“Now I’ll attempt my special dance, during which I may or may not throttle myself.” Such is onstage life for Mr Twonkey, aka Paul Vickers, now something of a Fringe stalwart having graced Edinburgh with his fantasy islands and freakish DIY puppets since 2010. Thankfully those years of toil haven’t led to the Twonkey brand becoming offputtingly polished, as yet.
Then again, it’s hard to know exactly how much of this heroic mayhem is actually planned. One splendid concept early on: due to this year’s labyrinthine plot Mr Twonkey offers the audience an actual narrative thread, a big red rope we can pull on if we get too confused. Unfortunately, while thrusting it forth (to yours truly) it gets caught up in his mic lead and trapped around his neck, so he gives up and carries on, dragging this twin tether around like some archaic prisoner harness.
It adds a hint of jeopardy to that dance, and as Twonkey wades into the audience to stroke someone with the lollypop of a Christmas pudding spider or make us sniff cheese garnished with a whiff of Taylor Swift, there’s as much hilarity about the rope-based carnage being wrought behind him. By crikey, it’s funny though.
Vickers is an interesting character offstage and on: he was formerly the man behind the credible indie rock band Dawn of the Replicants, and backing the bedlam here there’s a clever soundtrack burbling away, while Mr Twonkey can certainly belt out a tune. Las Vegas may still be a little way off though.