Sunday, 20 November 2016

Twin Peaks UK Festival 2016

The Twin Peaks UK Festival has become one of the most anticipated events on my calendar every year, not only because it is always a spectacular day but also because of the friendships I have formed over years of meeting up with like minded Peakie people. This year's event at Hornsey Town Hall in London's Crouchend didn't disappoint.

At 9.30am, dressed in full Double R Diner uniform, I arrived at the venue with my sister who always accompanies me, and straight away met people who I have become friends with over years of coming to the festival. Everyone was dressed up, carrying posters in need of autographs and excited to start a day in the world of Twin Peaks.

The doors opened and we poured into the grand, historical town hall where piles of doughnuts lay on every surface and the scent of freshly brewed coffee wafted down the corridor. As a VIP we were entitled to free goodie bags containing fest merch, mugs and dominos (a nod to Chris Mulkey aka Hank Jenning's attendance) and that year's tee shirt - a Great Northern Hotel inspired design.

A policeman's dream... Breakfast consisted of 3 x doughnuts and 2 x cups of hot black coffee.

The Great Northern theme ran throughout the venue which was the perfect backdrop for this concept. Long, wood panelled corridors had been adorned with artwork seen on the show and a bar area had been set-up with squashy leather arm chairs, chess boards and other accoutrements familiar to the Horne family home. I expected Miss Audrey Horne to come waltzing down the corridor at any moment.

The day's schedule began with a welcome from our beloved festival producer Lindsey Bowden in the main hall. This had been set-up with some very atmospheric lighting and cabaret style tables of which I happily set-up camp in the front row. The pilot began playing and I crept out (terrible I know but I had watched it the night before in anticipation and couldn't wait to explore the rest of the venue!).

There was so much to seek out - a tattoo artist offering Twin Peaks tattoos with proceeds going to charity, a court room with more episodes of Twin Peaks screening, an art gallery, a merch table laden with goodies (I bought coffee vodka made by the Double R Club, a gold heart friendship necklace, a Double R tote bag, a 'damn fine' pin, a red room brooch and David Lynch signature coffee) and an exceedingly cozy VIP lounge bar with more doughnuts, coffee vodka shots and a charming barman to boot. My favourite area of the venue which became busy later in the day was the Roadhouse bar in the basement - it truly felt as though we were in the Roadhouse.

The Double R Club, a Lynchian cabaret troupe who I have raved about more than once on the blog, took to the stage to entice and excite us with a number of wonderful and strange performances.We were terrified by the sword swallowing seductress Snake Fervor, in hysterics when Julee Cruise-Ship took to the stage singing campy versions of Julie Cruise's best known numbers and Em Brulee left us with shivers after serenading us with Sycamore Trees. Lydia Darling gave a fabulous strip tease performance as Laura Palmer in the red room to a tune I can't get out of my head (Black Coffee by Joanne Weaver. Do check it out.) and Heavy Metal Pete accused me for the second time in his daring Special Agent whip act (he must find me particularly suspicious and perhaps I shouldn't blame him). All of these tremendous performances were strung together by Benjamin Louche who effortlessly transports his audience to the dark Lynchian underworld we all seek comfort in.

Snake Fervor of The Double R Club

Of course one of the day's highlights were the special guests - Ian Buchanan (Dick Tremayne) and Chris Mulkey (Hank Jennings) had flown over specially to see us and they were an absolute hoot all day long. Both took so much time and care when meeting the fans. Ian said he remembered me from the first time we met - he is utterly charming and so stylish and handsome. Chris Mulkey frequently broke out on his guitar - he is a total rock star and very good fun. Later in the day I passed him in the hall and he yelled out "there they are!" to my sister and I and stopped to chat some more. I think Hank and Dick are my new favourite characters!!

The Q&A later in the evening was hilarious - the audience were in tears of laughter as Chris and Ian told anecdotes and made many an innuendo which I think they knew would go down well with the predominantly British audience. Another thing I love about the UK Fest is that everyone is up for having a drink and a good time resulting in a very relaxed, care free and fun event.

Tom Huddleston interviewing Chris Mulkey and Ian Buchanan

The long day ended with a game of Twingo (Twin Peaks bingo) hosted by Miss Rose Thorne and Benjamin Louche of The Double R Club, a very difficult trivia quiz (well I am terrible at trivia at the best of times but after such a long day and a few glasses of wine I have no hope of success) and a DJ set with more drinks, laughter and brilliant conversation.

Was it the best Twin Peaks UK Fest yet? I couldn't possibly say and not because I have any negative words but because the superb thing about the fest is that each year it is unique with a different schedule, setting and surprises so we never get bored. Lindsey and all of her team put so much thought, time and care into it and it really shows in every way on the day. Another triumphant and wonderful Twin Peaks UK Fest. Thank you Lindsey, The Double R Club, Tom Huddleston for the fab DJing and Q&A, everyone who helped out on the day and to all of the wonderful Peakie pals I have met over the years who made it extra special. Bring on 2017!

Find out more about the Twin Peaks UK Festival at and listen to me rabbiting on about the festival on the Twin Peaks Unwrapped podcast - a fantastic podcast which I regularly listen to on my commute to work. I highly recommend you do too!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

7 Things We Learned From Mark Frost's Reddit AMA

*Minor spoilers for The Secret History of Twin Peaks and the new season*

Mark Frost, co-creator of Twin Peaks, took part in a Reddit AMA yesterday answering all things Twin Peaks related! Although he successfully dodged many questions about the new season with the swift response of "That's classified." there was some interesting information to be found...

1. The new footage for season 3 "looks tremendous" and Frost is "wildly enthusiastic" about the new music created to go along with it. Trailers, announcements, behind the scenes footage and merchandise should be coming soon... "stay tuned".

2. Frost confirmed that there was discussion about bringing back Keifer Sutherland and Chris Isaak for the new season. They played FBI Agents in Lynch's prequel film Fire Walk With Me. Although neither have been linked to the new season I hope they will make an appearance somewhere.

3. The greatest challenge in returning to the story 25 years later was remembering what they wrote the last time and tying it all together. Does this prove that some of the potential 'mistakes' in The Secret History of Twin Peaks could be down to forgetting the past?

4. But when asked if Pete Martell was a chess or checkers player, Frost confirmed that he was a master checkers player. This changed character detail in The Secret History has baffled many of us as we all remember how Pete assisted Agent Cooper in his deadly chess game against Windom Earle... they didn't play checkers!

5. Mark Frost strongly suggests that the dossier found in The Secret History of Twin Peaks has been tampered with. Perhaps why Pete is now apparently a checkers player? The book is still a bit of a mystery to me at the moment but Frost suggested that it would make more sense when the new season comes out and it should provide some "eureka!" moments.

6. The only other hint he gave about The Secret History of Twin Peaks is that there is something going on with the grid lines on the slip cover. So study this carefully and report back to me if you figure anything out!

7. He hates asparagus. Which reminds me of someone's secret diary entry: "Asparagus for dinner again. I hate asparagus. Does this mean I'll never grow up?"

To read the AMA in full click here.

Mark Frost is currently promoting his recently released and excellent Twin Peaks book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks. I am very much looking forward to his arrival in London and will be attending the Q&A at Waterstones on 17th November. Unfortunately tickets are sold out but I'll post everything I find out here and on Twitter where you can follow me @IshbelBeeson.