The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue HAM (UK)

Old Boy’s Theatre, Christ’s College, Christchurch

11/01/2019 - 20/01/2019

The Spiegeltent in Christchurch, Christchurch

13/01/2019 - 19/01/2019

World Buskers Festival 2019 | BREAD & CIRCUS

Production Details

The legendary terpsichorean twosome make their New Zealand debut.  If it is true that every story needs plot and narrative, it is fortunate indeed that this has both, which means if you’re looking for a tale, one that includes the story telling devices of plottery and narrativery then this one could be just for you.  There’ll be props, and, oh yes, quite a lot of music, and then of course there are the sandals, oh those sandals…

The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue simply have to be seen to be believed. They are the without a doubt the maddest, silliest, stupidest, cleverest, strangest and everything else-ist as well as the funniest double act of comedians on the circuit.

They’re a prop/music driven double act, professionally dancing about and holding up words and pictures since 2004, though they’ve been enthusiastic amateurs for much longer.

OLD BOYS THEATRE, Christs College, Christchurch
11 – 20 Jan 2019

The Spiegeltent
13 & 19 Jan 2019

Theatre , Physical , Comedy ,

55 mins

Madly chaotic act fully appreciated

Review by Tony Ryan 13th Jan 2019

Different, original, hilarious, fast-paced, surprising, mad, cheesy, slapstick – we’ve taken our seats at another Buskers Festival show without any real idea of what to expect, and those are just a few of the words that later come to mind about Raymond and Mr Timpkins (Andy Heydon and Tony Salmon) in their revue called Ham.

Another mime act (mostly) – this one, from the UK, is full of the silliest stuff imaginable. Again, so hard to describe without spoilers, but the imagination, timing and preparation that has gone into this act is almost frightening when I think of its speed and complexity. If there is a slip or mistake, I certainly don’t notice as hundreds of music clips, props (mostly words on signs), references, sound effects and story-line flash by in a sort of Laurel-and-Hardy-on-speed montage.

It’s very hard to keep up, but once we’re into the swing of this exceptionally silly, silly, silly show, the pace becomes part of the comedy. We laugh so much that we miss a few things. Others in the audience remain focused and undemonstrative in order to stay on board, but the reception at the end is as fully appreciative as this madly chaotic act deserves. 

There’s a very British flavour to the content, style and feel of Ham, from vaudeville to 1950s radio and TV comedy, from terraced housing back alleys to a quintessentially British holiday caravan, and almost all the songs (heard only in tiny clips following one-another with breathless speed) are easily recognisable UK classics from the last seven-or-so decades.

Few of the songs will ever seem the same again because their lyrics are changed forever now that this irreverent duo has forced us to hear them as something else. Beyond the mainly British content, Luciano Pavarotti singing the words “E di pensier” from a Rigoletto aria, juxtaposed with a visual prop that made it sound like “Elephants, Yeah!”, will make it impossible to hear again without a smile crossing my face.

This is also Raymond and Mr Timpkins’s New Zealand debut, and they managed to modify one or two gags to make them locally relevant, so that references to Brian Tamaki and Mike Hoskings really do hit the mark with this audience – it seems that those gentlemen have no supporters (here tonight).

From time-to-time Robert Farnon’s Jumping Bean sets the tone for a sort of Steptoe & Son era and mood. Perhaps this central section of the show, where an element of plot and narrative becomes more prominent, loses a bit of momentum, but the different style of gags, corny and old-fashioned, although no less humorous, is a welcome opportunity to catch our breath before the racy madness starts again and builds to a final whirlwind of hugely clever musical and visual gags.

Once we adjust to the style and nature of this show, we roll with it and it’s a very entertaining romp from start to finish; the sort of thing I’m very glad to have encountered.

Do give it a try – you’ll be giggling for days after.


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