Radio 4 comedian hopes to Skewer audiences with his new Hever show
If you fall into one or more of the categories of a Radio 4 fan, a comedy fan and a music fan, congratulations, you are in a very special Venn diagram, and the ‘audio tapestry’ of current events, satire and sound which is ‘The Skewer’ encircles and includes you.
Drawn to the Hever Festival by the converging demographics, writer Jon Holmes set about planning ‘a DJ set version’ of his cult Radio 4 current affairs comedy, which combines snippets of news and views with music and memories, in a maddening flow of surreality.
“We must be mad,” he told the Times. “But it works because the crowd can chill out to the music, laugh at the funny bits, or have a drink and dance to both. It’s basically a satirical DJ set version of the show.
Reassuringly, he promises there will be some landmarks in sight.
“It’s a sort of look back at the last 12 months so it’ll include Partygate and Covid alongside current world events such as Ukraine. There’s new stuff too, as we mix up-to-date events into the music alongside a live greatest-hits package.”
Even the process of writing the radio show, which is much more up-to-the-minute, is not as clairvoyant as the surreal programme makes it sound.
He explained: “In reality, we’re led by the news agenda, and once I (and our team of contributors) get into the mindset it’s a matter of figuring out how we can mix the news into movies, tv, popular culture and music to create a sort of audio tapestry… or a satirical river of sound.
“We don’t ‘write’ it in the conventional sense; it’s very ideas-led and then just as much work goes into the sound design as into the comedy. Also (we do it) drunk, yes.
“Radio 4 fans, comedy fans, music fans… Hever attracts all three, and we’re slap bang in the middle. I also figured (being from Canterbury), it’d feel like a local gig. It’s miles away – how wrong I was.”
The Skewer: DJ Set is at Two Sisters’ Theatre, Hever Festival on Friday, July 29 at 8pm.
On Stage & Screen
TW Fringe kicked off on Monday (July 4) with local artists, performers and groups on a two-week takeover of venues across town, putting on events from across the arts. Tomorrow (July 7) sees the Fringe Fashion Show taking over Hotel du Vin from 8pm to fundraise for children and families charities Fegans and Taylor Made Dreams. Expect bargains from Childrensalon and Renaissance clothing.
‘Him & Me’, the hit collaboration between BBC Strictly Come Dancing’s best-loved dancers Anton Du Beke and Giovanni Pernice, storms The Assembly Hall at 7:30pm on July 11. The Ballroom King and the two-time Guinness World Record holder are joined by world-class performers for dance, song, and light-hearted fun.
From the writers and producers of ‘Hormonal Housewives’ and ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’, Maureen Nolan, Julie Coombe and Josephine Partridge are ‘Housewives on Holiday’ at 7:30pm this July 13 at The Assembly Hall.
Get back to the 1980s…or is it the 1950s? with ‘Back to the Future’ onscreen at Trinity Theatre next Tuesday (July 12) at 7pm.
British- American quartet Atlanticus takes to Trinity Theatre July 13 for an evening of powerful, hard-swinging music. US saxophonist Peter Fraize and UK organist Terry Seabrook explore their common interest in the rich transatlantic heritage of jazz, live onstage with trumpeter Jack Kendon and drummer Milo Fell. The band delivers high-energy performance and a lot of original music.
Live music, entertainment, and fitness – expect this and more on July 14 at The Forum, 7:30pm. Join BBC Radio Kent’s Stephen Brown as he presents live with guests David Shepherd, Flo Gallop, Kevyn Ricard & Guests and The Lucky 13’s.
Also in the TW Fringe, Kate McGann and Lauren Doughlin are ‘Glamazon Prime’ personified this Thursday (July 8) at 7:30pm (Old Auction House). Big performers, colossal comedy! This Saturday (July 9), Rusthall Rocks for Ukraine, a benefit concert with Wott the Hoople and Justine Clark. Lower Green, Rusthall, 7-10:30pm. Last entry 9pm.
Let your green fingers do the stalking with Chelsea Flower Show medal winner Sian Johnson this Thursday (July 7) at Knole Park (Sevenoaks), 10:30am at the conservation studio. No floristry experience is needed, but the event is not suitable for younger children.
It’s a CBeebies takeover of the Spa Valley Railway this weekend (July 9-10), with Bing and Flop celebrating the noisy, joyful, messy reality of pre-school life at Groombridge station.
Departures from Tunbridge Wells West at 10.30am, 12 noon, 1:30pm, 3pm and 4:30pm, returning one hour later. Each train will spend 30 minutes at Groombridge.
Popular weekender and car show Volks Weald returns this weekend (July 9-10) at Penshurst Place.
The VWs are the stars of the show, but other attractions over the weekend include ‘Show n Shine’, ‘We Are The MODified’ and Pennard Vet Group’s dog show. Day tickets still available.