Edinburgh Festival Fringe cabaret review: Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kate Copstick
The room is sunk in Stygian gloom. The sound of Gregorian chant comes as something of a surprise to the two rows of happy “relaxed” young men from Bishop Auckland who had stumbled in en masse and probably by mistake. I worry for Twonkey, a gentle, other-worldly man whose shows generally require the kind of willing suspension of disbelief that would hold up the Forth Bridge. But oddity by oddity, song by song, Twonkey draws them in.
It is a wonderful thing to watch a “lad” reclaim his daft. Comedy needs Twonkey, a performer who has not so much ploughed his own metaphorical furrow but woven it from sweet silly songs, ridiculous props, meandering, mesmerising stories that make absolutely no sense other than here in the dark with Twonkey. From the moment the first song starts – “From a fountain in the sea, I found a memory” – you know you have entered another comedy dimension. Yes there are references to things in this dimension – like Hugh Grant and Foxes Glacier Mints – but even they cannot anchor us to any kind of reality but Twonkey’s. Some things are eternal – like the Evil Conjurer and the Travel Sexy Ship’s Wheel. As we giggled our way through the Wheel’s portion of the hour, Twonkey, in full TV game show host mode – with his catchphrase “pull my knickers off” – had some little problem with the prop knickers. “Must remember to memorise the colours,” he chides himself, “Makes the act look that bit more slick.” Twonkey is to slick what deep fried pizza is to health food. But he is unique and he creates wonderlands of weird. Whether squashing toy pigs between two rounds of cheese, conjuring images of a hunchback with an unscrewable hump in rural Dordogne or singing one of his glorious ditties, he will always put a little wonderful into your day.
Sweet Grassmarket (VENUE 18), until 30 August, 9pm
Published in The Scotsman on 25 August 2015
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