Fringe debut for the twins of laughter

Matt and Stan Skinny of Skinny Theatre are performing Hairy Feet at the Edinburgh Fringe
Matt and Stan Skinny of Skinny Theatre are performing Hairy Feet at the Edinburgh Fringe

SHEFFIELD twin brother comedy duo Matt and Stan Skinny are making their debut at the Edinburgh Fringe with their Hairy Feet show.

Performed under the banner of Skinny Theatre, Hairy Feet is an hour of character-based comedy and musical madness inspired by hours of watching television, especially American sci-fi, cop dramas, Eurovision song contests, period dramas and reality shows.

Born and raised in Lichfield, Stan came to Sheffield to study English at Hallam University in 2005, while Matt did a drama degree at Aberystwyth before following his brother to Sheffield.

From their base in Pitsmoor, the 6ft 5in pair have been building a reputation as variety performers in and around South Yorkshire over the past three years.

They trained in street circus with Sheffield’s Greentop Circus, appearing in several of their variety shows, and also performed at Millhouses Park Festival, Peace in the Park, Bootleggers and Baptists at the Lantern Theatre and the Sheffield Sizzler. They also have a monthly residency at the Dog and Partridge.

They have appeared in the guises of a range of turns, including French faux pas clowns The Condiments, new age minstrel show Bunty and Bodkins and the world’s greatest conceptual rock band, The Skinnies. Happy Feet promises to be a treat for comedy fans and psychologists who have pestered the boys for twin studies from an early age.

“I think working with your twin is the best feeling in the world,” declares Stan, “I mean we would probably like to work with other people at some point but at the moment I’m happy because Matt has always supported me and even from an early age he’s always helped me get out of tight spots.”

Nevertheless, performing independently, Stan is Sheffield Poetry Slam champion and creator and compere of open-mic night The Shipping Forecast at the Rude Shipyard. Stan completed his degree at Hallam University in 2008 and has been building his reputation as a performer in Sheffield ever since.

Matt is a formally trained actor who recently completed a course in carpentry at Chesterfield college.

After a try-out in Sheffield and a performance at the Free Fringe preview show at The Bedford in London last weekend, Hairy Feet will then be running every night at The Kiwi Bar, Edinburgh from August 5-27 at 10pm (www.freefringe.org, www.skinnytheatre.co.uk).

The comedy duo will also be keeping a video diary and uploading regular content from the Edinburgh experience. See http://www.wix.com/stanandmatt/the-skinny-theatre-page#!up-coming-gigs

lAnother Sheffield group who will be performing in Edinburgh are CloseKnit Theatre with a new piece of writing incorporating vocal and physical theatre and fresh music.

A Preoccupation with Romance by Bethan Grant, directed by Sean Linnen, opens at Zoo Southside on Friday and runs throughout August.

It’s about a one-night stand between a couple who are instantly attracted to one another but keep a friendly distance and maintain a precarious relationship without daring to take it to a serious level, each convinced the other will have the courage to make a heartfelt move.

CloseKnit Theatre’s artistic director Sean Linnen, a University of Sheffield graduate, was National Student Drama Festival director in 2010 and 2011 for his productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest.

He initiated Sheffield’s Theatre Uncut project in response to Arts Council cuts, directing and coordinating the event in the Crucible Theatre alongside Sheffield Theatres artistic director Daniel Evans, resident director Jonathan Humphreys and creative producer Andrew Loretto.

A Preoccupation With Romance runs from August 5-29 (excluding Sundays) in the Studio at Zoo Southside, Venue 82. at 1.45pm.