dear the internet,

we are preparing for our voyage up north to the scotland. should be great fun. i'm kipping at my friend evil's house and he promised a poker tournament one night. yes! two shows at our old home, the bedlam theatre, before we head across to glasgow to play at gilmore hill in the g12 theatre. coincidentally, both theatres are converted churches. come and genuflect!

we have restructured* the show after the battersea gigs, and have inserted a b narrative. this is because one of the main problems we had with the show was that it was a little too linear. hopefully, this will address that. we've also cut the girl. we love cutting girls.

that's all for now, until the interview we filmed with comedy demon is published and i point you all in its direction.

yours e-motionally,

thom tuck, esq

*as in 'not yet re-written'

Dear The Internet...

Once again it is far too long since the last post: three months or so I believe. Every time I do blog, I cross my little fingers that one of the boys will pick up the baton and BLAM! we will have a group blog. But it is not to be. So I shall have to take it upon myself to become the group's very own Crosby.

There are many things to report. First of all, we have all joined twitter. There has been much media-ing of twitter over the last month and a bit. Much of it is informed, much of it not. The not camp culminated in a stunning piece of ignorance from Humphrys on the Today programme, where he repeatedly asked someone whether they would be putting something on "the Facebook" or "the Twitter". Rock on, John. Twitter is, mainly, fun. Should you like to follow us, we are as follows: David, Humphrey, Moi, Neil, Idil and Steve.

Secondly, there have been bits and bobs of media for us over the last few weeks. We were interviewed by the lovely Jay Richardson for The List magazine to promote our gigs wot are coming up in Scotland. We were also delightfully mentioned in the Independent the other day. We were interviewed for London listings website Spoonfed just before our Battersea shows (of which, more later). Emma was a delightful interviewer and they have picked a brilliant photo. And I, of course, have been in the Catholic Post (the link is here, but it is annoyingly Flash(tm) so you need to go to page 21 to see me pouting. i don't think anyone can accuse them papists of being 2.0 friendly).

Thirdly and, i think, finally, as this is taking longer than i thought it would, the prospect of New Show (tm). We have actually got a full, hour-long show that we have shown to people and everything. Lovely, lovely people they were too. Three sold-out nights in the little room at the BAC have really helped the show on its way to being proper good and that. We know now that lots of the jokes work, that repeating "dried beef" is definitely funny, and that the plot must be ripped apart and constructed anew. Oh well. We've got two weeks before we head up to the Caledonian Hinterland. Contrary to popular belief (we've been asked this question A LOT) it is not about nazis. This may or may not have anything to do with little Ms Sukan's ever so slightly misleading publicity image for the Edinburgh shows. Hope that link works.

Right. That's that for now. I promise to post more often, as it's blatantly going to be only me.

Yours e-mmediately,

thom tuck, esq.

merry christmas to all, and to all a dark knight...

well, this is christmas... isn't it? a quick glance at the radio times corrects this flawed assumption. it is actually heath ledger season. the battle rages between the channels to plunder the deeply flawed back catalogue of everyone's favourite dead-o.

just thought i'd add an addendum to the previous post as, when i read it back, i realised i hadn't wished anyone a merry anything. well, have a merry everything won't you?

and as to verity's request... stay tuned as there will be an announcement on that front imminently.

there won't be snow in africa, because it is mainly tropical.

dear the internet,

we do seem to start all our 'little chats' with the apologies. i'm sorry that i haven't been there for you, what with all your troubles recently. but let's make like a sherpa and put all of that behind us. let us move forwards, purposefully and inexorably, into this my christmas letter.

थे फ्रिंज
i figure that ain't no classier subject heading than a hindi subject heading, right? 2008 has been a very nice year for das penny dreadfuls and there is no nicer time to be a moderately successful sketch comedy troupe* than august. like a terrible electrician, we've spent a few years on the circuit now. consequently, we actually have friends when we turn up at gigs or brookes bar. this is not necessarily a good thing. consider this. i mean, exactly.

the show we did was a step forward for us: attempting to weld our hyperkinetic style (read - mugging and voices) to a full length narrative like wot they do in die hard. what originally began as an interweaving triumvirate of stories was curtailed into one sort-of-story when we realised it would have been ninety minutes long with the original plan. and so, aeneas faversham forever was born in march this year in the bedlam theatre before popping over to glasgow. the show developed all the way up till august (the fringe draft was draft 9, i think) and beyond (we're on draft 11.2 now). it were well good and that.

थे फुतुरे
we've had a cracking year on the radio also, being transferred to radio four and in the christmas radio times and all. in fact, episode three is on tomorrow night. that's right, christmas bloody day. it's the story of marcus faversham, victorian britain's greatest actor. although it's a testament to david's performace as the best friend that everyone at light intertainment ( aren't comedy apparently**) seems to call it the alan bennett episode. tune in and see why.

after this, we're to wait to hear on a number of things as to where our next project will take us. live-wise we have kinda decided what we're doing for 2009, but i think we'll keep it under wraps for now.

अल्बुम्स ऑफ़ थे इयर
everyone else does it, so why can't i? i have four albums to recommend. boxer by the national. alas, i cannot swim by laura marling. one and counting by the wrong trousers. any other city by life without buildings. that's your last minute shopping sorted. you are welcome.

yours e-nexorably,

thom tuck, esq

*this status has been rescinded.
**this status has been rescinded.

Dear The Internet...

Or, I forgot to tell you about Episode One.

So. Here I am. There you are. Looking all sexy. Have you had your hair done? It looks lovely. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic. Oh. Don't be like that. Come back...

Well. It seems that the repeat of our BBC7 show, The Brothers Faversham, has started and we all forgot to tell you about it. How silly of us. Well, you can listen to the second episode if the fancy takes you. I think it's my favourite from the first series. And now the BBC has got all the radio stuff on iPlayer it's easier to tell your friends how to find it. If you fancy spreading the word, do.

I'll try and do a bloggle each week to tell you when the new episode is up. So you know. Incidentally, they're going to run the first series straight into the second. We're super proud of season two cos we think we've got better at doing them.

Yours e-mmediately,

thom tuck, esq.


podcast interview

Alongside the glut of generous reviews featured on the main site, there's this podcast interview from the good people from Three Weeks, who also just gave us five stars in their print daily. Huzzah!

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Aeneas Faversham Forever - The Soundtrack

Forever has a rollocking soundtrack, and I'm always being asked "what was that music?" So here's the list in show order:

The Good German - Unrecht Oder Recht
V For Vendetta - The Dominoes Fall
Stalker - Theme
Shadow Of The Colossus - Sign Of The Colossus
Pearl Harbor - December 7th
X3 - Twenty Years Ago
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - Evacuating London
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - Tia Dalma
Alias (Season Two) - Hitting The Fan
Alien vs Predator: Requiem - Main Theme
Bioshock - Welcome To Rapture
Medal Of Honor - Taking Out The Railgun
Prison Break - The Manhunt Begins
Apollo 13 - Master Alarm
White Witch Doctor - White Witch Doctor
Bioshock - Main Theme (The Ocean On His Shoulders)
Conan The Destroyer - Main Title (Riders Of Taramis)
Van Helsing - Who Are They To Judge?
I Am Legend - Evacuation
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - Dinner Is Served
Van Helsing - Attacking Brides
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - Main Theme
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - To Aslan's Camp

This time I've crowbarred some videogame music into the mix, with bits and pieces from Bioshock, Shadow Of The Colossus and Medal of Honor. And Team Dreadful is particularly pleased to get the work of Michael Giacchino into the soundtrack for the first time - it's been tricky finding a piece from Alias that suits the Victorian aspect, but if I can get Prison Break in there then anything's possible!

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five stars from fest

A five star review - and the front cover - from FEST:

Not content with joke-peddling, the Dreadfuls are adept storytellers, weaving a coherent and compelling mystery in amongst the humour. Funny walks and hammed-up accents abound, but the trio also find time for irreverence towards theatre itself.
The banter is sharp, and nothing is spared the knife – every comic situation is, like one of the more unfortunate characters, “completely murdered.”
FEST were also nice enough to treat us to a feature elsewhere inside - Worth Every Penny:
When preparing for their Victorian adventures, however, the history books are left firmly on the shelves. According to David, “A Muppet Christmas Carol is heavy source material for us - and Round the World in 80 Days,” while Humphrey adds Sherlock Holmes and Disney’s Basil the Great Mouse Detective to the list.

Even Die Hard [2] makes the cut – “It’s basically the story of Britain’s rise to industrial dominance in the latter half of the 1830s set in an airport in Chicago in the 1990s – one of the greatest Victorian stories not set in the Victorian era.”
There's even space to add to the ongoing almost-feud with Pappy's Fun Club:
Like everything with Aeneas Faversham, it’s all good spirited, though: Ker relents, “We decided to pick fights with people we like – so when we nemesis each other, we’re at least having a good time.”

Dear The Internet,

I am very disappointed in your commenting ability. Steve and I have provided you ample opportunity to put your tuppence worth in the mix and only people named Chris have been up to the challenge. Let's have a chat.

Have you seen any shows? I've seen a fair few. I think I've probably done more though, if you count Spank! and the Pleasance Press launch (Berkoff's back and he's gonna be in trouble, Hey now hey now, Berkoff's crap). What's the bestest thing you've seen?

Yours E-nnately,

thom tuck, esq

Five stars from Broadway Baby

Hurrah! The first review of the festival, and it's glowing so brightly that you might not want to look directly at (though please do look directly at it, or you will not be able to read it).

From Broadway Baby:
Whoever thought a ‘Victorian sketch show’ would work? Humphrey Ker, David Reed and Thom Tuck – The Penny Dreadfuls – that’s who, and they should be applauded for their ingenuity, comic prowess and real comedic innovation.

Something macabre is happening in the city of London. The Brotherhood have built Tower Bridge to use as a temple under the leadership of Mr Frost, who ‘puts a lot of hours in’ to being evil. People are being killed left, right and centre – for reasons, besides the aforementioned evil nature, that I didn’t quite work out (though I didn’t care). Only second-chance copper McAllister, whose first chance was spent when accidentally ignoring ‘Rule Number 1’ of policing (i.e. not shooting a child in the face), and childrens’ author Rufus Hambledon – he of Jeremy Frog (and all its sequels) fame – can save the day. [...]

An exceptional show has been created here. Not only is it at times snortingly funny, but in form, content and structure it is unlike any other sketch show that I have seen. Imagine a crime thriller inside a gothic horror which bypasses action movies and comedies of manners. Add a significant dollop of stupidness, a smattering of silly voices and some expert character comedy and you just about have Aeneas Faversham Forever.
Click through to read the whole thing.

day two

First preview down, with a nice big audience which hopefully forecasts the rest of the run.

To celebrate, here's a picture of Thom, working the Royal Mile. Though you might not be able to tell, Thom is in costume and is having some depth-perception problems.