The Rolls Royce of Flanders and Swann shows is back on the road. Dates are coming in thick and fast and will appear here first as multi-award winning comedian Tim FitzHigham and BBC Radio 4 musical maestro Duncan Walsh Atkins return to bring back the mud, madeira and mayhem of Michael Flanders OBE and Donald Swann.
The Masters of 1950s and 1960s madness, mirth and total silliness are paid affectionate tribute to in this evening of their words and music. Michael Flanders and Donald Swann toured the globe bringing laughter and song to millions. Mud, Mud Glorious Mud (The Hippopotamus Song), The Gnu Song, Madeira M'dear, The Gasman Cometh, and many of their other songs have passed into legend along with their anarchic sense of humour, wordplay and fun.
In 2001 Tim FitzHigham and Duncan Walsh Atkins took to the stage in a theatre in Sussex to raise money for a small cottage hospital and Flanders and Swann - At the Drop of a Hippopotamus was born.
In 2003 the show played five summer music festivals and one show for an Earl. All shows sold out.
In 2004 the show completed its first mammoth tour of the UK and the album At the Drop of a Hippopotamus was released as a limited edition. Both the shows and the album sold out.
In 2005 this show embarked on the largest Flanders and Swann tour since Flanders and Swann toured in the 1960s. The show played to the largest Flanders and Swann audiences since the great pair played The Theatre Royal, Haymarket in the 1950s. The album, At the drop of a Hippopotamus was re-released and again sold out. This tour finished with Tim and Duncan headlining at the International Flanders and Swann Festival in Donald Swann's House (in Battersea, naturally), where Duncan played the songs on Swann's piano and Tim drank madeira from Micheal's famous decanter.
In 2006, the show completed it's fourth marathon UK tour, played the Edinburgh Festival at the Pleasance Theatre and a specially designed format of the show was developed for corporate audiences.
2007 saw another mammoth tour for the show, including dates in the UK and across Europe, a second successful run at the Edinburgh Festival, and many corporate bookings.
In 2008 the show played a staggering fifth sell out UK tour and a third sellout run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before taking on a tour of Switzerland (Michael always said he was very big in Switzerland - this proved to be right!).
In 2009 the duo took the songs out again in an incredible sixth UK tour playing even larger theatres before another sell out run at Edinburgh. The album At The Drop of a Hippopotamus entered its third imprint as again it had sold out.
2010. A seventh UK tour, a fifth sell out Edinburgh and many shows for large UK companies, High Sheriffs and Peers of the Realm. The boys' initial attempt to keep the Hippopotamus wallowing had become a phenomenon.
2011. An almost unbelievable eighth UK tour (no one was more shocked than Tim and Duncan), sixth sell out Edinburgh - their afternoon slot now one of the staples of the Fringe - and an opportunity to get even more rare songs out of the canon.
2012. On the ninetieth anniversary of the birth of Michael Flanders OBE the show swung into the celebratory spirit (not to excess naturally! As Michael would have said) with an appropriate ninth UK tour and seventh Edinburgh run. To have the hippo still wallowing, audiences still laughing and reviewers still reviewing kindly on the 90th anniversary of the birth of Michael was something of which the boys are honoured to have been part.
2013 marks the ninetieth anniversary of the birth of Donald Swann. After beginning a tenth UK tour in January the show boarded a plane and took the great songs, dinner jackets and keyboard even further across the globe. Nearly 50 years after the great pair themselves first went there, Flanders & Swann is back in Australia, and thrilled to be playing the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
With generous support from the estates of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, At the Drop of a Hippopotamus continues to go from strength to strength. As Michael was the first to suggest, their songs were - and are - not sung nearly enough. At the Drop of a Hippopotamus is an attempt to redress this, and an attempt by Duncan's wife to re-dress him in a smart suit.
The show is produced by Infinite Number of Monkeys and acclaimed West End production house TEG, by arrangement with the estates of Flanders and Swann, and in association with PBJ Management.