Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD
Penny Dreadfuls' Thom Tuck's 2011 Edinburgh show examines Disney sequels
This article is from 2011.
Just as the emotional yearning of The Little Mermaid reinvigorated animated cinema on its release in 1989, Thom Tuck hopes his analysis of that movie’s follow-ups, plus various other Disney sequels, spin-offs and shameless House of Mouse cash-ins has a similar impact. The poster for Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD has already provoked a disturbed reaction in at least one journalist and he begins his hour with a physical display that’s likely to bring tears to the eyes of both young and old.
In between discussion of Lady and the Tramp 2, in which a puppy’s desire to run wild is never once tempered with warnings about rabies, Tuck will be referencing moments of personal heartbreak in his narrative, ‘wildly varying the tone. The Disney bits are the Trojan horse of the show, the heartbreak is the little soldiers that get out and slaughter people.’ This unnecessary, somewhat complex relationship with Disney sequels began when an ex-girlfriend named Charlotte brought another of his former girlfriends (also named Charlotte) The Little Mermaid trilogy box set. Such are the tangled webs Tuck weaves.
‘We watched the first one again, and it was great. So we watched the sequel and it was bloody awful. And then we felt we had to watch the third and it was brilliant! So it feels like an amusing public service to be telling people which to watch and which to stay away from.’ Having temporarily forsaken the rough and tumble homoeroticism of a sketch trio, he’s ‘curbing the physicality, all that gurning and those faces I have to pull. Of course, there’ll be some of that, but hopefully it’s well-written. Me words, me words: I’m really enjoying the lyrical aspects of all this writing.’
Directing a couple of other shows at the Fringe – Nish Kumar and Tom Neenan as The Gentlemen of Leisure and Meryl O’Rourke’s Bad Mother – Tuck reveals that the Dreadfuls are also developing a new kids’ show for television. The need to secure merchandising before completing the script has renewed his admiration for Disney, reinforcing that ‘a good company shouldn’t be moral’.
So he urges punters to ‘forget the other two. I’m the entertainingly bendy one, the one who can put his legs behind his head. I’ve already begun thinking about my next show, which will be about why I stopped doing gymnastics. My favourite thing was the asymmetric bars. But I was told it wasn’t a man’s event at the Olympics, so I got upset and took up swimming instead. Next year, I’m going to have the bars on stage and literally flip out!’
Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD, Pleasance Dome, Bristo Square, 0131 556 6550, 6–29 Aug (not 21), 8.10pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 3–5 Aug, £5.