Buskers Club at Christ’s College, Christchurch

18/01/2018 - 21/01/2018


Production Details

Returning to the World Buskers Festival for a strictly four-show run, this is going to be the show to see.  

The Topp Twins are New Zealand’s well-loved entertainers. Twin sisters with their own primetime TV series and movie, they are truly original and one of the few NZ acts which can undoubtedly be called a cultural institution.

The Topp Twins re-invent themselves on stage, changing character, musical style and gender with ease.

Armed with a guitar, mouth-harp and spoons, they deliver original songs, audience participation, comedy and burlesque innuendo in a fast-paced hilarious entertainment experience.

We approached them, and we simply asked them to do whatever they wanted as we know they will create something special for Christchurch audiences.

“A total delight and they certainly did not disappoint.” Theatreview NZ

“…much to laugh at, admire and enjoy.” The Press

Buskers Club at Christ’s College
18 – 21 January 2018

Theatre , Musical , Comedy ,

1 hr 10 mins

Like being welcomed into the warm bosom of a friendly much-loved auntie

Review by Erin Harrington 19th Jan 2018

It’s such a treat to have The Topp Twins, who deserve the mantle ‘Kiwi icons’ perhaps more than anyone else, as one of the headline acts for the 25th annual World Buskers Festival.

Saying that the Topps are seasoned professionals at the top of their game is to fall back on a sporting cliché, but it’s true. They’ve been performing for as long as I’ve been alive and they still fall into this hazy, fascinating space in which they’re embraced wholeheartedly as cultural heroes yet still remain subversive and radical.

The 70 minute show, which emphasises kiwiana, features a beautiful balance of comedy and music, with a strong emphasis upon skilful crowd work. We’re treated to three of the Topps’ best loved character duos: Mavis and Lorna from the Pakuranga Bowls Club, stern Camp Mother and sprightly Camp Leader, and debonair rural gentlemen and ace stock agents Ken and Ken. Each pair emerges from behind a backlit rice paper screen – all the better for cheeky silhouettes – to rapturous applause, then roams through the crowd, teasing and heckling, before belting out blues, folk and country numbers with vibrancy and gusto.

This show, put together especially for the festival, could be described as a sort of comic and musical ‘greatest hits’, but that doesn’t really cut it. From the beginning it feels like being welcomed into the warm bosom of a friendly much-loved auntie who’s just taken the Anzac bikkies out to cool, but there’s a few hundred of us in the large auditorium at Christ’s College, and everyone’s cheering, and these characters are like old friends, and my mum has lost half of her makeup from laughing and then we’re supposed to yodel, and why did Jools Topp just throw a lamington at that guy, and jeez Lynda Topp can spin a piece of white bread from the stage to the sound desk like a pro.

There’s a lot of vintage schtick that is classic for a reason, sharp patter, and comic riffing on topical events; tonight, Jacinda Ardern’s baby announcement gets its own song!

This is a hard show to review; if you know what you’re in for, you’ll get it in spades. If you’re on the fence and none of this makes any sense, you’ll still likely get swept up. It’s a hoot.  


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