Archive | James Wren RSS feed for this section

Peacock Season: Edinburgh From the Comfort Of Your Sofa

3 Jul

© FMW Films

A wee while ago we mentioned that Peacock Season, the movie by and featuring James Wren, alongside a bevy of TVO-related comedians, would soon be available to view via Distrify, a site which allows you to buy films via social media. Well now it’s on there!

The film follows the story of advertising executive Keith Graham (Wren). When he’s fired from his job a chain of events leads to him taking a stand-up comedy show to the Edinburgh Festival.

This comedy about comedy was shot on location at the Festival and features a cast of festival veterans, including:

Dan Antopolski, Scott Capurro, Nina Conti, Rhys Darby, Justin Edwards, Felicity Wren, Pete Firman, Paul Foot, Richard Glover, Joy Gohring, Richard Herring, Adam Hills, Sammy J, Fergus March, Phil Nichol, Lucy Porter, Millie Reeves, Reece Shearsmith, Isy Suttie, Glenn Wool and James Wren himself.

To buy or rent the film and/or view the trailer visit this place.

Get Your Hands On Peacock Season

25 May

Last week we mentioned in passing a film called Peackock Season, the first part of a low-budget trilogy by James Wren. Now further information has come to light about how you can get hold of it.

© FMW Films

Peacock Season (which features Richard Glover and Paul Foot, along with James) is currently available on DVD for just £12 from Go Faster Stripe, the awesome website that promotes and sells comedy videos from beyond the mainstream.

This comedy about comedy about comedy was shot on location at the Edinburgh Festival for just £58 and features a cast of festival veterans. You can buy the film and see a couple of preview clips here.

Soon, however, you will also be able to view Peacock Season via Distrify, a site which allows you to sell films by leveraging Social media. To find out when it’s going to be available, sign up for FMW Films’ mailing list, and you’ll be one of the first to know.

Don’t forget that the final film in Wren’s trilogy, The Man You’re Not, is currently in production. For more information, take a look at our previous post about it.

 

Movie News: The Man You’re Not

16 May

© FMW Films

Friend of TVO and all-round comedy guru James Wren has co-written and produced a new film featuring none other than Joanna Lumley!

If anything further was needed to recommend the film, it also features Wren as a landscape gardner – plus Reece Shearsmith and Steve Oram. Filming of the low-budget movie, titled The Man You’re Not has just finished in London.

The main cast play play versions of themselves in the movie, and Shearsmith’s self-portrayal, as he attempts to kill a squirrel, is described as “mental” by Wren.

The Man You’re Not follows the story of unlucky-in-love Charlie as he’s encouraged to join various dating websites by his friends, who pretend to be different people in order that he is forced to man up. It’s the final part of a low budget trilogy of films that Wren and his colleagues at FMW Films pledged to make over six years; it will be released on the festival circuit later this year.

© FMW Films

Lumley apparently agreed to be in The Man You’re Not for zero pay after she saw the first film in the trilogy, Peacock Season (about an advertising exec who quits to become a stand-up). “She absolutely threw herself into it. She was charming and I was a little bit starstruck.” Wren said.

Peacock Season, (now out as a DVD on Go Faster Stripe), also featured Shearsmith alongside fellow comedians Adam Hills, Nina Conti, Brendon Burns, Scott Capurro, Rhys Darby, Paul Foot, Richard Herring, Phil Nichol, Lucy Porter, Richard Glover and Isy Suttie.

The second film in the trilogy, The Trap (a horror comedy), featured another of ‘our lot’, the very wonderful Richard Glover. It’s currently screening on the film festival circuit, so catch it if you can.

The Man You’re Not is now in post-production; for updates about its progress and eventual release we recommend Liking the film’s Facebook page.

Get It Seen

1 Apr

No, that title isn’t just an instruction from us… it’s also the name of a new underground film festival taking place at legendary venue The Hen & Chickens Theatre in Islington this month.

© Hen & Chickens

The venue, which has been a spiritual home for TVO regulars for almost two decades – from The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi to recent shows like the magnificent Kill Phil, has gathered together some of the finest low-budget features and shorts of recent years to come out of the London comedy scene, to show from today through to April 26th,

This includes Peacock Season on April 1st, 4th & 11th.  This legendary film about the Edinburgh Fringe shot at the festival features a top-notch cast including Justin EdwardsPaul FootRichard Glover, Nina Conti, Rhys Darby, Richard Herring, Reece Shearsmith, Isy Suttie, Glenn Wool and co-writer James Wren.

Other TVO connected films on offer include Phil Whelan‘s slapstick farce Clowntime Is OverStephen Evans‘ nostalgic short The Notorious Bruiser Brothers Revisitedand a chance to see the star-studded Bob Pipe masterpiece The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains on a big screen!

© Bob Pipe

There’s loads more on offer too: we particularly recommend Adriel Leff’s brilliant mockumentary Bloody Lip! To see the full list of shows, and to pick up tickets, visit the festival’s Facebook page now!

Kill Phil

5 Jan
© Phil Whelans

© Phil Whelans

A brand new TVO-packed stage show will be unveiled later this month at legendary London venue The Hen & Chickens.

Entitled Kill Phil, the show is the brainchild of Pros From Dover veteran (and writer/star of My First Planet), Phil Whelans.  It also features a what’s who of the sketch comedy scene: including Marny Godden of The Grandees and TVO’s very own Stephen Evans and James Wren.

The plot is simple: Hector and Laramie Van Heusen’s mysterious death and the bequeathing of their only begotten son – who is a man – to a complete stranger – who is another man – sets in motion a murderous train of destruction, slapstick, betrayal, puns, communion with the dead and betrayal by pun that can only end badly.  Except, apparently, the show has a good ending.

What we know is it will include a murder, a funeral, a will-reading and a séance!

We can’t wait, and thankfully, we won’t have to for very long. The show runs at The Hen & Chickens from Wednesday 15th to Saturday 18th January, and tickets are available now!

The last time Whelans & Wren collaborated was for Bob Pipe‘s sensational, star-packed The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains, which you can see again 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)…

Continue reading

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Two

2 Jan

Yesterday we brought you a round-up of the first quarter of 2013, as we’d probably forgotten half of it ourselves, let alone you lovely lot out there.  The second quarter provided loads more great things to celebrate, so we’ve been ploughing through TVO’s archives to pluck out the best bits from over 700 news stories across 2013. This second instalment of our round-up covers April-June, and is jam packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike.  Enjoy.

APRIL

April, or Ape-ril as it was renamed by the Sumatran Orangutan Society, began with a plea from TVO regulars Dave Brown and Tony Law to grow your beard as large as possible.  This was, of course, in aid of ape conservation: we are all 96.4% Orangutan after all…

The facial hair theme continued apace, with some of Onion Land’s most mighty beard-wearers being active this month.  First up, Paul Kaye hosted a short exhibition of his art, with TVO attended the star-studded press night to admire his work and have a quick chat to the man himself, though sadly his hectic schedule postponed our latest catch-up… we’re gonna get ya in the new year, mate! Kaye also became the latest big name to join the cast of hugely acclaimed fantasy show Game Of Thrones, as warrior Thoros of Myr.

He wasn’t the only one, either. Whilst the world got increasingly excited about his (then) forthcoming film A Field In EnglandBen Wheatley did the last thing critics expected, and made a string of commercials for Go Compare, further proving he works on his own terms ahead of one of the oddest films of 2013…

Another beardy Onion layer up to good things this month was Matt Berry, who was quietly preparing to unleash his new album, Kill The Wolf. May and June would see an awful lot of Berry activity, but April was no push-over, either.  First off, his radio series I, Regress… returned to the airwaves, and he went on to release the first snippet of his new album with a track called The Devil Inside Me

He wasn’t the only one returning, either. Rhys Thomas brought back his incredibly popular Radio 4 show Down The Line for a fifth run – the sixth if you include short-lived tv spin-off Bellamy’s People. Once again it featured Thomas’ fellow Fast Show veterans Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day and the late, great Felix Dexter. Also along for the ride were Look Around You star Robert Popper, Big Train(and It’s Kevin) actress Amelia Bullmore, Citizen Khanwriter Adil Ray, and another TVO regular (and Rhys’ wife), Lucy Montgomery.

Also back this month were Boosh veterans and indie-folk legends The Ralfe Band, who released the single Come On Go Wild from their new album, Son Be Wise, and toured as support to Manchester’s finest ever band, I Am Kloot.  A video for the single followed on 1st May, which can be seen below.

This month also saw us bid farewell to Life’s Too Short, which returned for a one-off special at Easter. Sadly lacking in Matt Holness magic (Matt was a regular in the show’s first and only series), it nevertheless found the time to bring back Colin Hoult as Warwick Davis‘ useless psychic, Brian. Also along for the ride were telly veterans, Les Dennis, Keith Chegwin and Shaun Williamson, as well as former Batman star Val Kilmer. A fine send-off, then, for a show that ended way too soon.

Continue reading

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part One

1 Jan

2013 has been a funny old year in Onion Land. We’ve seen our regulars scoop bucketloads of awards, from Best British Film at the Empire Awards to International Emmy Awards and everything in-between. Some names on our roster have reached new heights of success, becoming household names to people who have no idea of their cult origins. Others have just continued being quietly amazing, but all of them have been worthy of your attention.

As a result, we’ve been ploughing through the 12 months of TVO, to pluck out the best bits from over 700 news stories across 2013. This first instalment of our round-up covers January-March, and is jam packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike.  Enjoy.

JANUARY

The year began quietly, with the only key new show on the box being, on the surface, designed for kids. FIT was a sports-based sketch show on CBBC from the team behind Sorry, I’ve Got No Head, and featured TVO regulars Tony WayRufus Jones and Aisling Bea in its ensemble cast. For the most part, however, it was the involvement of Peter Serafinowicz – reprising his beloved cult character Brian Butterfield – which got everyone’s attention…

On the other end of the spectrum, Michael SmileyDan Tetsell and Simon Farnaby turned up in the very-much-for-grown-ups cyber-thiller Utopia on Channel 4. The show concerned itself with attempts to trace the only known copy of a graphic novel which left a trail of bloody carnage in its wake. With Four Lions star Adeel Akhtar part of its ensemble cast, as well as Kill List actor Neil Maskell as a creepy hitman, and The Thick Of It‘s Paul Higgins as a blackmailed civil servant, the show became an instant cult hit, and will be returning for a second series in 2014.

Closer to home, and the good folk of Onion Land seemed keen to dish out advice. Comedic agony aunt Rachel Stubbings was offering specially crafted miniature versions of herself for sale to anyone in need of a friendly ear. Or, to be more exact, a bit of unemotional plastic which happened to look a bit like her, in a variety of costumes. The Stubby Buddy was a quick sell out, though something tells me we won’t be seeing them in the shops next year…

Elsewhere, conceptual artist and Luxury Comedy star Kim Noble was offering handy tips on how to buy an oven

And as Bowie-fever gripped the world, James Cook released his own, haunting interpretation of Mr Jones’ classic track, Ashes To Ashes

Continue reading

Have A Grandee Monday At Hen & Chickens

9 Oct
© Steve Ullathorne / The Grandees

© Steve Ullathorne / The Grandees

And now… a break from our usual programming to give you a special ticket-bargain offer, as TVO is proud to be able to offer you half-price tickets to see rising sketch trio The Grandees next week.

One of the joys of The Velvet Onion is that we get the opportunity to big up a number of talented funny people who don’t usually get the credit they deserve.  Every now and then, a new name arrives on the scene, and we watch as they grow and grow into something magnificent.

Seminal comedy venue The Hen & Chickens, partially run by James Wren no less, will forever be legendary in the bowels of TVO, for being the home of the very first residency by The Mighty Boosh, and it has proved to be a training ground for many an alternative comedian ever since.

It’s latest protégés are sketch-comedy troupe The Grandees, who have been garnering rave reviews from various members of the press since their Edinburgh debut five years ago.

Comprising of Marny Godden, Tom Turner and Andrew Mudie, the trio are delightfully silly comedy rock stars in waiting.

But don’t take our word for it – ask the man who first booked the Boosh, and is treated like a father figure by most of our regulars, the wonderful Mr James Wren, who tells us: “I really think they are the most inventive, creative, bonkers group I seen since we had The Boosh.”

Or, for that matter, Bob Pipe, who adds: “I second that! Grandees are my favourite comedy act around at the mo. Their show is massively inventive, and to connect them to the TVO world, they appeared in an episode of The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains.”

So there you have it… one to watch, we think.  And watch them, you most certainly can do, as they’ll be at Hen & Chickens from next Monday (October 14th), with the first of their twice monthly nights at the venue.

Monday eve will see them perform typically bonkers antics, alongside guests Beth Vyse and Joz Norris, and thanks to TVO, you can get in for half price – a measly £3.50 each!

To buy half price tickets on the door for Monday October 14th, just quote the phrase: “The Velvet Onion sent us.” to the lovely H&C staff.

You can then use that extra £3.50 saved for a nice drinky, as you savour what’s promising to be an almighty night of whacked out comedy.

If you’re still unsure, you can see a (very old) preview of what The Grandees can do below, thanks to a clip from Chortle back in 2009…

Sucking McGuff, It’s More Masters Of Celluloid

10 Aug

Still craving your regular fix of The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains?

If so, just like us, you’ll have recently enjoyed the first editions of Masters Of Celluloid – the spoof making of series starring Warwick Davies, from the mind of the increasingly active Bob Pipe.  The latest edition of the show features Colin Hoult as 50s action hero Eric Shepherd, rehearsing his appearance as rough, tough Wade McGuff.

As an added bonus, The Multiverse have also uploaded a nice little subscribe video featuring Alex Kirk as the Prime Minister.  Leave the Annotations on, or this could look a little suspect…

Now, there’s always a chance these videos are lost on you.  If so, that may be because you missed the parent show.  So, if that’s your current situation, you can see every episode of The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains, featuring a whole host of TVO regulars, over yonder, and read our interview with writers Bob Pipe, James Wren and Phil Whelans right here.

The Trap Almost Set

24 Jul

Forthcoming independent comedy horror film The Trap is nearing the end of Post Production, and as such, we thought it was high time we introduced you to it.

© FMW Films

The movie is made by FMW Films – a company set up by Alan Freestone, Fergus March & our very own James Wren.  Their first feature film, Peacock Season, was filmed in 2009, and released two years later via GoFasterStripe.

With a top notch cast of friends and comic genius, the lo-fi release of Peacock Season sneaked under our radar, and that of many others too, which is all the more shocking when you see that cast list, which includes the likes of Justin EdwardsPaul Foot and Richard Glover as well as the likes of Nina Conti, Rhys Darby, Richard Herring, Reece Shearsmith and Isy Suttie to name but a few.  If you’re curious, you can pick it up here!

© FMW Films

Second film The Trap was filmed in late 2010 and early 2011, and is pitched as “The Goonies meets Saw”!  It concerns two groups of people searching for ancient treasure buried deep within a massive, abandoned Victorian Bath House.

One group is made up of professional cat burglars on their last mission… the other are misfit unemployed youngsters on a team building exercise.  Yet neither group is ready for the horrors they encounter…

In amongst the cast are James Wren, Richard Glover, Alex Kirk and Bob Pipe, as well as Pros From Dover star Sean Garratt. We can’t wait to see the results, but in the meantime, there’s a teaser trailer below, and we’ll be bringing you more news on the film’s release as soon as we can… so stay peeled!  Until then, pop by the FMW website and the film’s official Facebook page.

Onion Fringes: Part 4 – Spank!

5 Jul

The Edinburgh Fringe is almost upon us, with a host of TVO favourites set to descend upon the city between 2nd and 26th August.  In the build up, we’re bringing you a great show to go and see every weekday – from our regulars to shows beyond the usual confines of Onion Land.

Today’s showcase is something a little bit different, in the form of James Wren & Leon Fleury’s seminal comedy night SPANK! – which returns to London this evening before heading off to the Burgh.

© Objective Talent

THE SHOW:

Spank!

THE VENUE

Underbelly Cowgate

THE DATES

2-25 August

THE TIME

00:00

TICKET LINK

Spank!

You all know the score by now with The Velvet Onion.  Our goal has always been to highlight the small (but expanding) family of comics, actors, musicians and other creatives who have regularly worked together since the days of Ealing Live and those initial Boosh shows.  We’ve long since dubbed Alice Lowe – who helped inspire TVO into existence – our fairy godmother, but if this unnamed family were to actually have parentage, then it’s arguably James Wren who is the father figure to the main core.

Wren was, of course, the first person to book The Mighty Boosh for a residency at his now legendary club The Hen & Chickens.  Over the years, he’s had a hand in so many projects with TVO regulars, that you only have to mention his name to most of them and watch their eyes gloss over with affection.  Quite simply, Wren is a legend in alternative comedy.

TVO got to experience his magic in action for ourselves when he hosted our inagural live event last year at his short lived club The Vandella.  James was keen to inspire us to do great things, and was on hand throughout the whole process without ever telling us how to do it.  We instantly fell in love, and hope to work with him again to bring more shows to fruition.

© James Wren

Making things happen is pretty much Wren’s by-line, be it comedy of his own (he’s made feature films on miniscule budgets, and occasionally becomes infamously brilliant 80s pomp character Uxbridge Swain alongside Richard Glover), or hosting great live events.  This year, he teamed up with Forgery Club head honcho Bob Pipe, and their regular booking, Phil Whelans, to make the sensational The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains, with predictably inventive results.

Edinburgh 2013, however, is all about Spank! – and the legendary comedy night is celebrating its tenth birthday.  The evening has played host to almost everyone on TVO’s roster (plus comics as varied as Rhys Derby and Michael Wilmslow) since it started in 2003, with the annual Edinburgh run continuing for the rest of the year sporadically at venues across London.  Most recently, it has been housed in the Udderbelly on Southbank, with the likes of Rufus Jones, Alex Kirk and Tony Law on the latest bills.

Up in Scotland, the celebratory event will start each evening at midnight, promising three hours or so of top notch comedy at a time when most of London is getting ready to chuck punters out.  It’s stupendously funny stuff for 18s+, and the beauty of it is, you never know who you’ll get… so if you’re heading to Edinburgh, you’ll just have to pop in every night to find out!

Words runs from 2nd to 25th August at Udderbelly Cowgate. We’ll have another Edinburgh recommendation on Monday, and every weekday throughout July, so stay peeled!

Brains Redux

1 Jul

Just as we had started to miss The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains - there’s a brand new version of it to savour!

The sitcom-sketch-hybrid from the minds of Bob PipeJames Wren and Phil Whelans arrived on YouTube channel The Multiverse earlier this year, and featured a whole bevvy of TVO regulars in the cast.

Now some of the best bits from the short episodes have been put together into a 30-minute version, which demonstrates how wonderfully the concept would work on television.  Revisit the magic below…

If you missed it earlier this year, you can read our interview with Bob, James & Phil about all things Brains right here

Mankind Sucks Back!

7 Jun

The final installment of The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains is now online, as humanity makes one last effort to fight back!

You can see our attempts, once more featuring Richard Glover and co-writers Phil Whelans and James Wren below.  This week also features Warwick Davis, Chris Kendall, Phil Nichol, Terry Alderton, Carey Marx, James Redmond, Rob Rouse, Nick Helm, Ricky Grover & Andre Vincent, and is yet again directed by Bob Pipe.

If you missed previous episodes, you can catch them all again here via this handy playlistand don’t forget to catch our interview with Bob, Phil and James concerning all things …Brains from earlier this week.

Onion Talking: The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains!

5 Jun
© Bob Pipe / Channel Flip

© Bob Pipe / Channel Flip

You’d have to have been living under a rock these last few months not to notice us banging on about a brilliant new web series called The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains.

Jam-packed with TVO regulars, the show is the brainchild of Bob Pipe, and as the show comes to the end of its first run, TVO spoke to Bob and co-writers James Wren and Phil Whelans for the scoop on …Brains.

They came from outer space. Ok, not really. They live in London, but outer space sounds more exciting. Their mission: to suck out our brains. Again, this may be a lie. They’re more interested in stimulating our limbic systems within said organs to make us laugh.

When Forgery Club head honcho Bob Pipe got the call to create his own web-series, he turned to two regular collaborators – Hen & Chickens guru James Wren and improv legend Phil Whelans – to help develop it. The trio are jacks of all comedic trades and masters of several, and the resulting series became The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains, which premiered exclusively on YouTube earlier this year.

The cast list for …Brains reads like a who’s who of alternative comedy, with Richard Glover, Colin Hoult, Waen Shepherd, Alex Kirk, Stephen Evans, Gareth Tunley, Richard Sandling, Neil ColeAntony Elvin and Will Summers all furthering the TVO connections. Phil Whelans is also on hand as recurring scientist Professor Langhorne, who pops up to offer invaluable advice on avoiding brain sucking with his esteemed colleague Dr Von Busey (Glover). Alex Kirk plays the hapless Prime Minister with no clue how to handle the crisis, which sees everyone from Army heroes to spaced out teenagers to simple Northern Folk facing the wrath of the alien invaders. It’s all gloriously silly, and insanely addictive.

“To be fair,” Phil Whelans explains, when asked where it all began, “it was all Bob Pipe’s idea. But if it’s successful, then I’ve always wanted to do it. If not, then I thought it was a terrible idea. This concept is called ‘Schrodinger’s Answer’ – the theoretical concept that, in a lead-lined box with a decaying radioactive particle, my answer to this question exists in two distinct states at the same time.”

Bob Pipe directs Will Summers & Antony Elvin [© Bob Pipe]

“Bob is a go-to guy for filmed comedy,” he adds on a more serious note. “For people who are used to turning up at a venue with a bag of props and just walking on stage, filming stuff can be a bit daunting, but Bob knows how to make it happen.”

…Brains has been gestating in Bob Pipe’s mind for many years, with an early version of it forming Bob’s end of year project in his Media Studies HND back in 1999. “We only had a shitty S-Video camera, video deck editing and no proper actors at our disposal,” Bob remembers. “I knew I was limited at what I could make, so I decided to make a B-Movie! I tried to remake it when I was the In-House Director for [now defunct website] ComedyBox, but I never got round to it. Me and a friend tried to pitch it to Channel 4’s Comedy Blap initiative a few years ago but it never got picked up.  But I’ve never given up on the idea, so I pitched it again to Channel Flip when I heard about The Multiverse, who loved it. The rest is history. Or perhaps, the future?” Continue reading

The Velvet Onion Live: One Year On…

31 May

Today marks the one year anniversary of The Velvet Onion Live!

In character, Matt Berry once memorably said: “Time is a menstruous woman. One cannot control her eddying currents.”  Rarely has a truer remark been uttered in jest.  It’s hard to believe a whole twelve months have passed since our inaugural live event at The Vandella, Shepherd’s Bush, made in collaboration with James Wren and Bob Pipe.  And yet, there it is – a big fat first anniversary.

To celebrate this occasion, as we slowly but surely gear ourselves up to arrange further live events before the second anniversary is upon us and we increasingly look like one-hit-wonders, we will be bringing you weekly installments of footage from the jam-packed event.  It’s fairly lo-fi due to a few technical hiccups on the night, but we recorded the whole event for posterity and now, at last, we can share it with you all.

For those not in the know, the event gathered together a number of our regular names for a night of fun and games.  We had live comedy sets from duos Steven Oram and Tom MeetenRichard Glover and Stephen EvansDolly Wells and Laura PatchGareth Tunley and Alex Kirk.  We had solo sets from Dan TetsellRichard Sandling and Rachel Stubbings, whilst David McNeill nabbed Evans & Glover back for a spot of twisty-nonsense.

And that wasn’t all. Alice Lowe and Antony Elvin gave us a set from Hot Brew, whilst Elvin also regaled us with jaunty ditties alongside Will Summers.  There was a rare chance to see DeadDogInBlackBag perform, and we heralded the return of Waen Shepherd as Gary Le Strange.  The night was rounded off with a sumptuous set from James Cook, and we had Mike Fielding DJ-ing whenever performers took a well earned rest.

The night began, proper, however, with an important health and safety announcement from our honorary member, Bollo:

We’ll be bringing you more footage, all being well, on a weekly basis, so come back next Friday for your next installment!

Prime Sucker

31 May

The latest installment of The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains is now online.

This week, Professor Langhorne and Dr. Von Busey (Phil Whelans and Richard Glover), have a meeting with the Prime Minister (Alex Kirk), about the global epidemic of brain sucking. Can it be too late for mankind?

Stay peeled to TVO this weekend for an exclusive interview with writers Bob PipeJames Wren and Phil Whelans about all things …Brains – and check out previous episodes featuring the likes of Gareth TunleyWaen ShepherdColin HoultAntony ElvinWill SummersRichard Sandling and many more with this handy playlist over yonder.

First Contact

16 May

The latest edition of The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains is now online for your peepers to cast their gaze upon.

This week, the leading faiths of our land join forces to try and fend off the alien invaders, and there’s a surprise waiting in Professor Langhorne’s laboratory…

Joining Richard Glover and Phil Whelans this week are none other than TVO regulars Colin HoultAntony ElvinWill Summers alongside the likes of Louie Bayliss, Nathaniel Tapley, Jamie Glassman and Toby Williams.

For those who don’t know, TDTCTSOOB is the brainchild of one Bob Pipe, and is co-written with Phil Whelans and James Wren.  New episodes air each week exclusively on The Multiverse,   and many of the team behind it – including composer Waen Shepherd – can be seen at this Friday’s Forgery Club on London’s South Bank.  For more info, visit this earlier peeling.

Pipe recently spoke to friend of TVO, John Dredge, on behalf of comedy website Comedy Chords, and you can read the results here.  TVO has also been having words with Bobo, and his co-writers Whelans & Wren, and we’ll be bringing you our report on all things …Brains soon, so stay peeled!

Forged Hope

10 May

The latest installment in the gloriously silly web series The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains has emerged online.

This week’s episode from the minds of Bob PipeJames Wren and Phil Whelans features the return of the latter and Richard Glover, with more brain sucking victims including a Blackpool cabaret singer, played by Waen Shepherd and Wren’s chain smoking live wire surgeon.  Meanwhile, Mason Philips minister is not so lucky…

If you’re enjoying …Brains, don’t forget that the team behind it are staging two cult comedy nights in the coming weeks.

Bob Pipe is bringing back his wonderful on-off club night The Forgery Club on Friday, May 17th at The Udderbelly, Southbank.  The 80s special will see the return of swash-buckling time travelers Umbrage Swain & Burton Latimer (played by Wren & Glover), on a mission to solve the Mystery of the Missing Giant Purple Upside Down Cow.

They’ll be accompanied by the mighty Gary Le Strange, along with Dave McNeill, Modern Dreams, Terry Alderton and some surprises, so grab your tickets whilst you can over yonder!

James Wren is also reviving his own popular club-night, Spank in June and July at the same venue, with the show on June 7th featuring Isy Suttie, Vicki Stone, David Armand, Rhys Mathewson and No Son Of Mine – aka Rufus Jones and Alex Kirk.  The following show on July 5th features Tony LawHot Brew, Phil Nichol and Anil Desai, and more info and ticket links can be found over there.

How To Survive Without Your Brain

3 May

In this next installment of the Brain Sucking Saga, Earth people are standing up to the Alien Invasion.

Tips on how to avoid having your brain sucked out include wearing the latest in tin foil headgear, and staying indoors.

Richard Sandling and Neil Cole join in the fun this week, as you can see below.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,981 other followers