Tom Cottle’s These Twisted Folk (1 star)

This article is from 2012

Tom Cottle’s These Twisted Folk - have asked on email

Shambolic comedy play where the only laughs are accidental

It’s not an encouraging start when the best thing you can say about a play is that they handled their mishaps well. Unfortunately, that’s about all Tom Cottle’s These Twisted Folk has going for it, and as the act becomes more polished over the course of the Fringe, even these enjoyably rough edges could be smoothed away.

Michael Twist is a retired circus performer, reminiscing about his life story from the confines of his wheelchair. As he casts his mind back, he’s joined by a supporting cast including a wandering Spanish troubadour, an ignorable Dutch landlady and a flirtatious ringmaster’s wife.

Each character has about one good gag apiece, but these are hidden under masses of missed punch lines. The show’s main innovation is the use of static costumes which leading man Cottle (an erstwhile member of sketch group Comedy Bitch) brings to life himself, but it’s very telling that the biggest laughs of the hour come from his fumbled attempts to keep them under control.

Underbelly Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 26 Aug (not 14), 10.45pm, £9 (£8).

Tom Cottle's These Twisted Folk

  • 1 star

Michael Twist was born with baby girl's hands. Sad! Has this affected his life? Yes! Join this 87-year-old charmer, Tom Cottle - 'Comedy Gold' ★★★★★ (, 'You can feel a TV contract beckoning' ★★★★ (TimeOut) - at his flat (The Iron Belly) for lemon bonbons and an evening of twisted tales and strange…

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