As part of Crispy Comedy Cuts’ continued coverage of this year’s Greater Manchester Fringe Festival Jonathon Dean reviews The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre’s “Boo-Lingerie” show at Lass O’Gowrie, Manchester on the 20th July 2012.
I’m going to get this out of the way first; I’m a gigantic fan of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, and was delighted when they appeared on the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival bill. This is perhaps the ninth time I’ve seen them, and part of me is still surprised when Kev F. Sutherland steps out from behind the tartan screen and takes a bow at the end. There is something about the hosiery double-acts’ clearly defined personalities that absolutely fools you into believing that they are two separate entities.
The new show is focussed around the horror genre – but as is the norm with the themes of their shows, it merely serves as a backdrop for their hilarious bickering. Jokes involving mishearing or misunderstanding the other (“I am talking about Hallowe’en!” “hallo, my name’s not Ian”) and the ‘Two Ronnies’-esque segments of hearing parts of three different things to add up to a hilarious alternative meaning are standard templates for the Socks’ performances, and here they are used with renewed vigour and all-new material.
Obviously, since it is early days of this performance bound for Edinburgh, some of the material is a little unpolished and unrehearsed but the basics are already in place – and having seen both work-in-progress and finished versions of his previous shows, this one looks to be even better than the last.
Much of the show, as always, is improvised due to various accidents and uncooperative props (and indeed whole performances before now have passed without actually managing to get in any scripted material at all!), and here the Socks excel – not even breaking character as they jibe each other by pointing out parts that went wrong, or covering logistical missteps with a skilfully delivered “you don’t know how it’s done and don’t pretend you do!” addressed to the audience, and absolutely turns a problem into a laugh.
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre will be performing their new Edinburgh Fringe festival show at the Gilded Balloon from the 1st to 26th of August, and a special children’s show Thursday-Sunday mornings between those dates. Their popular YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/sitcomtrials) is regularly updated with new material and exclusive routines.