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In Between The Inbetweeners

10 Aug

© Bwark Productions

It’s hard to miss the current PR onslaught for the new Inbetweeners movie. But did you know that there are a few TVO connection with the film and its cast? Please allow us to enlighten you…

First up is a connection which we’d probably categorize as ‘Type A': the Second Unit director of the Inbetweeners 2 movie, Spencer Millman, was also the producer of The Mighty Boosh.

(We assume that Spencer’s experience of  keeping the Boosh gang under control may have come in useful on this latest project too!)

Next is a TVO connection with Channel 4 show Friday Night Dinner, which stars actor Simon Bird (Will from The Inbetweeners). We spotted that Laurie Rose is the Director of Photography on the latest series. Rose is director Ben Wheatley‘s ‘go to’ DOP for most of his productions, many of which feature a bevy of TVO folk.  What’s more, series 3 of Friday Night Dinner also included two further TVO faces, in the shape of Paul Kaye and Dan Skinner. If you missed them, you can still watch all of the series 3 episodes on 4oD.

And finally, a connection from a year ago, in the shape of a short film called Straw Donkey. We covered it at the time, but for those of you with a short memory, the film features TVO people  Tony WayLaura Patch and Barunka O’Shaughnessy, alongside Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas (Simon from the show). It also includes a cameo from Justin Edwards too, just for good measure. If you missed it, take a look below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W5ewBP1SOI

Luxury Gallery, Ooh-Yeah!

1 Aug

Suck my beans! Luxury Comedy officially launched last night, and with Episode Two now on 4oD, there’s still lots we have to share with you as the series progresses.

© Dave Brown / Channel 4

© Dave Brown / Channel 4

For starters, there’s our making of featurette: a rough-n-ready rumble-tumble through the madness of filming Luxury Comedy.  TVO hung around for four very different days on set and highlights from the organised chaos will be seen very soon.

There’s also a competition coming later today, and a few more surprises to come – including our own behind the scenes photo galleries.  But it’s only right and proper that we begin such proceedings with the official photography, lovingly crafted by the incredible Dave Brown and the genius that is Nigel Coan. Enjoy, and keep coming back for more!

Obviously, we’re aware that, given TVO is read in 161 different countries at last count, that a large number of you have no access to Channel 4.  In that case, we heartily recommend you order Series 1 and Series 2 on dvd from The Velvet Onion Amazon Store now!

Coogan’s Run On Gold

28 Jul

© Sky Atlantic

Some of you may have seen Steve Coogan – The Inside Story on UKTV GOLD last Saturday evening – a look back at Steve Coogan‘s comedy career, with contributions from Reeves and Mortimer, Ben Miller, Kevin Eldon, John Thomson, Mark Williams, Matt Horne,  Julia Davis and many others.

Following on from this, UKTV GOLD is hosting Summer Nights of Coogan – every weekend from 9pm during August they will be showing a variety of shows from Steve Coogan, including I’m Alan Partridge, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Dr Terrible’s House of Horrible, The Trip, Paul Calf Video Diary, Coogan’s Run, Saxondale and Live Shows, so it really is a variety pack of Steve Coogan TV.

UKTV GOLD can be found on Sky channel 110 or Virgin 126.

Steve was a guest on Radio 2’s Steve Wright in the Afternoon on Thursday to talk about the UKTV GOLD shows – the same day Noel Fielding was on talking about Luxury Comedy 2. Catch up here, Noel is on at – 01:38:05 and Steve is on at – 02:13:20.

Don’t forget you can stock up on all your favourite Steve Coogan titles at TVO Store.

An Early Look At Luxury 2

24 Jul

© Channel 4

Last week we were lucky enough to get a sneaky peek at the new series of Luxury Comedy. So without giving away any spoilers, what can we expect when it finally hits our screens on 31st July?

In interviews about the new series, Noel Fielding has been pretty open about his decision to move away from the sketch show format of series 1, towards a more narrative programme structure with a beginning, middle and an end to each episode. He says it’s because he’s a story-teller at heart, and it’s what he does best. This change of structure is certainly one of the most noticeable differences between the two series. So does it work?

Luxury Comedy is Noel’s stand up in visual form. That’s not to do it down; the fact that anyone has managed to capture the fantastical mayhem that goes on inside Fielding’s mind is impressive enough. Noel’s stand up material is at its best when allowed to slowly weave its shapes, layer upon layer, over a period of time. Stories unfold, characters evolve and concepts crystallise through repetition. By contrast, on the occasions I’ve seen him perform short slots on crowded comedy bills, his ideas don’t always have time to develop. This is not a man for the rat-tat-tat of machine-gun punchlines.

In the same way, expanding his TV ideas into 30-minute stories gives them proper form, allowing the viewer to step inside, appreciate their complexities and get carried along with the narrative. These are ideas rich enough for full episodes; and to reduce each of them to a sketch of a few minutes would underplay them. For me, then, the new format isn’t just about telling stories – it’s about telling strange stories much better.

© Channel 4

The different characters whom we encounter across the series are now part of each week’s story, which gives them purpose and makes the interaction between them feel genuine. The relationships between the characters are one of the aspects of the new series that gives the show its heart. This is no longer a disjointed collection of strange misfits; they’re friends, neighbours, and occasional enemies – as the story requires.

The friendship between the main four – Noel, Dolly, Andy and Smooth, allows for a solid dynamic at the centre of the action. The series 2 versions of the core team feel more ‘human’ and rounded, and as a result more sympathetic than before. Noel, in particular, presents a very different on-screen persona to anything we’ve seen from him previously: awkward, eager to please and uncool, he’s the Howard to Dolly’s preening Vince. Devoid of Howard Moon’s pomposity, however, this Noel is a character with whom we empathise, not just the one we laugh at.

Noel has said that he and Nigel spent longer writing the second series, and this comes across. I loved the first series, but there are more funnier moments in series 2 (based on the two episodes we saw). The writing’s sharp, the physical comedy is hilarious, and the characters are beautifully honed and gloriously wonky at the same time. Look out for star turns throughout from a whole host of TVO faces, including Richard Ayoade, Steve Oram, Dave Brown, Rich Fulcher, Arnab Chanda, Tania Wade, Barunka O’Shaughnessy, Stuart Silver, Simon Farnaby and others.

© Channel 4

This series is arguably the most self-aware output that we’ve ever seen from Fielding, with a number of knowing references to the public reaction that series 1 generated. He’s said that it’s a natural reaction to criticism – you try to get in there first before anyone else does. And it works well in this context, tethering the strange Luxury world to our own experience from time to time (thereby making it more relateable), and imbuing the series with a large helping of humility which, one hopes, the cynics out there will respond positively to.

Added to all of that, Luxury Comedy is still a fabulous feast for the eyes: the distinctive day-glo sets, wardrobe, make-up and animation all combine to create a uniquely visual world. Huge credit to Nigel Coan and his production team for putting it all together; you can see that it’s a labour of love in every single scene.

So will the rest of the world like it? I hope so. If people enjoyed the Boosh and the naysayers can get over their disproportionately extreme reaction to series 1, they would like this. Genuinely funny, beautifully magical and full of heart – what’s not to love?

Don’t forget to tune in: Luxury Comedy series 2 airs at 10pm on E4 on 31st July. For the less patient amongst you, episode 1 is available to view from TODAY –  a whole week early, on 4oD here.

St Albans Welcomes The Baron & Philomena

1 May

The Baron, the short film directed by Gareth Tunley, starring Tom Meeten and written by both of them, will be shown on Saturday (3rd May) as part of the St Albans Film Festival. The film also stars Steve Oram, Steven Evans and Barunka O’Shaghnessy, with music by Waen Shepherd and Nick Gillespie (Sightseers) as Director of Photography, so plenty of TVO connections there!

The film will be screened alongside 18 other films as part of the Programme of Main Shorts. This is divided into two parts – Beauty and Futility – and The Baron is in the ‘Futility’ section. Entry to see all the films, from 3pm to 7pm, is a tiny £8, so it is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Philomena starring Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench will be shown at 7.30pm. The film has a special relationship with St Albans as the real Philomena lives there. Tickets for this are £6 – £8.

The Awards Ceremony and Closing Party takes place on Sunday 4th from 7.30pm until late. Tickets for this are £20 and include entry to the ceremony and party featuring Cassette Boy Vs DJ Rubbish, or for £10 you can attend just the party. Tom Meeten is nominated for the Best Actor award, so it might be worth going to both.

For information on times, tickets, venues and the rest of the extensive line-up for the Festival, take a look at the Programme.

If you can’t make it to St Albans and have not seen The Baron yet, you can watch it below.

Toyaaaaaaaah!

28 Jan
© Toyah Willcox

© Toyah Willcox

Actress and post-punk legend Toyah Willcox has been confirmed to star in Steve Oram‘s directorial debut, Aaaaaaaah!

We first told you about the film a few weeks ago, after hearing it discussed in hushed tones for some time, but the news of Toyah’s casting came to us twice over yesterday evening – first via Oram himself at Julian Barratt’s live show, then via Toyah’s web-master as the news was revealed on her official website.

Typically oddball, the film will contain no spoken dialogue, with the cast – Oram, Tom MeetenJulian Barratt, Tony Way, Waen Shepherd, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Hannah Hoeskra and now, Toyah Willcox, will communicate like monkeys.

Low-budget and self-financed, the film will also be produced by Andy Stark (Sightseers), and Steve has promised “lots of inappropriate sex and violence”.

Oram and Meeten will play marauding characters who encroach into the hostile territory of the kitchen, and Barratt is the former alpha-male who, now deposed, lives in the garden.

It sounds like a surreal treat, of course, so the addition of Ms Willcox to the project is the icing on the cake.  For the uninitiated, Toyah first became famous as an actress at the height of the punk movement, before forming her own band and recording a number of smash hits such as I Want To Be FreeThunder In The Mountains, It’s A Mystery and Brave New World.  Imagine a cross between Siouxsie Sioux, David Bowie and Yoko Ono, and you’re not too far off.

Going solo in 1985, Toyah continues to record music to this day, with 15 studio albums and a number of critically acclaimed side projects to her name, plus regular sell-out concert tours.  She’s also been a lifelong influence on several TVO regulars – most notably Alice Lowe, who based the short film Junglophilia on the singer’s 80s excesses.

We can’t wait to find out more.  Until then, revisit Junglophilia – directed by Jacqueline Wright and co-starring Barunka O’Shaughnessy – below.

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Three

3 Jan

If you’ve previously taken a mosey through Part One and Part Two of our Review of 2013, you’ll already be aware that it’s been a busy old year in Onion Land. July to September was no exception, with news, reviews, new shows and live performances from both our regulars and the new names on our roster.

So here are the best bits from the third quarter of the year – hand-picked from over 700 news stories across 2013, and jam-packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike. Enjoy.

JULY

The month began with the release of Dan Clark‘s debut album, Dan Clark & The Difficult Three, which had been funded via a successful Pledge Music campaign. Combining genuinely funny lyrics with proper tunes played by a bona fide band, the record offered fans of Clark’s musical comedy an opportunity to re-live some of his live show classics and enjoy some newer compositions. For a wee taster, here below is a live recording of ‘Don’t Kiss Me’ (and if you fancy buying a copy of the album, head on over here):

We also featured a series of introductions to the TVO-recommended artists you could see at 2013’s Edinburgh Fringe. We intentionally mixed up the folk who we already write about with the people who we define as “beyond the Onion”; those featured included Colin Hoult, Tony Law,  Paul FootSpank, Joey PageAisling Bea, Late Night Gimp Fight, Tim Fitzhigham, Jonny & The Baptists (+ Jonny Donahoe), Pete Heat and Glen Wool.

On 19th July the world of comedy sadly lost one of its pioneers, in the shape of Mel Smith. Whilst Smith’s contribution to modern comedy is undeniable, we can also claim a link between him and the TVO family, with Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthew’s first TV sketches being written for Alas, Smith And Jones. You can watch one of them below:

In terms of new TV and film projects, this month saw the release of Ben Wheatley‘s hotly-anticipated follow-up to Sightseers, the psychedelically historical A Field In England, which launched simultaneously in cinemas, on TV and on DVD on 5th July.

Filming also began on the second series of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, and the Marmite-like TV adaptation of Graham Linehan’s Count Arthur Strong also hit our screens. Chris O’Dowd continued with his world domination of the airwaves with a role in the part-improvised US sitcom Family Tree:

Finally, fans of The Mighty Boosh got all hot and bothered over Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt‘s first live performance together since 2010 when the pair performed at The Barbican at a concert to honour the musician, Beck. Expect a bit more of the Boosh boys down below (honestly not as rude as it sounds)…

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Be Comically Challenged By Two TVO Folk

23 Nov

© United Agents

Two TVO faces will be appearing tomorrow at LOCO’s series of talks about challenging comedy. Barunka O’Shaughnessy and Jacqueline Wright are two of the speakers at the event which is taking place at Hackney Attic, Hackney Picturehouse in London.

Co-hotsed by LOCO and Underwire Film Festival, Challenging Comedy offers a packed afternoon of discussions, revelations, trade secrets and live workshops which explore the ways in which women writer-performers challenge conventional ways of looking at others, and of presenting themselves.

The session runs from midday tomorrow – so get your skates on! – until 5pm (with drinks afterwards) and tickets are £25, which includes lunch.

The full list of guest speakers includes:

Filmmaker Becky Brand (SUPERSTAR ROLE MODEL, THE CAMPAIGNER)
Costumer designer Claire Finlay (NIGHTY NIGHT, GAVIN & STACEY, HIM & HER)
2013 Fringe First award winner Bryony Kimmings (SUPERSTAR ROLE MODEL, SEX IDIOT, 7 DAY DRUNK).
Writer/Performer Barunka O’Shaughnessy (SCHOOL OF COMEDY, HUNDERBY, BEEHIVE)
Writer/Performer/Producer Poppy Roe (THIS WAY OUT)
Director Jacqueline Wright (OUT OF WATER, LIFESPAM, STIFFY).

For more information about the event, including the schedule for the afternoon (which looks fascinating, by the way)  take a look at this.  And to purchase tickets click here.

 

A Glimpse Behind The Boosh

26 Oct

© Proud Camden

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, most of you will by now be aware that Dave Brown’s behind-the-scenes photos of The Mighty Boosh have become an exhibition, Behind the Boosh, which is currently showing at Proud Camden.  A few of our gang were lucky enough to be at the opening night; here’s a summary of what it’s all about from Velveteer Mog:

© Mog / The Velvet Onion

The opening night of Behind the Boosh was buzzing. The gallery was full of friends and fans, including the Mayor of Camden (!), and a bevy of TVO-connected folk such as Noel Fielding, Julia Davis, Tom Meeten, Steve Oram, Arnab Chanda, Nigel Coan, Barunka O’Shaughnessy and Mr Bingo - plus Dave Brown of course.

You may feel like you’ve seen a significant chunk of Behind the Boosh reproduced in the various newspapers and websites that have been writing about the show. Trust me, it’s worth seeing the pictures in the flesh if you can.

The images themselves are undeniably aesthetically pleasing, and all the more so in larger dimensions than the recent online coverage has provided. But more than that, the photographs really come to life when viewed in the physical form: from the gentle undulations of the photographic paper beneath the glass of the frames to the signature delicately scratched onto the bottom right hand corner of every shot, it lends the images a warmth and authenticity that feels just right for the Boosh. It’s something you simply don’t get from a computer screen. The real life photographs present personal glimpses into their world as opposed to being just a visual report of something that happened.

© Dave Brown

Some of the photographs are so familiar they’ve become synonymous with the Boosh ‘brand'; it’s odd to think that someone actually took them. Others have never been seen before, and for those of us who are familiar with the TV show’s visual history, it’s these which have the greatest initial impact. An ambiguously moody shot of Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt in Buxton, which draws you in and holds you there, being a case in point.

Some of the photos depict the Boosh as a modern day rock band on tour: skinny jeans, tousled hair, stages, tour buses. By contrast, the black and white images from behind the scenes of the TV show have a timeless quality about them – the costumes, the intense conversations and the camera and lighting equipment that frames the shots makes them feel like they could have been taken in the early days of television.

© Dave Brown

Across the exhibition we get to see The Mighty Boosh in all its colours and shapes: the daftness and the the seriousness, the joy and the boredom, the camaraderie and the loneliness.

Throughout, their personalities come across as human, likeable and open for scrutiny. The result of the photographer being a trusted part of the story, one suspects. Dave’s absence from the images is the obvious downside of this arrangement, however.

The only complaint one could make about the exhibition is that it ends too soon. When we came to the final picture we were left wanting more; as if we’d been offered a window into the fascinating world of the Boosh rather than being told the full story.  We live in hope for a part 2!

For more photos from the opening night visit Proud’s Facebook page. Behind the Boosh is running at Camden Proud until 1st December, so there’s still time to get yourself down there.

Vote For The Baron!

11 Oct
© Gareth Tunley

© Gareth Tunley

Last month we told you about the digital release of a new short film featuring Tom Meeten, called The Baron.

If you were at the Mighty Boosh’s recent gig at The Pleasance, you’ll have seen Tom in character as The Baron (clue; he was the one who kept himself tucked in).

A long-standing live favourite (also appearing in short-lived Channel 4 show Blunder), the character has been reimagined as a gothic comic drama via Tom Meeten and director Gareth Tunley.

Co-starring Steve OramBarunka O’Shaughnessy and Stephen Evans, it also features music from Waen Shepherd and photography from Sightseers cinematographer Nick Gillespie. Quite a stellar cast and crew, then, so it’s no surprise the film is a delight.

Now The Baron has been entered into the’ Driven Creativity Competition 2013, a UK scheme that rewards inspiring and driven creativity (various media). It recognises not only the aesthetic qualities of entries, but also the innovation and drive that went into creating each of them.

To vote for The Baron, click here (you simply rate the film via the simple star rating system).  On this page you can also see Tunley’s explanation for why he believes that the film would be a worthy winner. As he says: “With a budget of just £500 we faced many obstacles: an arduous night shoot without HMI lights meant we had to innovate every shot to make it work.” We think you’ll agree that the end result is pretty impressive!

If you’ve yet to see it, you can watch The Baron in full below.

Tough Crowd On The Move

24 Sep

Dave Brown‘s exhibition of intimate comedy portraits, Tough Crowd, will be leaving its current home in Norwich and heading to North Wales next month.

© Dave Brown

The exhibition will be moving to Oriel Colwyn from 21st October, and it’ll remain there until 4th January 2014. The collection includes stunning images of a number of big name comedians, including a bevvy of TVO regulars: Alice LoweArnab ChandaBarunka O’ShaughnessyDan ClarkDolly WellsJoey PageJulia DavisJulian BarrattKevin EldonKim NobleNeil ColeNoel FieldingRich FulcherRichard AyoadeSarah KendallSteve OramTom Meeten and Tony Law.

There will be limited edition prints on sale in aid of Afrikids, so there’s good reason to get yourself down there and part with your cash. If you can’t make it in person, the prints are also available on the Afrikids website.

Oriel Colwyn can be found upstairs at Theatr Colwyn, and admission to the show is free. For more information about the venue visit its website.

However, if Wales feels a bit too westerly for you and you haven’t yet caught Tough Crowd during its stint in Norwich, there’s still time to experience it at Flint Hair on Benedict Street and Fabulous Frames on Upper St Giles Street before it moves. Its Norwich run finishes on 12th October.

Don’t forget that you can also see Dave’s brilliant photos of The Boosh at Proud Camden, London NW1 from 24th October to 1st December. It’s not yet on the venue’s website, but it’s definitely happening.

The Baron Is Unleashed

24 Sep

The Baron - a short film by Tom Meeten and Gareth Tunley - is now available to view online.

© Gareth Tunley & Tom Meeten

Inspired by the character Tom used to frequently bring to life on stage (and in C4 sketch show Blunder), the short co-stars Steve OramBarunka O’Shaughnessy and Stephen Evans.  It also features music from Waen Shepherd and photography from Sightseers cinematographer Nick Gillespie.  

All in all, it’s an impressive lineage for a delightful short film that we’ve been itching to share with you since we caught a preview many moons ago.

Now you can download the tale of a downtrodden office worker dreaming of wreaking revenge in SD, HD or even a mobile variant via Gareth Tunley’s vimeo page, so get on over there and savour its delights, which you can also see below.

Onion Selling

16 Sep

Whilst TVO appears to be in a ‘proper telly’ lull as we await a few big name shows coming soon, there’s no shortage of Onion faces cropping up on our screens thanks to the world of ad-breaks.

© Reed.co.uk

© Reed.co.uk

Such is the fickle nature of the acting profession – and stand-up comedy for that matter – every once in a while, TVO regulars crop up in commercials.

Whilst some may baulk at the notion of talented people turning up in adverts, let us remind you that, much like voiceover work, it pays well, doesn’t take long, and adds to the portfolio.  And hey, if it’s good enough for John Cleese, Dawn French, Kylie Minogue and Kevin Bacon, to name but a few big names who succumb to acting in ads, then who are we to complain.   Plus… it gets our good friends on the tellybox when we least expect it!

In the past, we’ve rounded up a number of commercials featuring so many faces of Onion Land, and the last month or so has seen the debut of three more such ads.

First up in this latest collection is the return of Rufus Jones as the face of job website reed.co.uk, in an advert which debuted during this weekend’s top-rated edition of X-Factor, no less.  Once again Richard Sandling is one of his potential targets for new work after a rude awakening…

Elsewhere, Channel 5 is keen to push it’s own catch-up service, Demand 5, which is now available on smart televisions, as well as NOWTV boxes, their website and YouTube.  Catching up on Neighbours with a rather heavy hangover in this commercial is none other than Rachel Stubbings

And then there’s Virgin Media, who are using athlete Usain Bolt and company founder Richard Branson in a series of adverts, all of which are voiced by Richard Ayoade

Lastly for now, is the return of Paul Kaye in typically maniacal form as the star of BetVictor’s long running campaign.  Here, Victor Chandler is enjoying a nice, gentle, first-class train ride, but typically, Maurice can’t quite leave him in peace…

As long as there is an Onion Land, it seems, there will be commercials featuring its inhabitants.  There are far too many for us to possibly collate, but we’ve done our best to dig into the archives and find you some of the better moments via the handy playlist below.

Included here are such classic moments as Julian Barratt advertising Metz way back in 1997, and his co-hort Noel Fielding being creative with handcuffs for Carling Live five years later.  There are big name ads you’d never realise had TVO links, from Simon Farnaby voicing a horse with a penchant for NutriGrain through to Ben Wheatley helming recent Go Compare ads.

Of course, there’s a huge chunk of voiceover king Matt Berry, but his IT Crowd co-stars Chris O’Dowd and Katherine Parkinson get a look in too.  Regular collaborators Tom Meeten and Barunka O’Shaughnessy pop up in a few ads, and we’ve got loads more to savour featuring the likes of Richard GloverLaura PatchAlex KirkRhys ThomasJustin EdwardsDan TetsellAnna CrillyKaty Wix and the well trained eye of Paul King.  We’ve also got a ridiculously early tv appearance by Steve Coogan, and a couple of later ads in character as Paul and Pauline Calf. Enjoy…

Tough Crowd Returns

12 Sep
© Dave Brown

© Dave Brown

Tough Crowd - the exhibition of intimate comedy portraits by Dave Brown – will be given a new lease of life from tomorrow in Norwich.

Split across two venues, the collection includes shots of a number of big name comedians.  TVO regulars Alice LoweArnab ChandaBarunka O’ShaughnessyDan ClarkDolly WellsJoey PageJulia DavisJulian BarrattKevin EldonKim NobleNeil ColeNoel FieldingRich FulcherRichard AyoadeSarah KendallSteve OramTom Meeten and Tony Law are just the tip of the iceberg!

With the likes of Adam Buxton, Bill Bailey, Bob Mortimer, Chris Addison, Harry Hill, Lenny Henry, Phill Jupitus, Ross Noble and Tim Minchin amongst the various other names featured – and there are many more – it’s a fascinating collection to peruse, and the good people of Norwich can do so from tomorrow – Friday 13th September, until Saturday 12th October.

The free to view show is housed by Flint Hair on Benedict Street, and Fabulous Frames on Upper St Giles Street.  As ever, there will be limited edition prints on sale in aid of Afrikids, so get on down there and part with your cash.  If you can’t make it, the prints are also available on the Afrikids website.

If you missed our extensive interview with Dave on all things Tough Crowd late last year, you can swot up on it right now.

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Straw Donkey Unveiled

18 Aug

© Outsider

The short film Straw Donkey is now available to view online.

We first told you about Matt Huntley’s short back in January, as it features Tony WayLaura PatchBarunka O’Shaughnessy and The Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas, plus a cameo from Justin Edwards

At the time, all we could share with you was a preview clip, though TVO were lucky enough to see the full piece soon after posting, and we’ve been itching to share it with you ever since.

Now at last, this delightful little film is available to all.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy a classic tale about a food allergy, a shotgun and a meddlesome neighbour conspiring to make a dinner party an evening that everyone involved would rather forget.

Soho Fantastico

5 Jul

© Mog

Wednesday night saw the hotly anticipated Club Fantastico, Steve Oram and Tom Meeten‘s wildly demented comedy show, take place at the Soho Theatre.

The TVO contingent were out in force, with a star-studded and appreciative audience that included Alice Lowe, Tony Way, John Hopkins, Noel Fielding, Dolly Wells, Nigel Coan, Kim Noble, Dan Clark, Arnab Chanda, Gareth Tunley, Waen Shepherd, Barunka O’Shaughnessy and Bob Pipe. Phew!

Reviewing Club Fantastico presents something of a challenge; it’s difficult to do justice to a performance that features the techno dancing antics of Shaun the Prawn, an apparatus for feeding peanuts to ladies from a distance, an mind-melting version of Paper/Scissors/Rock, a phonecall with a pet lizard and “..but I won’t go South of the River” as what could possibly be one of the best comedy catch phrases ever. It also features Mary, who we will continue to find hilarious until the end of time. For their charm, energy and downright silliness Oram & Meeten are hard to beat.

So instead of a written review, we thought we’d share a few photos from the night. We think they tell their own story!

© Mog

© Mog

Continue reading

Prepare To Meet The Baron!

25 May

Earlier this week we were lucky enough to get a sneaky peek of a new project from Tom Meeten and Gareth Tunley.

© Tom Meeten

The Baron is a short film written by Meeten and Tunley, which features performances from TVO regulars, Stephen EvansSteve Oram and Barunka O’Shaughnessy. Waen Shepherd also provides the musical score for the film; and if a further TVO connection were needed, then Nick Gillespie (Sightseers) is the Director of Photography!

Tom stars as a downtrodden office worker who dreams of wreaking revenge on his co-workers in the guise of his alter-ego, the evil Baron. It’s difficult to describe the film without giving away the story, but suffice to say it’s brilliantly silly and very funny indeed, with performances that perfectly balance nuanced observation with comedic excess. And like all the best comedy, The Baron manages to be both surprisingly poignant and utterly demented at the same time. Wonderful stuff!

The screening we attended was packed out with the great and good from the pages of this here website, and the volume of the cheering and applause afterwards is a testament to how much everyone enjoyed the film. For now there are no plans in place for distributing The Baron, but with any luck it will be unleashed on the world very soon. And when it does, we’ll be there to forewarn you…

Don’t forget that you can see  Tom Meeten as part of the epic Oram & Meeten TONIGHT at Knock2Bag and also at Club Fantastico on 3rd July at the Soho Theatre. Be there, or be forever kicking yourself for not being there.

Hunderbafta

29 Apr

© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic

Hunderby collected another award last night at the Bafta Television Craft Awards.

The period comedy from the mind of Julia Davis aired its first series on Sky Atlantic last year, and became an instant critical darling and audience favourite – which is no small surprise when you consider how many TVO links it features!

Co-written by Barunka O’Shaughnessy, the series starred Davis alongside Rufus Jones, Kevin Eldon, Alex McQueen, Alex Roach, Rebecca Staton and How Not To Live Your Life star Daneil Lawrence Taylor.

It was also narrated by Julian Barratt and featured cameo appearances by Princes In The Tower too, as well as being produced by the wonderful folk at Baby Cow Productions.

The show is set to return in the unspecified future for a second run, and last night picked up yet another gong: the award for “Writer – Comedy”.

© Baftaimages

No photographs of the team have been released by Bafta, sadly, though Kevin Eldon was on hand to present the award for “Photography – Factual” to Steve Robinson for Amish: A Secret Life.

Rhys Thomas was also nominated as Breakthrough Talent for his stunning documentary Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender, but unfortunately lost out to the rather talented Tim Whitnall (former star of CITV classic Mike & Angelo!) who wrote a docudrama which also featured Mercury – Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story. Rhys can console himself, however, with the news that his documentary has also been nominated this week for the Rose D’or, which will be held in Brussells on May 30th.

Hunderby and The Great Pretender are both available to buy now from The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.

Hunderbafta… With Alan Partridge.

9 Apr

© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic

No, it’s not the title of another useless television pitch by yer man Alan, but the news that TVO’s top hitters are up for yet more gongs – this time at the BAFTA Television Awards.

The seemingly never ending cycle of BAFTA award ceremonies is no bad thing when the likes of HunderbyAlan Partridge and Game Of Thrones continue to get nominated.

Hunderby – Julia Davis twisted period black comedy co-written with Barunka O’Shaughnessy and featuring Rufus JonesKevin Eldon, Arnab ChandaPrinces In The Tower and the dulcet narrative tones of Julian Barratt – has been nominated in the category of Situation Comedy, where it must fend off competition from Episodes, Twenty Twelve and the incredibly popular The Thick Of It. 

The latter also has a TVO connection, with Justin Edwards in its huge ensemble cast, and its creator Armando Iannucci being one of the driving forces behind Partridge all these years.

Speaking of Partridge, the Dave Lambert directed special Welcome To The Places Of My Life has been nominated for Best Comedy Programme, against The Revolution Will Be Televised, Mr Stink and Cardinal Burns.  The one off show was the first original slice of Alan made for Sky Atlantic last year, after they bought the rights to web-show Mid Morning Matters.

© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic

Alan’s alter-ego, Steve Coogan, has a lot to celebrate – he’s also been nominated for Male Performance In A Comedy Programme – versus Greg Davies (Cuckoo), Hugh Bonneville (Twenty Twelve) and Peter Capaldi (The Thick Of It).  Similarly, the Female Performance In A Comedy Programme list features none other than Julia Davis once again, for her role in Hunderby – a show made by Coogan’s BabyCow Productions.  She’ll be up against old friends Jessica Hynes and Olivia Colman (both for Twenty Twelve) and Miranda Hart (Miranda).

TVO would like to extend our congratulations to all at Baby Cow and especially everyone involved with Hunderby and Welcome To The Places Of My Life, and assure you our fingers are crossed for your victories!

For the full list of nominations, check out the Radio Times website, where you can also vote for the Radio Times Audience Award BAFTA.  This highly charged poll battle is between some serious tv big-hitters: The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, could be expected to walk away with the trophy, but it’ll be up against stiff competition from Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake OffCall The Midwife, Homeland and Game Of Thrones - the latter of which has featured Tony Way and Paul Kaye amongst its guest cast.  Vote for your favourite now!

Another Chance To See Hunderby

13 Jan

© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic

 The award-winning Hunderby is repeated on Sky Atlantic from tomorrow (Monday) at 9pm.

The show, written by and starring Julia Davis is a dark comedy costume drama and also features Kevin Eldon, Barunka O’Shaughnessy, Julian Barratt (as the Narrator), Rufus Jones and a guest appearance by Princes in The Tower.

You can read our preview of the first episode here.

If you don’t enjoy the luxury of a Sky Atlantic subscription then the full series of Hunderby is available on DVD from The Velvet Onion Store.

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