RICHARD Carpenter used to be on top of the world, looking down on creation, to the left of and slightly behind his sister, the late singing superstar Karen Carpenter.

Matthew Floyd Jones used to be the guy in the hat to the left, behind the piano, in Frisky & Mannish, his comedy cabaret double act with big-haired singer Laura Corcoran.

Now their "second fiddle" roles combine in Richard Carpenter Is Close To You, written and performed by York-bound Floyd Jones in a solo show that puts Carpenter in the spotlight while doing likewise to Floyd Jones.

The premise of Sunday's 3pm show at the Great Yorkshire Fringe revolves around Richard Carpenter, multi-talented musician, composer, arranger, orchestrator, producer and engineer, being back on the circuit and solitaire really is the only game in town.

"Richard Carpenter Is Close To You is an epic concert of hit tunes and harrowing travesties from the smiliest guy in pop-rock history," reads the Fringe festival brochure. "A bittersweet dark comedy that tells the hilarious, traumatic, imaginary tale of the ultimate piano player."

What drew Floyd Jones to Carpenter's story? "It makes very good sense to me that I could relate to Richard because, for the last decade I've been playing part of a double act, though we aren't like the Carpenters at all. We're a comedy double act; we're not brother and sister; the Carpenters were a big, worldwide phenomenon and Laura and I were a well-liked Fringe act!" he says.

"But the more I thought about it, I've always been a huge Carpenters fan, they were the soundtrack to my childhood, and just as from the very beginning Richard would hear tunes on the radio and go to the piano and play them, I have the exact same story. My parents bought me this little Casio with two octaves that I first played on, so I felt there were parallels there."

Such as? "I could explore Richard Carpenter from the position of being a piano player, understanding that role, and being close knit with your stage partner, but you're not the one with the charisma that everyone is drawn to when you're not the most rock'n'roll guy," says Floyd Jones.

"I find it fascinating that Richard was the musical mastermind, but Karen was the one everyone connected with, not just because she had such an extraordinary voice but such a winning personality too. He was both lucky and unlucky that out of all the sisters he could have had, she was the sister that could make anyone fade into the background, even though he was so musically gifted himself."

Floyd Jones's parody show with pastiche Carpenters songs is "not affiliated with Richard Carpenter in any way", he stresses. "It's a work of fiction inspired by his legacy and intended with love. It's not malicious, as I love Richard, and he's a vessel for me to get to look at some deeper issues, like me heading towards this massive self-acceptance of my role with Laura."

Great Yorkshire Fringe presents Richard Carpenter Is Close To You, The Shed, Sunday, 3pm. Box office: or 01904 500600.