They did their first show in a gay sauna in London and later went on to perform at Windsor Castle. Now comedy duo Topping and Butch are bringing their camp brand of humour to Sydney for the Cracker Comedy Festival.
With both clad in red leather and rubber on stage -“ Butch in a harness and Topping in mini-kilts -“ the pair take a satirical look at the world around them, lampooning politicians, celebrities, popular culture and whatever else takes their fancy.
We do satire, comedy and we send up a lot of things, and we do it musically, Michael Topping explained over the phone from the UK.
There are a lot of musical styles we do, from jazz, rap, pop, show tunes -“ everything, Andrew Simmons (Butch) piped in.
And we’re not bitchy. We’re very topical. We’ll look at the politics of where we are. We want to know all about John Howard and anything gay, anything local. We look at the newspapers daily and that will be thrown in, Simmons said.
For example, one of their recent musical numbers was called Bombing 9 To 5 and was a two-minute history of the Iraq war sung to the tune of the Dolly Parton’s 9 To 5 and told in the style of Brokeback Mountain, with both men dressed as cowboys.
Topping has had a long career in comedy, working on legendary TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus (he once appeared in a sketch where he played a toilet as a musical instrument) and starring in a number of comedy stage acts.
Simmons, meanwhile, used to be a TV researcher. The friends decided to create their own act eight years ago while sitting in a leather bar one night -“ hence the outfits.
Topping And Butch: Take It Up The Octave plays 23 March-25 March and 28 March-1 April at The Hub, Newtown, and 27 March (two shows) at The Comedy Store. Book on 9550 3666 or at the Cracker Comedy Festival website.