Topp Twins to make first public appearance since breast cancer treatment

The Topp Twins are to make their first public appearance since Lynda's cancer diagnosis and COVID-19 lockdowns halted their plans for a national tour in 2022 to celebrate their 40th anniversary as performers.

The Topp Twins' 40th Anniversary Tribute Concert will take place at Auckland's Civic Theatre on Monday, November 7.

The line-up of artists performing at the tribute concert include Tami Neilson, Anika Moa, Ria Hall, Dame Hinewehi Mohi, Troy Kingi, Jackie Clarke, Annie Crummer and Don McGlashan.

Each of the acts will perform Topp Twins' songs "with a twist", while some of New Zealand's funniest comedians, as well as special guests, will pay homage to the godmothers of the local comedy scene.

The concert will be hosted by Karen O'Leary, Dame Lynda's on-screen daughter in Wellington Paranormal

At the time of writing, the Ticketmaster website showed just two tickets remained for the event.

"Jools & I will be there to perform with our friends. We are fighters, always have been, always will be. See ya there," they said in September when tickets were announced.

Ahead of the concert Tami Neilson paid tribute to the Twins, saying she hoped the event would "lift them up the way they've lifted us all."

"These twin sister lesbian comedy drag kings that sing country music are one of our most beloved acts in New Zealand and gave me my start by sharing their stages with me when I moved here. They taught me you can build your own empire when you don't fit the mold," she said on Twitter.

"They also showed me how to stand and fight for what is right, use your voice for activism, all while delivering joy. 

"Tonight I have the huge honour of honouring them while we raise funds for their fight with cancer. I hope we can lift them up the way they've lifted us all."

Proceeds from the concert will help pay for the twins' ongoing treatment and living costs.

In March, the entertainment legends announced they were both fighting breast cancer.

Jools was first diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2006 at the age of 48 but overcame it after her left breast was removed and weeks of gruelling chemotherapy.

Jools said she began to feel unwell again last year shortly after Lynda found out she also had breast cancer. 

"So, all of a sudden, boom. In COVID, I can't be with Jools. I came out of the office at St George's Hospital and I sat in the car. 

"I just burst into tears."

The Topp Twins have become Kiwi television mainstays with their show the Topp Twins, where they played characters Camp Mother, Camp Leader, Ken and Ken.

In September, it was revealed Lynda Topp had been forced to stop chemotherapy for her breast cancer, due to a "nerve-damaging side effect".

An update on the Topp Twins Facebook at the time revealed that they're trying to "stay positive every day".

"Lynda has had to stop her chemo treatment due to chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy which is a nerve damaging side effect of the weekly chemo she was receiving," the statement said.

"Symptoms are tingling, pain, numbness and reduced balance in her feet. She is currently receiving acupuncture treatment and natural plant-based remedies as there is no known cure for this."