Simon Donald: Barry Twyford Isn’t Meant

The nervous Barry Twyford (from Crackwhore and Mingpiece Market Research) takes to the stage and explains that he has accidentally booked himself to do a show at the Edinburgh Fringe. He hasn't got any jokes or scripts, just his wits and sadly he has none. It's a brilliant concept and provides a strong structure for the show to follow, as Barry becomes increasingly desperate to entertain.

As shows go, it's quite stupid and ropey but very endearing and I doubt you'll see anything else quite like it.

Because of the nature of the character it does take a while for the it to get going, but when it picks up speed it zips along nicely. It’s worth the price of admission just to see one the longest and best set ups to a punch line I’ve ever encountered.

Barry is helped by a cast of characters include his creator Simon Donaldson over Trype a video calling service. It is a good way to provide a bit of variety and is used in imaginative ways.

The show is uneven, some bits don't quite work because they lack clarity on exactly where the laughs are meant to be coming from. These are usually nice ideas but without strong jokes to back them up. There isn't as much crude humour as you would think from one of the creators of the Viz, but when it's used it works well.

Everything builds to a satisfying ending before there is time to get sick of the helpless Barry Twyford. As shows go, it's quite stupid and ropey but very endearing and I doubt you'll see anything else quite like it.

Reviews by James W. Woe

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The Blurb

Donald, of Viz comic fame, performs as his most popular character, the hapless market researcher Barry, who spends the whole show desperately trying to find ways to entertain the crowd. In his inimitable floundering style, loveable idiot Barry has attempted to gain the venue’s permission to perform an exit survey of the audience, but instead accidently booked himself to perform an hour of comedy. He attempts to use the internet to find someone to help. ‘Superb, inventive comedy’ (Stage). ‘As funny with a microphone as he was with a pencil’ (Guardian).