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Many, many thanks to Katie “Bunny” Tranter who set this wordpress.com site up for Tony Lidington and Prom-Prom and took many of the photos and made several of the videos too. Please visit Katie’s website here.
MUNCH & CRUNCH – 2011-2012
Munch & Crunch is an interactive variety show all about healthy living! Featuring songs, stories, puppetry, music, magic and games and available as a static or walkabout act.
Presented by two young performers, the show can be performed outdoors from a traditional gypsy vardo or indoors from a Punch & Judy booth. The show is 50 minutes long. Flexible and versatile, the show is ideal for festivals, schools and events.
Watch the Munch & Crunch trailer here!
“We booked Munch and Crunch for Sidmouth Folk Week, where they performed for a mixed audience of children, mums and dads, and grannies and granddads. It was good to see everyone – both performers and audience – having fun together, while learning about healthy eating. “
Eddie Upton, Director, Folk South West
“I liked the bit when Bunny went in the bin because it was funny”. Oliver, 8, Westcliffe School.
“Thank you for providing our Nursery & Reception children with such an educational yet very entertaining performance of ‘Munch & Crunch’. The two performers were very enthusiastic and pitched at exactly the right level for our children. We thoroughly enjoy watching your shows and are looking forward to the next one.”- Libby Glennon, Nursery Teacher, Springwood School, Bradford.
“Munch & Crunch ticked all the right boxes – energetic, delightfully engaging, important messages about healthy living mixed with music, song, slapstick comedy and awe and wonder”. Mrs Lamoon, Year 4 teacher, Westcliffe School.
“I liked the bit when we played the games”. Jessica, Westcliffe School.
If you would like more details about the act or to make a booking please e-mail Bunny at email@example.com or Uncle Tacko! at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01626 862175.
Munch & Crunch has now finished touring and is not available for booking.
DAN LENO – THE KING’S JESTER Spring 2011
Dan Leno was the greatest Music Hall star of all time: the first stand-up comic, the best-loved pantomime dame and the world champion clog dancer with a strong line in character-based skits… he was, quite simply, the comic genius of his age and his work laid the foundations for contemporary British comedy. Billed as ‘The Funniest Man on Earth’, he created the modern pantomime role of the Dame and what is now called “stand-up comedy”.
Dan Leno blaized a trail long before Ronnie Barker’s monologues, Les Dawson’s wordplays, David Walliams’ cross-dressing, Michael Flattley & Max Wall’s feet of flame or even Chaplin’s struggling little tramp.
With live musical accompaniment, this romp through entertainment history brings the Nineteenth Century showman to life and with it, an understanding of how British comedy has evolved.
Dan Leno – The King’s Jester toured theatre venues in the north in Spring 2011. Here’s a review from Helen Brown of the Northern Echo.
If you press historical re-wind and keep your finger on the button until you get to 1863, you’ll find Dan Leno making his debut, aged 4 at the Cosmotheca Music Hall in Paddington, London. He was billed as Little George, the Infant Wonder, Contortionist and Posturer and he would go on to become not only the King’s Jester, entertaining Edward VII at Sandringham, but also the highest paid funny man in the world at the time.
Fast forward to 2011 and we find Leno-the-laughter-maker in the expert hands of the show’s author, Tony Lidington, who also performs this extraordinary story with an almost super-human energy.
Lidington introduces himself as Dan Leno at Baldwyn’s Park mental institution in March 1904, six months before his early death at the age of 43. He’s ably assisted by his doctor, an excellent Malcolm Boyle, who is obviously fond of his charge but must keep a firm hand on his patient’s madness. There are times when Boyle stops the action as Leno escapes hilariously into the audience like a wild man.
Lidington’s ebullience bulges with Dan’s spirit and this production captures the vibrancy of his life from the very beginning. “Good evening ladles and jellyspoons…” he quips to the audience before producing a boiled egg and telling his story of the boiled egg and the wasp. He goes on to show his expertise at clog dancing, story-telling; and his invention of innovative characters is pure comedy genius. He appears with great gusto, dressed as a dame in the second half to show us how he devised and performed Mother Goose and Widow Twankey. Lidington’s performance is insanely accurate and massively impressive and definitely worth travelling to see.
“Tony Lidington continues to enthrall with his echoes of the entertainers of long ago”. – The Stage
“This premiere finds Lidington’s script and solo performance meticulous” Darlington and Stockton Times
“Lidington, inhabits the soul of Leno with daring and accuracy”. The Northern Echo
JOEY – KING OF CLOWNS Autumn 2007
Joey-King of Clowns is the story of English clowning and comedy. Joseph Grimaldi was the greatest pantomimist and clown of all time: every clown is now known as Joey in his honour.
His physical and satirical humour is the foundation of all British buffoonery from Dan Leno and Stan Laurel to Basil Fawlty and Little Britain. The story is based on the Memoirs of Grimaldi edited by Boz, the pen-name of the youthful Charles Dickens.
His colourful tale is full of humour, history and emotion. With live musical accompaniment, energy and slapstick, it depicts the story of English comedy for the last 200 years, connecting music hall, Monty Python and Royston Vasey to the Georgian era.
Joey – King of Clowns toured the UK in Autumn 2007. Here is a review from Kevin Berry of The Stage.
Lidington has Gary Bridgens on stage with him as a willing stooge and in the orchestra pit is Jake Rodrigues, playing upwards of 30 bizarre instruments. The atmosphere is knockabout jollity, leavened with the melancholy in the clown’s heart.
It is a heartening entertainment and instructive. Lidington explains the development of pantomime and of physical comedy without lecturing. We learn of the origin of the term slapstick and much else. Above all, we see Grimaldi’s importance. How he absorbed many skills and traditions. How he introduced his own ideas and then influenced the entertainers who were to follow. It is a compelling performance from Lidington, admirably structured and disciplined, yet played with enormous and infectious delight.
Well done to the Georgian Theatre Royal. Producing this show is a statement of artistic intent and an affirmation of its heritage.
“This exhilarating and awe-inspiring production will make you laugh, cry and talk about the greatest clown of all time once again.” Northern Echo
“Here is a show to be admired, respected, enjoyed and cheered. Its value is immense.“ Kevin Berry, The Stage
“Tony Lidington’s portrayal of Grimaldi is simply sensational, and the essence of Joey’s remarkable genius shines out of every scene.”
Keith Newton – Evening Gazette
“I laughed, I nearly cried and a lump formed in my throat.
It was absolutely breathtaking.” Mark Beamont, Bury Free Press
“Beautifully performed with such passion and attention to detail. Very touching, clever and funny, with great interaction. Loved every minute.”
“It was absolutely sublime. Unique. We were mesmerised.”