Review: The Nimmo Twins, Normal for Norfolk 12: Fritton’s Got Talent at Norwich Playhouse

The Nimmo Twins. Credit: Will Farrow. The Nimmo Twins. Credit: Will Farrow.

Saturday, August 23, 2014
6:30 AM

The Nimmo Twins, Normal for Norfolk 12: Fritton’s Got Talent

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Norwich Playhouse

Take a map of Norfolk and a blindfold, and place a pin anywhere on the county.

Chances are that your chosen spot was name-checked in the Nimmo Twins’ clever, cutting and comically-brilliant new sketch show.

It was quickly established that Fritton’s Got Talent was to be a quizzical - and near-encyclopaedic - look at life in Nelson’s county.

Opening with a slideshow, the duo of Karl Minns and Owen Evans managed to cover topics including Anglia Square, Puppet Man and Suffolk’s inferiority within the first minute.

And the Nimmos had the audience roaring in laughter til it hurt.

Everyone was in on the joke as the rude stereotypes came in thick and fast - with King’s Lynn, Dereham and Thetford the first on a long hit list.

The pair took to the stage - for their first Norfolk shows after a five-year absence - in the guise of Norfolk county councillors.

Holding court in broad Norfolk accents, they delved into the “doolun” of the A11, the Norfolk incinerator saga and Norwich’s status as UNESCO city of literature - even though its last library burnt down.

The fortunes of Norwich City Football Club were put in the spotlight, and the EDP, Norwich Evening News and Mustard TV could not escape their merciless analysis either.

A breakneck pace was maintained during the evening - bursting with ideas - as Minns turned tracksuited single mum from the Larkman Estate for one skit, and the pair were sex advisers explaining the “Cromer sutra” for another segment.

The two-hour show made mischief with six-fingered Norfolk stereotypes, of a fear of “outsiders” and people of a simple nature.

But it was also rich in wordplay, from a pun-tastic Norfolk Lord’s Prayer (“for thine is the King’s Lynn...”) to a song on the Norfolk dating scene.

Acerbic observations about Norwich’s two MPs, unreliable bus services and NIMBYs were mixed in with inventive Norfolk forays into popular culture.

Try CSI: Norfolk and 50 Shades of Grey set in the Fine City (“I like to be humiliated and beaten/ I didn’t know you supported Norwich?”) to name a couple.

When Minns suffered sound problems in one tongue-twisting song he appeared completely at ease as he laughed, quipped and rode out the hiccup in style.

And he gave a wry smile as he teased the middle class audience with a Newmarket Road jibe.

In truth, some Norfolk villages which served as punchlines could have been replaced with any place name in the country and the jokes would still have worked.

But Minns and Evans played into the hands of an audience keen for Norfolk self-deprecation and nothing fell flat.

After all, where else would you find a stand-up routine incorporating the Elveden War Memorial, Canary Call and BBC Look East anchor Stewart White?

Minns said he was concerned about how their material would be received after a five-year absence.

On this display, they needn’t have worried.

Sam Russell

Did you see the show? What did you think? Have your say on this story online at www.edp24.co.uk.

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