Twonkey's Mumbo Jumbo Hotel
An unforgettable journey into an entertaining piece of old nonsense
Paul Vickers in his guise as Mr Twonkey the storyteller certainly provides the best value, pound-for-pound, of weirdness anywhere on the Fringe. His amiable whimsy, for which he has a small but devoted following, is peppered with songs about, say, Santa going on an opium binge and ending up with nothing but broken badminton racquets to give away.
His tale of a hotel threatened with redevelopment is only a tiny portion of the hour and is of no real consequence. Instead, he mainly messes about in an endearingly shambolic way with The Ship's Wheel of Psychic Knickers and a parade of nightmarish puppets. That one of these puppets can identify brands of brandy by smell suggests that alcohol might be powering the show.
The sort of people who like Captain Beefheart are likely to love Twonkey, and the converse is also true. It's pretty much a load of old nonsense with props and songs, so those looking for coherence or jokes should steer well clear. Towards the end he laments, 'we're going to have to live with these memories for the rest of our lives'. He's not wrong: for good or ill you won't soon forget a visit to Twonkey.
Sweet Grassmarket, until 28 Aug (not 16, 23), 9pm, £6.50 (£5).