The endearing Barry Twyford, unfortunate form-filler for Crackwhore and Mingepiece Market Research LTD, found himself at the Stand cast adrift and form-bound to deliver exactly 55 minutes of stand-up.
Sealed inside a high-viz jacket and armed with only a clipboard full of deliciously Geordie smut, Simon Donald’s Twyford universe unfolded (and imploded) in real time through increasingly desperate Skype calls to a bristling menagerie of Donald creations, including a beleaguered version of the comic himself.
Donald’s show conjured up the surreal, unpredictable atmosphere of the best of his Viz years
Hearts went out to the hapless, rampantly nervous Barry as he frantically tried to keep the wheels on in a clever show that deftly combined a bizarre, occasionally murderous supporting cast with good old-fashioned Geordie filth.
With a meta awareness of itself, bawdy local observations and a literal dropped-mic ending, Donald’s show conjured up the surreal, unpredictable atmosphere of the best of his Viz years, as the trembling Twyford did his best to make the audience laugh while counting down every anxious minute of his unwittingly contractually-obligated set.
Wherever Barry Twyford isn’t meant to be next time, his audience can rest assured they’re in the safest hands in market research administration. 55 minutes of comedy is what they’ll get, even if – especially if – it kills him.
Leigh Venus at The Stand Comedy Club, 17 January 2016
Originally published in Narc Magazine