Brighton Fringe 2010
With Youtube cult status, Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, a pair of sock puppets, take us on a humorous and fairly anarchic ride through the world of movies.
From the opening "We will sock you" to the Star Wars finale, this tartan-clad Punch-and-Judy style puppet box becomes a place for two socks from Scotland to play out scenes from movies and engage in comedic banter with each other and an audience, many of whom were not seeing this for the first time.
Skilled guitar puppetry blends with a little knockabout and plenty of one-liners and humour that definitely isn’t for kids. This is an hour long exploration of "fillum"!
The sound wasn’t clear enough during the songs. Our two bauble-eyed socks host the action and a big part of the comedy comprises the banter between them, all delivered from "below" with much wit and verbal skill. We suspend our disbelief almost immediately as the verbal knockabout kicks in. These are socks with personalities, socks with attitude.
The comedy didn’t always take hold of the whole audience as I know it can, possibly because the sound system lacked clarity in the small venue. Some routines were clever, others, such as The Brighton Rock routine were a bit laboured. In voicing the socks, the performer gives them identical voices and sometimes it’s hard to follow what’s going on. It’s a pity some of the material hasn’t been updated. For example, The Swine Flu song is a bit out of date.
What redeems some of the uneven material is the skilful banter between the pair of socks and the endearing mood of the show.
There are parallels to be drawn with the world of adult ventriloquists such as Roger de Courcey and Nookie Bear – a cute looking bear who hurls forth expletives. We always enjoy undermining childhood "correctness" as adults. Here the socks are reminiscent of a children’s puppet show, they are simple and invite us, like children, to imagine them as real – then we realise they are foulmouthed and adult-headed. Does it work? Yes it does. It’s a mixed quality of material that fails to lift this version of the show into the realm of four or five stars.
If you’re already a fan, you’ll enjoy it as always. If you are new,make sure you get a seat near the front and enter into the spirit of it.