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.