The Nimmo Twins - Normal For Norfolk 10

JON WELCH Norwich Playhouse


> Norwich Playhouse

Drop their name outside Norfolk - actually, make that Norwich - and you'll almost certainly get blank looks.

Yet in their home city, Karl Minns and Owen Evans, aka the Nimmo Twins, are comedy heroes whose annual Normal for Norfolk show is one of the highlights of the year.

A mix of songs, sketches and monologues poking fun at many of the absurdities of Norfolk life, it's a word-of-mouth phenomenon that is due to attract several thousand people over the course of this year's run.

Imagine The Two Ronnies, but with comedy Norfolk accents, jokes about local TV presenters and the kind of language you definitely don't hear on Look East.

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Fittingly, one of the highlights of this show is a homage to the late, great Ronnie Barker, updating and localising his famous Mastermind sketch in which the contestant's specialist subject is answering the question before the one just asked.

Normal for Norfolk is always topical, and although this hasn't been a vintage year for local news stories, a writer like Minns doesn't need much to fire his imagination.

Delia Smith's infamous “Let's be having you!” rallying call and the antics of Lotto lout Michael Carroll are among the subjects covered.

Then, of course, there are the characters, welcomed like old friends by Nimmos' fans.

They're all here: straight-talking city councillors Vern Gurney and Ken Steggles with their flipcharts, daft acronyms and false moustaches; sexually-liberated single mum She Go; and bad-boy rappers Costessey Posse boasting about their Asbos in their new guise as The Cobbles.

Norfolk singer-songwriter Billy Boy B***ocks also makes an appearance with his heartfelt ballad about BBC weathergirl Julie Reinger.

She's not the only local TV personality to feature in Billy's set: another song reveals her BBC colleague Jim Bacon's little-known weekend job, as well as the pitfalls of visiting Stewart White and Kevin Piper, the whipping boy of this year's show.

A sketch featuring Minns as Nelson attempting to claim compensation for his various injuries is fantastic, and Evans' appearance as a dead Norwich cobbler whose peace has been shattered by the arrival of the Chapelfield mall is touching and sad.

Another triumph for the Twins.