Radio 4 comedian hopes to confuse audiences with his new show Hever
If you fall into one or more of the categories of a Radio 4 fan, a comedy fan, and a music fan, congratulations, you’re in for a very special Venn diagram, and the “audio tapestry” of topicality, satire and sound that is ‘The Skewer’ encircles and includes you.
Lured to the Hever Festival by converging demographics, writer Jon Holmes set about planning “a DJ set version” of his cult comedy Radio 4, which combines news and views snippets with music and memories, in an infuriating flow of surreality.
“We must be crazy,” he told The Times. “But it works because the crowd can relax to the music, laugh at the fun times, or have a drink and dance to the two. It’s basically a satirical DJ set version of the show.
To reassure himself, he promises that there will be landmarks in sight.
“It’s sort of a throwback to the last 12 months, so it will include Partygate and Covid alongside current world events such as Ukraine. There’s also some new stuff, as we mix up-to-date events into the music alongside a live greatest hits package.
Even the radio show’s writing process, which is much more up-to-the-minute, isn’t as far-sighted as the surreal program makes it sound.
He explained: “In reality, we’re driven by the news agenda, and once I (and our team of contributors) get into the mindset, it’s about figuring out how we can mix current events in films, television, popular culture and music to create a kind of sound tapestry… or a satirical sound river.
“We don’t ‘write’ it in the conventional sense; it’s very idea driven and just as much work goes into the sound design as it does the comedy. Also (we do) drunk, yes.
“Radio 4 fans, comedy fans, music fans… Hever attracts all three, and we’re right in the middle of it. I also thought (being from Canterbury) it would sound like a local gig. It’s miles away – how wrong I was.
The Skewer: DJ Set is at the Two Sisters’ Theatre, Hever Festival on Friday July 29 at 8pm.
On stage and on screen
TW Fringe kicked off Monday, July 4 with local artists, performers and bands in a two-week takeover of venues across the city, hosting cross-arts events. Tomorrow (July 7), the Fringe Fashion Show will take over the Hotel du Vin from 8 p.m. to raise funds for the children and families charities Fegans and Taylor Made Dreams. Expect great deals on Childrensalon and Renaissance clothing.
‘Him & Me’, the hit collaboration between BBC Strictly Come Dancing’s most beloved dancers Anton Du Beke and Giovanni Pernice, takes the Assembly Hall by storm at 7.30pm on 11 July. The king of the ballroom and two-time Guinness World Record holder are joined by world-class performers for dancing, song and lighthearted fun.
‘Hormonal Housewives’ and ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ writers and producers Maureen Nolan, Julie Coombe and Josephine Partridge are ‘Housewives on Holiday’ at 7.30pm this July 13 at The Assembly Hall.
Go back to the 1980s…or is it the 1950s? with “Back to the Future” on screen at the Trinity Theater next Tuesday (July 12) at 7 p.m.
The British-American quartet Atlanticus head to the Trinity Theater on July 13 for an evening of powerful and driving music. American saxophonist Peter Fraize and British organist Terry Seabrook explore their common interest in the rich transatlantic heritage of jazz, on stage with trumpeter Jack Kendon and drummer Milo Fell. The group offers energetic performances and lots of original music.
Live music, entertainment and fitness – expect that and more on July 14 at the Forum at 7:30 p.m. 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 7:30 p.m. (Old Auction House). Great 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 9 p.m.
Let your green fingers do the stalking with Chelsea Flower Show medalist Sian Johnson this Thursday (July 7) in Knole Park (Sevenoaks), at 10.30am at the Conservation Studio. No floristry experience is necessary, but the event is not suitable for young children.
It’s a CBeebies takeover of the Spa Valley Railway this weekend (July 9-10), with Bing and Flop celebrating the loud, joyous and messy reality of pre-school life at Groombridge station.
Departs from Tunbridge Wells West at 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm and 4:30pm, returning one hour later. Each train will spend 30 minutes at Groombridge.
Popular weekend and car show Volks Weald returns this weekend (July 9-10) to Penshurst Place.
VWs are the stars of the show, but other weekend attractions include “Show n Shine”, “We Are The MODified” and the Pennard Vet Group dog show. Day tickets still available.