Interview with Mr Twonkey, aka Paul Vickers

As he enters his tenth year at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Mr Twonkey talks to Voice about his show, his inspirations, the Fringe, and architect Joseph Van Neck.

Interview with Mr Twonkey, aka Paul Vickers

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

I’m Paul Vickers aka Mr. Twonkey. I’m a performer at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe with my new show Twonkey’s Ten Year Twitch.

How would you describe your show?

It’s a show that uses puppets, props and songs to tell far out stories. I have set pieces, which follow a path towards an unusual goal. I play with surprise and run amok with a sideshow of freakish merriment.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

I’m been performing here for ten years. It’s a great place for more ‘out there’ acts to find a home. You can do things at the fringe that only truly make sense in the fringe bubble, there’s northing else like it on earth.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

It’s bigger and its in Edinburgh I guess. It was the first of its kind which gives it a certain mood and a vibe which feels classic.

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

Ivor Cutler the Scottish poet, songwriter and humorist I felt I could do a show with his kind sprit to it. Something that takes you to a different world and opens your head up and pops things in there for the better I hope.

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

I’m a tour guide to pay the rent but I would love to perform full time and take this crazy shit around the world. I’ve heard you can do that if you are really lucky. 

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Really high up in advertising I’d like to be the guy that drops a milkshake the size of Singapore into the pacific ocean I would clean it up afterwards.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

The ghost of my grandfarther making a cottage with shells in the garden, he had no legs. Then I ran back into the garden as someone smashed a beach ball in my face. It was a red-hot summer day in Middlesborough.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events? 

Never, that’s not my bag. I'm a fantasy act. However sometimes it creeps in the back door. I drop down a carrot or two if I feel it pulling that way. Wink wink!

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work? 

Not really I don’t set out to hurt people but sometimes you slip up and say something in the moment, which could be taken the wrong way. You just have to deal with it in a fair and hopefully funny way.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less? 

A man finds unusual methods.

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

I would like to be taken back to the Brussels International Exposition of 1935 with Belgian architect Joseph Van Neck. I would like to watch over the building of the various pavilions and then visit the fair on the day of its grand opening.

Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both?

The free fringe costs less to do as the venue fees are low but some people are a bit snooty about it. It costs more money to do a paid show as you have to pay high venue fees but it can work out well if people buy tickets and a buzz builds around your show. Both ways have their pros and cons.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

Make sure you have a show that’s ready to be reviewed. Don’t come up with no ideas and nowhere to stay. You know, plan it a bit and work really hard.

When and where can people see your show?  

Twonkey’s Ten Year Twitch, Just the Tonic at the Caves – Just the Wee One. 16:10 August 1-11,13-25.

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

Twonkey’s 10 Year Twitch will be at the Just The Tonic Caves Wee One at 410pm from 1st – 25th August for tickets go to

Header Image Credit: Steve Ullathorne


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe..

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