‘Don’t fear me. Indulge me.’ Good advice from Paul Vickers at the top of this latest instalment of his ongoing ‘Twonkey’ saga, an almost indescribable enterprise in which songs and stories, games and puppets, interstellar jockeys and wheels of knickers, Russian dolls and ‘greasy-spoon tomato balloons’ all have their part to play in the communication of a thoughtworld at once weirdly playful and evidently heartfelt, where nonsense, poetry and palpable passion dance a lovely, bewildering dance. Twonkey herself – a sort of fantasy tyrant – is barely evident here; instead, we learn about young Stan Laurel’s sexual yearnings, a flying Parisian tailor and a girl who regrettably booked a skiing holiday while on ecstasy (‘we’ve all been there’). Vickers describes a performer as ‘someone who is being bullied into doing something completely absurd for the pleasure of others’. The bullying can surely come from nowhere but his own impulse to perform; the absurdity is pretty undeniable; the pleasure, though perhaps not to all tastes, is there for the taking.
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