The Topp Twins
Twin sisters, Jools and Lynda Topp, the Topp Twins, are well-loved New Zealand’s “national treasures” who have been entertaining audiences with their distinctive brand of original music and character comedy for more than 30 years.
In 2018 they were appointed Dame Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Or as Jools – sorry, Dame Julie Bethridge Topp – puts it: “The rebels got their medals.”
The twins started their performing careers as street buskers gathering crowds of hundreds on a Friday night on Auckland’s Queen Street and as activists protesting against apartheid (the Springbok tour), supporting Maori land rights, nuclear-free NZ, and Homosexual Law reform. Students Arts Council Tours and then a TV Special in 1986 helped make them household names and they went on to enjoy international success performing at festivals such as Montreal’s Just For Laughs, the Edinburgh Fringe, many Australian arts and music festivals, Canadian folk festivals and highly acclaimed seasons at London theatres.
They have won a multitude of awards for their music and prime-time TV shows. In 2009 a documentary feature film about their lives, The Topp Twins, Untouchable Girls, broke domestic NZ box office records and became a worldwide hit. The film won more than 20 international film awards, including the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival (2009) and has sold to Australia, Canada, United States, Netherlands, France and the UK.
Most recently the Topp Twins starred in a new primetime TV series, Topp Country (TVNZ), which won three awards at the 2018 NZ TV Awards – Best Lifestyle Series, Best Director and Best Cinematography. The Twins have released six best-selling children’s audio books and regularly tour Australia and NZ to sold-out venues. They have received the New Zealand Order of Merit and Honorary Doctorates, and in 2010 were inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame.
The Topp Twins broad appeal is incomparable: they delight audiences of all ages and from all walks of life with their unique brand of character comedy, original country music, spontaneity and audience participation. Their series of audio books for children based on traditional songs such as There’s A Hole in My Bucket, for Scholastic, have proven a hit with children in Australia, Canada and NZ.
As the London Times said they are “a comedy act to treasure”.