The Nimmo Twins get Norwich Playhouse laughing after major refurbishment
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
The newly-revamped Norwich Playhouse has reopened this week with a sold-out run of the latest show by comedy duo The Nimmo Twins. They chat to arts correspondent Emma Knights.
They have been regular performers on the Norwich Playhouse stage for nearly two decades and think of the venue as a second home, so it is quite fitting that Norfolk comedy geniuses The Nimmo Twins are the first act to entertain audiences in the newly revamped theatre.
The hilarious duo - Karl Minns and Owen Evans - are performing The Country Cords, an updated version of their show The Country Members, at the theatre until Monday. Here they chat about the theatre's new look following its £70k refurbishment, why the venue in so special, and the fun they have taking to the stage.
What do you think of the new-look Norwich Playhouse?
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Karl: 'Well it's incredibly green and it's incredibly clean which is lovely...It's lush and beautiful, it's got a lovely new car smell in here! You can't smell this at home but it's like being in a new car, it's like being at DFS! A lovely smell of carpets and new upholstry. It's lovely. It's a wonderful, wonderful space and it was long overdue for a refurbishment because it's one of the jewels in the crown of Norwich's theatre community.'
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What does Norwich Playhouse mean to you and what is it like being a performer there?
Owen: 'It's a lovely intimate space. It's a 300 seater but a lot of the audience prefer to see us here because of the intimacy. It feels like you can be just speaking to a particular person.'
Karl: 'There's not a bad seat in the house. Even in the back row you still feel like you are very, very close, On the really good nights here it's wonderful, the atmosphere and the laughter is amazing. This is our 18th year of playing here. We've tried to work out how many shows we've done here, and we think between 150 and 200, so for us it's a second home really.'
What can people expect from the latest version of your show?
Owen: 'Same old!'
Karl: 'Ah haha! Same new!...If you've been aware of Norfolk news and you know Norfolk people, this is the place for you to come and laugh at your own attitudes and the attitudes of other Norfolk people.'
Can you give us a preview of some of the sketches?
Karl: 'We have a relegation song. We have a sketch about the council's roads policy in Norwich which makes it impossible to drive anywhere!'
Owen: 'We have a lovely sketch about welcoming people to Norfolk, giving them advice on how to fit in in the county!'
Karl: 'There's a bit about Greater Anglia, basically anything that stands out in Norfolk we poke fun at it!'
How does this show compare to the previous version of the show?
Karl: 'I've got 15 minutes of new material which we are going to try out and drop in over the run. Obviously if it dies hard on the first two nights it will never be seen again!...There's a couple of new songs, one is about Holkham nudists.'
What do you think is the secret to The Nimmo Twins' success?
Karl: 'When we first started someone came up to us and said, 'People don't like comedy in Norfolk, you won't do very well here, they don't like it, they don't like laughing,' and what we have found is people do like laughing. The show is funny, we think, so I think that's why they keep coming back, and also I don't think they think the characters on stage are them. It's always the guy up the road or in the next town, so they go, 'look at them idiots!,' and actually it is them as much as it is anyone else! It's all of us.'
What do you most love about being The Nimmo Twins?
Owen: 'It's nice making people laugh. On a big night here it's just a joy to make people laugh, especially about their home town or about themselves or about their family or whatever...When people are laughing it is almost as if they are letting go...you let go of all the emotions and you are focussing on that moment. It's a wonderful experience to stand up there and engender that in people.'
Do you have any particularly favourite jokes?
Owen: 'Novelty gorilla hatstand is one of my favourites!'
Karl: 'Hahaha! Yeah. There's a parody of Kraftwerk I do called Housework - which is this guy from Aylsham who is a single dad who thinks he's Kraftwerk and his local pub in Aylsham is called the Folded Arms - which I really enjoy. It's the small detail in the song, but it gets such a big laugh every night because it just sums up so much about Norfolk. There are gags that are far funnier than that but we can't possibly reveal them! Not a chance!'
The Nimmo Twins are at Norwich Playhouse until Monday. The show is sold out - call for possible returns on 01603 598598. The show will also be at Norwich Theatre Royal on October 13 and 14. Visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call 01603 630000.