny studio room is littered with old wooden puppets – the bullet-scarred duck could give you nightmares, if the evil Christmas elf doesn’t – and there’s a diorama of the hotel, featuring figurines of characters such as Drunk Welsh Anne and a creepy mystic on the table.He went on to say:Yet the low-key charm befits the gentle whimsy. And the prog-rocky music that fills between his peculiar scenes is delightful. Vickers is also lead singer of cult Scottish indie band Dawn of the Replicants, a John Peel favourite, and so several notches above the average comedy musician, however strange his lyrics.But take that leap of faith, and the dreamlike scenario he sets out in his very distinctive way makes a lasting, haunting impression. It’s a proudly eccentric show likely make you smile more than laugh out loud, but if a nonconformist can’t find a home at the Fringe, where can he?
The List also popped by:Paul Vickers in his guise as Mr Twonkey the storyteller certainly provides the best value, pound-for-pound, of weirdness anywhere on the Fringe. His amiable whimsy,is peppered with songs about, say, Santa going on an opium binge and ending up with nothing but broken badminton racquets to give away.
The sort of people who like Captain Beefheart are likely to love Twonkey, and the converse is also true.Towards the end he laments, 'we're going to have to live with these memories for the rest of our lives'. He's not wrong: for good or ill you won't soon forget a visit to Twonkey.
Ben Walters popped in and had a look for his blog Not Television and he enjoyed himself too:
There was more delectable poetic lunacy from Paul Vickers in Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel, the latest in the Twonkey cycle of peculiar puppetry, song, storytelling and bizarre prop work. The Wheel of Psychic Knickers remains in place along with challenges such as whether he can feed a coconut frog enough of Peggy’s raspberry spaghetti to turn a lump of wood into Pinocchio, the squeezebox ballerina. A drunk, violent baby, the zinc tears of Jesus and a turkey dinner on top of a wardrobe in an alley are also involved. Apart from the singular sensibility, Vickers’s rich, reedy vocals, and his palpable pleasure in performance, one of the main pleasures of a Twonkey show is always seeing who is convulsed in hysterics and who remains stony-faced throughout.
A second bite of the Twonkey cherry in Twonkey’s Drive-In: Jennifer’s Robot Arm, Vickers’s first play, in which, under the influence of a malign semi-imaginary neighbour boy, a girl cuts off her arm to the consternation of her dappy dad and jaded mum. A passing professor (Vickers) might have the solution but at a steep cost. It’s a weirdly colourful and unsettling piece with shades of Brimstone and Treacle or even Teorema, teetering between grotesque caricature and genuine pathos, buoyed by strong performances that locate it somewhere between David Lynch and Vic and Bob.
The Mumble enjoyed themselves saying:He (Mr.Twonkey) looked he had just come out of a witches cauldron,the room ballooned with instant laughter! -:hilarious songs and crazy dance moves, Mr. Vickers did get the unsuspected audience in stitches of laughter. Caught up in a wonderland of toys, mad impressions, miming, crazy jokes, this was all rather gob-smacking. An imaginative piece of theatrical comedy that will have an impact on all who see this show. If you have a cheeky one hour to spare at 9PM this August, take a journey back to your youth with Twonkey's Mumbo Jumbo Hotel and you wont be sorry.
Four stars for Twonkey's Mumbo Jumbo Hotel and four for Twonkey's Drive In : Jennifer Robot Arm:I found myself taking the role of a psychologist as I watched the play unfold, making notes and prescribing possible remedies for what was a deeply sensitive subject. Somehow even the jokes flowed well despite the sensitive subjects.Mr Twonkey gave a performance not unlike Gene Wilder’s portrayal in the iconic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of a man society deems freakish or out of place.
So all in all a good crazy old year ...Oh i'm fainting.
Jennifer's Robot Arm and Twonkey studio press shots: Photo Express.
My award goes to Mary Trodden for putting up with me and making such wonderful sets.Rachael Forbes amazing Robot Arm for Jennifer was another cracking treat.Not forgetting the pow wow of musicians that bring the songs to life each year and Sweet Venues for giving me support and a home.Live Twonkey's Mumbo Jumbo Hotel Snaps by Lika Gavrish from the Prague Fringe 2016.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Twonkey’s Double Bill 2016: Edinburgh Fringe
Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel
Sweet 3 (Grassmarket) / 9pm, 4th-28th August (not Tuesdays) / £6.50 (£5 conc.) /
Stop the hotel from being totally flattened to make way for a Frankie and Benny’s. Why is Drunk Welsh Anne's pistol missing from her garter belt? Why is the assistant manager hiding in the toilet? Why has the accountant been poisoned? Why does the cuckoo clock need fixing if it's already been fixed?
Enter the legendary oddball Twonkeyverse of Paul Vickers…
'He creates wonderlands of weird' **** (Kate Copstick, Scotsman); Malcolm Hardee Award nominee for Comic Originality; 'Completely bonkers charm' **** (Times); 'A challenging sexual concept' **** (Time Out); 'A joyous experience' **** (
Twonkey’s Drive–in: Jennifer’s Robot Arm
Sweet 1 (Grassmarket) / 5.15pm, 4th-28th August (not Tuesdays) / Pay What You Want (or £5 guarantees entry) /
A matchbox melodrama about a girl whose delusions, while consorting with a demonic friend and a circular saw, cost her an arm. Her foolish, impotent father tries to make a replacement to no avail, whilst her very sexy mother Pam tries to comfort her through the trauma with relaxing stories.
Her dreams soon give birth to a trampish inventor, who offers her a robot arm at a devilish cost...
The debut play from Mr. Twonkey, a Fringe firebrand described by Mojo magazine as ‘a Da Vinci of invention’; top 20 out of 902 submissions in the Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award (‘a bit like Ex Machina if it was set in Yorkshire’).
Super Allan Design.
The Square Buxton SK17 6BD
Standard ticket £7:00 (concession £6.00/discounted £5.00)
15th of July 10:30 pm
16th of July 5:30 pm
17th of July 10:00 pm
The Twonkey crew made the front cover of the Buxton Advertiser in the run up which is a lot of fun.
Plus get your hands on a U.S.B LIGHT BULD DRIVE available at all shows.
Contents List: The Album –
Peggy’s Raspberry Spaghetti
By Paul Vickers and Friends.
1. Peggy’s Raspberry Spaghetti
2. Macaroni Edit (Paul and Pierre)
3. Sacked by Looney Tunes (With Keith Baxter)
4. Boo Who (Paul and Pierre)
5. The Birth of Pinocchio (with Massimiliano Puddu and Hamish Hawk)
6. Love on Tap (with Steven Vickers)
7. Mumbo Jumbo Hotel (with John Callaghan)
8. King Newt (with John Callaghan)
9. Competitive Eating (with Clutch Daisy)
10. Trouble in the Dordogne (with Steven Vickers inspired by Roger Simian)
11. Mugulvery’s Farm (with Grant Pringle)
12. Happy Hippos (Paul and Pierre)
13. The Raspberry (With Andy Currie)
14. This is Showbiz (with Steven Vickers and Hamish Hawk)
15. The Owl Brest Tree
16. The Architect (with Massimiliano Puddu)
17. The Zinc Tears of Jesus (with Keith Baxter and Pete Harvey)
Posh picture Photo Express.
The Film- Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop. One M-peg 4 of the whole show in full color. Filmed and edited by Jamie Meikle. Make sure you have the latest version of Windows Media Player/Quicktime or Flash to play the Video Content on the U.S.B.
E.P –
Demos for Jennifer’s Robot Arm.
By Pete Harvey and Paul Vickers.
1. Jennifer’s Robot Arm
2. Nest of the Platypus
3. Love on Tap
4. This Is Showbiz
5. The Magic of the Black Forest
6. Jennetics
Recorded by Pete Harvey at Pumpkin Field recording studios 2015/2016.
Jennifer Painting,Set and Screen:Mary Trodden.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

So Mr. Twonkey tell us about the new show and why so stupid?
There are some people locked in the hoax bathroom of the bullshit hotel. I have developed an action and I come over a miniature theatre-in the hotel lobby, naked. I am the microscope and the show is the paper, so it works pretty well. Here's the new fancy tour poster by Super Allan:

Friday, 8 January 2016

I will be mostly performing my new show in 2016 as i kick it into shape for The Edinburgh Fringe Join me for the ride in the following Palaces:
Beckenham Comedy Cabaret Mixed Bill
-London 26th of Feb.
Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel-
Well Under a Tenner Tour.
Brighton Fringe-Sweet Dukebox
19:00 hours- 6th to the 8th of May.
Museum of Comedy 19:00 hours
-London 14th of May.
Wandsworth Fringe London-
The Cats Back on the following dates:
22:30 hours on the 20th of May.
20:30 hours on the 21st of May.
Prague Fringe A Studio Rubin (more info to follow)-2nd to the 4th of June.
Edinburgh Fringe 4th to the 28th of August (more info to follow)
He creates wonderlands of weird. Kate Copstick The Scotsman.★★★★
2015 Malcolm Hardee Award Nominee For Comic Originality.
Why is Drunk Welsh Anne's pistol missing from her garter belt? Why has the accountant been poisoned? Why does the cuckoo clock need fixed if its already been fixed? Is it true that the hotel is soon to be flattened to make way for a Frankie and Benny’s and a retail park? Why is the assistant manger hiding in the toilet?
Being in his presence for an hour is delightful. The Times.★★★★
All these questions and more will be answered if you visit Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel. By the way it’s best to take the scenic route via the giant slug infested graveyard, which is always swamped in a thick green gas. A shaft of light through the lobby can be seen as a metaphor for the human life span but it can also mean a day for a light golfing jacket. A chilly breeze through the keys can only mean a visit from Cherry Baldwin’s Circus of Travelling fleas. On the corner of your cigar cane, concealed maps marked in invisible ink will help you will find comic, songwriter and puppeteer Mr.Twonkey AKA Paul Vickers. Its time to enter the world of an abnormal Fringe legend.
A joyous experience. Fringe Guru.★★★★
A challenging sexual concept.Time Out.★★★★
PLUS:MR.Twonkey appears in episodes 9 & 10 of NBC's Comedy Digital Platform: Seeso as part the Before The Morning After show for those in the USA.
Picture:Toby Long at Photo Express.