Thursday, 28 September 2017

As I listen to a song asking the intriguing question “What’s In My Marmalade?” while watching two Spandex Tree Hoppers being dangled by the Flying Tailor over our heads, I have a moment of clarity.
We have made it out of the hallucinogenic jungle, met Sue Selfish the Christmas Pudding Spider, swayed along to the catchy title song Christmas in the Jungle, aquiesced in the chloroforming of an elf and enjoyed a Transylvanian Finger Fantasy – which doesn’t even touch the sides of this crazy, wonderful show, by a crazy, wonderful performer – and I realise that the show is actually a concept album.
This fumble in the jungle is particularly strong musically and if the opening number, Santa Claus Is Eating Human Flesh, does not become a Christmas No.1, I will be very upset. Twonkey has listened to criticisms of his lack of narrative thread. So this time he has brought one along. It wraps around him and a woman in the front row yanks the end if she thinks he is digressing from the plot too much.
Fans will be thrilled that all the favourites have made it into the jungle, even the wheel of psychic knickers, but Twonkey’s febrile imagination is unstoppable and this show is packed with magnificent new madness. Who but Twonkey could imagine making “a soft monkey Nicola Sturgeon and fill her with almonds”? And among the surreality, never forget to listen out for Twonkey’s little chunks of observational comedy, his glorious asides and mutterings as things go wrong and this year, a bit of genuinely naughty talk. However well you think your Fringe is going, it will be better for a bit of Twonking.
Twonkey is lost in the jungle. His agent, Mr Pines, has sent him to the Iquitos Fringe deep in the Peruvian Jungle but, unfortunately for Twonkey and his ever-present sidekick, Chris, there isn’t actually an Iquitos Fringe.
Twonkey doesn’t need to conform to our preconceptions of theatre Now I’m going to open this review with a caveat; this show may seem like it makes little sense but that’s because Twonkey’s Christmas in the Jungle is by far the barmiest, most original show on the Fringe. If you like your comedy surreal, Twonkey might still be a bit too weird for you. There’s old classics like the Psychic Ship’s Wheel of Knickers, used to divine audience members’ sexual history, there’s a song about Santa Claus eating human flesh and there’s even a literal narrative thread (more on that later).
Paul Vickers, the man behind Twonkey, has a keen comedy mind and a flair for the absurd. He dodders about on stage giving the impression that he’s making this up as he goes along but, having seen his previous work, it’s clear that everything is fitting to a plan. The plan might be written in green crayon on the side of teapot but Vickers, at least, knows what he’s doing. As with any Twonkey show, the regular appearances by varied puppets is a highlight; most are a mix of cute and terrifying, and each has a backstory and, often, a song. A perfect moment occurs when Twonkey introduces Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf who bemoan the lack of any real structure in the show and how the critics will never understand what he’s trying to achieve. Way to hang a lamp on it, Twonkey.
As for the narrative thread, it is a regular criticism of Vicker’s work that his shows lack this; so, this show has one. It’s tied around his waist and, by the end of the show, it almost strangles him. Twonkey doesn’t need to conform to our preconceptions of theatre, he’s created his own world and he’d love for us all to join him there.
The Malcolm Hardee award is bestowed to those who particularly cater to those who have a penchant for the bizarre and last years winner Mr Twonkey, Paul Vickers, is fully intent on maintaining extreme battiness. If I wasn’t feeling confused at the beginning of the show, I was firmly discombobulated by the end of it.
August is too early for anything Xmas related, but its merely title alone. Twonkey has been sent by his manager Mr Pines to the Iquitos Fringe deep in the hallucinogenic Peruvian jungle over Christmas’. The manager, also played by Vickers only with a fake nose and wig, is another bizarre character that sets the scene at the beginning of the show and things just get stranger from there. Over the course of the next hour we are treated to an hour of utter chaos, grotesque characters, surreal situations and with songs aplenty, soon to be classics like ‘Santa’s Eating Human Flesh’ and ‘Chicken Church’ witch stay with you long after.
If you have an hour to and want something different then spending an hour in the mind of Vickers is probably a good choice, but this show is weird, I mean really, really weird. You need to enter with an open mind and just accept the meandering journey through madness without question, just sit back and enjoy the ride.
If you like the feeling of tripping off your t**s but are too tight-fisted to actually buy any drugs then this is the show for you. Paul Vickers (a.k.a. Mr Twonkey) gives us a bizarre, meandering, Wonderland-esque blend of pure madness which will make you feel like you just dropped a shedload of topnotch ‘shrooms and washed them down with a pint of moonshine. His show consists of a (very, very, VERY loose) narrative about the quest of Mr Twonkey, who is looking for the Chicken Church deep in the heart of the jungle. Yes, you heard me. To visualise Mr T think of The Little Prince all grown up and living under a bridge in The Magic Roundabout…and I get the strong feeling Paul Vickers genuinely believes himself to be Mr Twonkey.
The ‘story’ is interspersed with voiceovers, barmy tunes, some well orchestrated interaction with the audience (unlike some comedians, nothing too personal or vicious- he keeps it feelgood throughout) and a collection of puppets which appear to have been made by a gang of disturbed 5 year olds. The entire premise should mimic Twonkey’s props and fall apart after 5 minutes yet somehow this show bumbles along nicely and exudes a strange charm and humanity, consistently eliciting baffled laughter throughout and feelings of warmth and pity for Mr T…there is something just so disshevelled and likeable about him, he looks like someone who once had a career as a professional hobo but has managed to climb maybe halfway up one rung on the social ladder…you just desperately want him to do well, find his Chicken Church and complete his mission (whatever the hell that may be- we are still wondering).
The winner of last year's Malcolm Hardee Award has lost none of his surreal spark. Mr Twonkey (Paul Vickers) guides us through the jungle full of adventure, song and puppetry. This show includes a ship's wheel decorated with knickers, a flying tailor and a literal narrative thread.
British Comedy Guide
“Now I’ll attempt my special dance, during which I may or may not throttle myself.” Such is onstage life for Mr Twonkey, aka Paul Vickers, now something of a Fringe stalwart having graced Edinburgh with his fantasy islands and freakish DIY puppets since 2010. Thankfully those years of toil haven’t led to the Twonkey brand becoming offputtingly polished, as yet.
Then again, it’s hard to know exactly how much of this heroic mayhem is actually planned. One splendid concept early on: due to this year’s labyrinthine plot Mr Twonkey offers the audience an actual narrative thread, a big red rope we can pull on if we get too confused. Unfortunately, while thrusting it forth (to yours truly) it gets caught up in his mic lead and trapped around his neck, so he gives up and carries on, dragging this twin tether around like some archaic prisoner harness.
It adds a hint of jeopardy to that dance, and as Twonkey wades into the audience to stroke someone with the lollypop of a Christmas pudding spider or make us sniff cheese garnished with a whiff of Taylor Swift, there’s as much hilarity about the rope-based carnage being wrought behind him. By crikey, it’s funny though.
Lunatic Fringe: Clash Heads To Edinburgh
One of the more unlikely transformations in recent years is that by Paul Vickers, formerly the main man with John Peel favourites Dawn of the Replicants. Since 2010 he’s been performing at the Fringe as Mr Twonkey, a prop-based loon who wanders through surreal worlds while also indulging in a fair bit of singing; plus there’s a rolling soundtrack of background effects burbling away that suggest that this is an eccentric who knows exactly what he’s doing. Well, maybe. On the evening that Clash saw this year’s effort – Mr Twonkey’s Christmas in the Jungle – he got a big red rope and the mic lead caught round his neck and caused absolute bedlam. Peel would have loved it.
Best of all we won The Not Television Edinburgh Awards 2017 Best use of a ship’s wheel of knickers:
For the sixth year running, it’s Twonkey’s Christmas in the Jungle, now with added cannibal Santa, bestselling recipe book Cooking with Pills and a sturdy red nylon narrative thread. Twonkey’s on-stage agent assures him “nobody wants that shit anymore. It’s too imaginative, too weird.” Nonsense. Keep it coming. P.S The Twonkey show's Mothra also won the Battle of the Superheroes but more about Mothra later.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

The new Twonkey show (Twonkey's Christmas in the Jungle) coming to the Brighton, Buxton and Edinburgh Fringe this summer (more info below after this fun little story I found behind a fake bookcase).
Enter the Twonkeyverse coughing up stories since 1876:
Example: Paulo the Powder Puff Creature.
You should really meet Paulo the Powder Puff Creature he was the property of Hilda Hedgerow. He would start everyday been pushed into an old tin of make up powder before been rubbed over Hilda’s fat scary face. The effect would knock a few years off her age but was only enough to get a tired smile from a gaunt police detective with no moral compass.
One day Paulo got a fright when what seemed like a gust of wind pushed him out of the window into the street. As Paulo fell he thought he could see a ginger cat and a creepy garden gnome with a bow tie on the windowsill, which was most peculiar, as Hilda didn’t have a pussy or a creepy little man.
He fell into the mittens of an angry schoolboy who was having a snowball fight with a rival school. Paulo was thrown over steeples, over the city hall and into a ditch. Then picked up again and thrown through a wizard’s hat, a mirror into the arsehole of loin, through its intestines into a Kit-Cat packet then into an awaiting raspberry ripple pavlova which was sitting dormant on the sweet trolley of a creepy restaurant. Then he was slopped up in a gooey lump heading towards the moist mouth of Hilda.
The air seemed to part when a ginger cat snapped Paulo up his drooling fangs and nipped him up a drainpipe to the safety of the wonky chimney pots on the restaurant roof. Then a door in one of the chimney pots slowly creaked open; there stood a creepy garden gnome with a bow tie and his flies undone.
“I see you’ve met our rescue moggie Chow Chow come inside and meet the mob….”
Inside the flue was loads of sweaty, snuggled up snowball creatures like Paulo. So Paulo stuck his finger up his arse and tried to suck his own balls.
Brighton Fringe @ Sweet Dukebox
8:30pm 3rd and the 4th of June 2017 £8 (conc £6)
Sweet Dukebox 3 Waterloo Street Hove East Sussex BN3 1AQ
Buxton Fringe @ Underground at The Old Clubhouse
21st July 7pm and 22nd July 5:30pm £7 (Conc £6)
The Old Clubhouse 3 Water St, Buxton SK17 6XN
Edinburgh Fringe Heroes @ Dragonfly
7:20pm 3rd to the 27th of August (not the 15th) £5 or P.W.Y.W
Dragonfly, 52 West Port, EH1 2LD
FLYER ATTACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A Twonkey set will be happening at: Peter Pancakes's Comedy Extravaganza!
Join the king of daft Phil O’Shea ("Utter delicious nonsense" - Fest) for a monthly hand-picked smorgasbord of the most unusual and creative comedy acts out there.
Will there be laughs? YES!
Puppets? YES!
And Singing? YES!
And nonsense and Joy? DEFO! Watch the imagination run riot!
18th of May Doors 7pm, show 8:30pm - please be with us by 8pm
Monkey Barrel Edinburgh,
The Original Room.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Remember only cool people see something early on
Avant Kinema @ Mac Arts Centre
18:30 hours 5th of March 2017
Mac Arts Centre Bridge St, Galashiels TD1 1SP
The Glasgow Comedy Festival at the Hug and Pint
19:00 hours 25th of March 2017
the Hug and Pint 171 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G4 9AW
Museum of Comedy London
19:00 hours 15th of April 2017
Museum of Comedy ,The Undercroft, St George’s Church, Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SR
Brighton Fringe @ Sweet Dukebox
20:30 hours 3rd and the 4th of June 2017
Sweet Dukebox 3 Waterloo Street Hove East Sussex BN3 1AQ
Edinburgh Fringe Heroes @ Dragonfly
19:20 hours 3rd to the 27th of August (not the 15th) 2017
Heroes @ Dragonfly, 52 West Port, EH1 2LD
Created for a special purpose:
Paul Vickers AKA Mr. Twonkey Favourite British Sit-com's Q AND A:
1.What are your favourite British TV sitcoms? Please choose up to three and feel free to give reasons
1.Catterick Best thing Vic and Bob have ever done a northeastern Twin Peaks with a real story and everything.
2.The Strange World of Gurney Slade Anthony Newley’s bold surreal comedy is unlike anything before or since.
3.Clarence starring Ronnie Barker I think I had chickenpox when I first watched this so it may have sent me mad but I do recall it been a bit like an English Mr.Magoo.
2.What are your favourite British TV sitcom scenes?
1. Vic and Bob’s Weekenders Pilot was such a great sitcom it’s a shame a full series was not commissioned. The best scene is when they go down to the local pub (The Farting Dashboard with Electric Russell playing) and discover in the newspaper that there is a meat festival-taking place (at St. Prontaprint-in-Arndale). They decide to visit the festival, which consists of two tables in an open field. Jim buys a "speciality meat product" from Phil Oakey with consequences I.E the Geordie Aliens want it back to feed their queen.
2. Father Ted’s Fun Fair a haunting scene including The Pond Of Terror, Spinning Cat, The Crane Of Death, Duck Startling and The Tunnel Of Goats.
3. Patrick Stewarts film ideas in Extra’s, which always end with everyone clothes falling off.
3.Who are your favourite British TV comedy characters?
1.Papa Lazarou (The League of Gentlemen) The demonic circus ringmaster and door-to-door salesman who’s after your wife if she’s called Dave which she will be.
2.Father Jack (Father Ted) Feck,Arse,Girls and Drink need I say more.
3. Ed Howzer-Black Toast of London’s landlord
Forever in his dressing gown so mild mannered but funny with it.
4. Which is your favourite comedy actor or actress in a British sitcom?
1. Miranda Richardson’s childish Queen Elizabeth the 1st in Blackadder.
2.Andrew Sachs as Manuel in Fawlty Towers a classic.
3.Dave Spikey in Phoenix Nights low key but perfect.
5.What is your favourite British TV sitcom one liner or catchphrase?
1.Officer Crabtree’s pigeon English in Allo Allo “I was pissing by the door” or “Good Moaning”.
2. “You’re my wife now, Dave” from Papa Lazarou also stands out.
3. "Yes, I can hear you, Clem Fandango" Toast of London.
I also got squeezed onto this lovely London bill before my big night at the Museum:

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The Leicester Comedy Festival Heroes at The Criterion
20:15 hours 9th and 10th of February 2017.
The Glasgow Comedy Festival at the Hug and Pint
19:00 hours 25th of March 2017.
Museum of Comedy London 19:00 hours 15th of April 2017
Winner of the 2016 Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality.
“Mr. Twonkey’s blood type is joy and I am delighted to say he is highly infectious.”
Kate Copstick Judge /The Scotsman critic.
“Dark demented comedy”
***** The Stage.
“The thing is: its brilliant”
**** Broadway Baby.
His conniving manager Mr.Pines has sent Twonkey over Christmas to the Iquitos Fringe deep in the Hallucinogenic Peruvian jungle,Will he survive? Twonkey is impatient to have Christmas the way he wants it and Chris Hutchinson his long-suffering weak Lion is sent on a dangerous quest to find the chicken church. The troubled Duck Sandy finds himself in a pickle after a spot of glass eating reveals a mysterious family tradition. Once the cogs of fate start to turn all is not as it seems and soon Mr.Pines finds himself running Pings Pinny; a bakers in old Shanghai and meanwhile Twonkey and crew will soon be flying high.Imagine if Malcolm McLaren had directed Rupert the Bear drunk and hell bent on making it an oddball curiosity set in a haunted theme park and you’re somewhere close.
“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.”
Steve Bennett Chortle.
Twonkey AKA Paul Vickers is now a colourful seasoned Fringe auteur that has maintained a trusted reputation for being one of the most ‘out there’ acts in Britain.One thing’s for sure it's increasingly hard to ignore the lure of the eraser head of cabaret comedy “I’ve really done it this time” is all he had to say last week. Dare you enter the Twonkeyverse?
“Mr. Twonkey the storyteller certainly provides the best value, pound-for-pound, of weirdness anywhere on the Fringe.” The List.
“Somewhere between David Lynch and Vic and Bob.” Ben Walters Not Television.
PLUS I am on the following bills in LONDON this January
RICH MIX, LONDON 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA
Saturday 21 January 2017 19:00
£10 online offer/£14 on the door Entry Requirements: 18+
ALSO.....The first CON FU SE of 2017!
in a space invaders cafe
Thursday, January 19 free at 8:30 PM
Come down and see us at our lovely home at Four Quarters.
187 Rye Lane, SE15 4TP London, United Kingdom
Headlining the show we have the musical madness of Mr Twonkey
As well as some other very funny odd people like
Dan Lees
President Obonjo
Julia Malsi
Robert Copland
Sian Clarke
NEWS FLASH-Welcome to the Twonkey Sanctuary!!! Paul Vickers brings his absurdist brand of comedy to the Mac Arts Centre in Galashiels on Sunday 5th March 2017 - 6.30pm to 10.30pm. Only £3 to get in!
Dubbed MOON MOTHS at the MAC ARTS CHURCH, the event promises to be an experimental smorgasbord of flavours from across the Globe, with underground films by Allan Brown (Canada), Dagie Brundert (Germany), Duncan Reekie (England), Sarahjane Swan & Roger Simian (Scotland) and Walter Ungerer (USA) + the 2012 feature "Savage Witches" by Daniel Fawcett & Clara Pais (England/Portugal) xx
Sandy the duck from Chris Hutchinson's holiday snaps.