Press Release for Jools and Lynda Topp Honorary Doctorate
New Zealand’s famous and favourite comedy pair, Jools and Lynda Topp will be presented with honorary doctorates from the University of Waikato.
The Topp Twins, raised on a farm near Huntly, will have their degrees conferred at a capping ceremony on October 20 in Hamilton’s Founders Theatre.
The comedians, singers, feminists and social activists have entertained audiences for more than 30 years, starting as buskers in downtown Auckland before undertaking numerous New Zealand and overseas tours, cutting at least eight records and making more than a dozen television shows and a movie.
“We like the Topp Twins because they’re not only funny, they have a social conscience,” says University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford. “They worked out a long time ago that people will usually listen to a song before a speech. And they have a charming ability to send people up without pulling them down.”
Jools and Lynda Topp were high-profile opponents of the 1981 Springbok rugby tour, strong proponents of homosexual law reform, and vocal campaigners for Maori land rights and Nuclear-Free New Zealand.
Their movie, Untouchable Girls was released in 2009 and immediately broke records for best opening day and weekend in New Zealand’s movie history. The documentary charts the twins’ life stories and highlights major social and political movements during the last three decades. It also tracks Jools’ diagnosis, treatment and recovery from breast cancer.
Professor Crawford says the University of Waikato has been committed to gender equality since the early seventies. “Feminism has infiltrated teaching and research in many disciplines – education, psychology, history, philosophy, law, management, Maori and Pacific development, tourism and geography. The region has a reputation for producing strong women. To honour the Topp Twins is a natural and perfect fit.”
Here’s a collection of reviews and articles:
“Their bravery and talent are an inspiration and the whole thing makes you want to move to New Zealand…” London Evening Standard, February 17, 2012
“A docu that has you falling in love with two of the crazier people you’ve never met…” Variety, September 13, 2009
“…fun-loving personalities and a gift for rousing original songs — the ladies emit a genuine warmth that reels audiences in.” -the New York Times, May 12, 2011
“Resistance is futile. Don’t even try not falling for these adorable twin lesbian political-activist farmer/folksinger/comedians.” -Seattle Weekly, May 18, 2011
“Imagine a cross between the Indigo Girls and the Smothers Brothers…” -TimeOut New York, May 10, 2011
“Flight of the Conchords have nothing on this New Zealand musical comedy duo…” -TimeOut Chicago, May 18, 2011
“[The Topps] can charm even the crankiest viewers, thanks to their soaring, clarion harmonies and cuddly-butch personas.” -The Village Voice, May 11, 2011
“…effervescent and just about irresistible.” -Windy City Times
“…a real double threat: Their audience can choke up, or choke with laughter.” -The Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2011
“…as much a love letter to New Zealand as it is about the Topps.” -San Francisco Chronicle, May 12, 2011
“It’s difficult not to get swept up in their story and carried away by their effusive charm.” -The Front Row, May 11. 2011
Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood on IndieWire.com
“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll yodel.” -CBC, April 21, 2011
“…these sisters are the best thing to come out of New Zealand since lamb chops.” -The Toronto Star, March 23, 2011
“…the Topp Twins have pulled off a brilliantly subversive (and completely unconscious, it seems) con that helped change the culture of their native land.” -The Globe and Mail, March 23, 2011
“One-of-a-kind entertainers.” -Now Toronto, March 24, 2011
“…one of the best feel-good films of the year.” -CinemaEye.com
Life lessons: Jools and Lynda Topp, The New Zealand Herald, January 24, 2011
Concert Review: Kenny Rogers, Vector Arena, The New Zealand Herald, January 24, 2011
At the Movies:Topp Twins Untouchable, ABC Australia, January 2010
Topp Twins, The Age, November 19, 2009
Topp Twins hoe-down for kiwis, TVNZ, January 10, 2011
100 Year Tour Press Release in pdf format.
100 Topp Years (747kb)
Press releases in Word format.
Press Releases (400kb)
Radio clip on the national Kathryn Ryans show, check it out, if you missed it!
Radio NZ Podcast
Past reviews of the Topp Twins – these are scans of the real thing!
Radio and TV Commercials from the past few years.
Radio and TV Commercials (3.4mb)
A collection of previous poster and flyer artwork.
Sample Artwork (2.7mb)
Scans of articles about the Twins.