Edinburgh Fringe Review: Twonkey’s Night Train to Liechtenstein, Heroes @ Dragonfly

Twonkey is a musical comic with an operatic imagination. Nothing limits his determination to tell this sweeping trans European tale with a James Bond plot involving missing diamonds, attempted murder and exploding head gear.

His props often evade him, his cast of puppets are in a state of advanced disrepair. He even struggles at one point to put on a jacket at the same time as keeping a wig and a pair of glasses on his head.

This is low tech theatre. The only available lighting effect is a switch to the side of the stage, which can either be switched off, or on. 

But Twonkey battles on, performing his one man rock opera as if he were on the stage of  La Scala, rather than in a room above a pub with a light switch and a couple of suitcases full of collapsing props.

It’s easy to spot the Twonkey fans in the audience. They are the ones with a rapt expression who collapse in fits of laughter as soon as the proceedings commence. 

Some of the other audience members wear a look of bewilderment, until they realise, that yes, somehow, this is all deliberate  and very funny – and that even if they fail to follow the plot Twonkey has a coil of red rope behind the curtain which can be called in to act as a narrative thread.

The songs are marvellous. In a former life Vickers was the lead singer of indie band Dawn of the Replicants and he writes a new full song cycle for every one of his shows.

Highlights of his latest offering are the Kraftwerk inspired song ‘In the Pub’, performed in the style of the Boomtown Rats. There’s also the poignant ‘Furs’ – a heartbreaking tale about how much he missed his cat Mr Trombone after Mrs Twonkey asked him to move out.

There’s an emotional centre to this show which Twonkey lovers will not have experienced before. It makes the audience warm to this supremely loveable character even more, if such a thing were possible. 

Nonetheless the climax of the tale is as far fetched and extraordinary as it's possible to be, involving a supernatural moth, crafted from an umbrella, sparked into life by two electricity pylons waved in the air by members of the audience.

Nothing is impossible. Never forget your dreams. And let your mind fly free. Twonkey, whoever he really is, lives to remind us of all these things.

Until August 26. Heroes @ Dragonfly. Info here.

Read more Edinburgh Fringe reviews here.




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