Edinburgh Fringe 2014. Twonkey's Private Restaurant Fringe Guru Four Stars.
This show is mind-boggling from start to finish. Mr Twonkey (AKA Paul Vickers) dressed up, messed up and fessed up to looking a bit homeless. It was a dialectic of the believably unbelievable. During the first song, a hot-air-balloon containing ‘Sophie the Aeronaut’ was swung from a stick and Mr Twonkey’s mic cable propelled props off the table. We glanced sideways and raised our collective eyebrows. The atmosphere changed from nervous to pure confusion and on to an acceptance of the crazy and quirky antics of the Private Restaurant. The hodge-podge of props, costumes, and strange songs played on Mr Twonkey’s mp3 player felt like the stuff of a primary-school kids party. Any stiff upper lips were determinedly creased into smiles as the nonsensical performance unfolded. Hanratty, the disgusting, balding cat/hyena/racoon, was full of surprises. He talked, sang (sometimes in Spanish), made squelching noises, and generally made his views known whether or not Mr Twonkey got the microphone to his whiskery mouth in time. Mr Twonkey’s other two side-kicks, a lion-jockey who bore an uncanny resemblance to him and a green… thing… with legs, chatted and flirted. If anything, they were a tad more conventional than Hanratty and Mr Twonkey . From the song Ooooh Trifle, which consisted mainly of those two words, to the more lyrical Hot Beryl; Half Beer, Half Gin, the music was absurd to say the least. Anyone with sensitive ears or perfect pitch be warned. Even if you don’t enjoy the music, you certainly won’t be able to help yourself sharing Mr Twonkey’s enjoyment. He closed his eyes and danced like a stag at a karaoke club. If you’re lucky, you might get to clutch a pair of Primark knickers or get intimate with a plastic pumpkin. Anything’s possible…FELICITY HARRIS. PICTURES BECKY WALKER.