Friday, 19 July 2019

New Socks Roll Up! shirt available now


Here it is at last, the 2019 Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre: ROLL UP! Official t-shirt and it can be yours now! Ready to post next week (or throughout August, till they sell out).

It's our traditional black t shirt, available in Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, and Female Medium, bearing the new Socks Roll Up roundel (detail below, clearly fake shirt in photo above)

To order one, simply pay £20 (UK) /$30 (to USA) by Paypal to sockpuppets@sitcomtrials.co.uk including in your order the size you want and your full address. A shirt will be yours by return.


The print run has been made, so sizes are limited to the ones shown above (thanks to those who pre-ordered kids sizes and super-duper-large shirts, those are now sadly out of stock).

In Edinburgh the shirts will be £15 each direct from me (ie postage free). Text or DM me to order those when you're up there.

Thanks in anticipation for your orders. Love The Socks.

 NB: Postage. Two shirts are £35 / $50 inc postage, three shirts are £52 / $75 inc postage, four shirts are £70 / $100 inc postage.



The Scottish Falsetto Socks brand new show ROLL UP! is previewing Nationwide:(Only 2 previews to go)
July 20 - Bedford Fringe

July 28 - Derby Bar One 

July 31st - August 25th, The Scottish Falsetto Socks ROLL UP! at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose 9.30pm, every night of the Edinburgh Fringe 2019. Sexy new venue, sexy new timeslot. Book now!

Monday, 15 July 2019

Roll Up! Flyer & poster ready at last


Have I cut it a bit fine this year? I think I might have. Today was the deadline to get the artwork to the printers for the Socks' Edinburgh flyers and posters, and at just after 5pm we sent them over. Phew. The hardest part? As ever, it's the back of the flyer. This has me agonising every year. What do you think?


I say "what do you think?" but, to be honest, if I've made a glaring error it's too late to put it right. This is what we're going with, 10,000 of which I shall be thrusting in the faces of punters on the Royal Mile, Bristo Square, and outside the new Patter Hoose venue for the next month. Oh, and here's the poster.


The eagle eyed among you may have spotted an improvement upon the version of the images that appear in the ad in the programme. Can you see it? Here's a clue, a wee glimpse of the work in progress...


Ooh, not my most flattering photo. And that's why my face doesn't get seen by the public. Off you go now and buy your tickets.



The Scottish Falsetto Socks brand new show ROLL UP! is previewing Nationwide:(Only 2 previews to go)
July 20 - Bedford FringeJuly 28 - Derby Bar One 


July 31st - August 25th, The Scottish Falsetto Socks ROLL UP! at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose 9.30pm, every night of the Edinburgh Fringe 2019. Sexy new venue, sexy new timeslot. Book now!

Amputation? Decapitation?!? Comics by kids


A slightly sick twist to the comics this week, probably a result of working with a mix of years 7 to 10 in their Activities week. So it was that Churchill Academy's kids gave us an amputation themed cover, as well as a Theresa May one (full disclosure: on the actual copy they took home in their hands, I've mis-spelled Theresa as Therasa. What happens when you're talking and trying to write and draw at the same time.)


In Radcliffe School (sorry The Radcliffe School, it has a definite article, and why not) in Wolverton Milton Keynes, they'd gone one step further with a full blown decapitation in their title. The Insinabrablil title is one of those occasional examples where a kids' handwriting is so garbled, none of us can actually read what they've written, so I pronounce it as a gibberish word, and it's the funniest thing they've ever heard, so it wins.


On Sunday I travelled to Harpenden to do my class at a 9th birthday party, for a lad called Harry. These are always unpredictable events, and I was pleased to get kudos from the parents for my crowd control. One kid, regardless of what question he'd been asked, would always answer "Poopy". Hours of endless fun. I've coloured up the flipchart I left them with, in lieu of them not getting a photocopied comic to take away. We can still have fun without a photocopier.


The celebrities these five groups chose to star in my demonstration strip were Freddie Mercury, Gordon Ramsey, Boris Johnson, Ant McPartlin and David Attenborough.


Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

Friday, 12 July 2019

Toilets, Pants & Knickers - comics by kids


My trip to Strule Arts in Omagh, which, as I think I've recorded elsewhere, was hardly the most profitable bit of travelling once I'd taken out all the costs, nevertheless produced a couple of stonking covers which, when coloured up, look a treat. I do hope the kids got to see the finished item. (When I'm in a school, you see, I can email the finished item to their teacher. At an art centre where they've dropped in from all over, I can only hope they see these when I post them on Twitter. Hi kids.


At Stewkeley in Gloucestershire, the year 3 and 4s (the youngest I've worked with for a while) came up with the sweetest and most innocent titles of the month. Which reminds me, I should really tot up at the end of the year which age groups I've worked with most.


At St Katherines School in Pill the kids overdosed on name-dropping titles. Four mashed up TV and movie icons there, such fun.


The 6 celebrities these groups chose for my demonstration strip were Tom Holland, Hermione Granger, Emma Watson (yes, she was chosen separately under both names), William Shakespeare, Simon Cowell and Beyonce.


Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

Monday, 8 July 2019

The Little Mermaid - new video from the Socks


Brand new song and video from the Socks, riffing on the recent Little Mermaid story, and to the tune of a song by our favourite singer songwriter Dean Friedman. And guess what, Dean approves. Click and enjoy.

ARIEL

Way on the other side of disturbed and
Deep in the bosom of suburbia
There are some people who don’t like the girl who sings
Under The Sea and Part Of Your World

Standing by the phrase “I’m not racist but”
They start petitions bout who can play parts and who can’t
They’re going crazy cos a fictional cartoon mermaid
Is being played by someone they don’t think can be

Ariel

She is a cartoon girl, she is a mermaid
Sings underwater and her best friends are fish
But if she was black they say that’s unrealistic
How’d you tell these people that she doesn’t exist?

They sit and they tweet into the night
Gnashing their braced teeth and pulling out their blonde hair
While the rest of us will just go watch the film
And their complaints will float off into the air

Ariel


The Scottish Falsetto Socks brand new show ROLL UP! is previewing Nationwide:

June 27 - Neath Comedy Festival
July 4 - Maesteg Town Hall 
July 8 - Barnes Fringe
July 12 - Kings Arms Salford, GM Fringe
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 28 - Derby Bar One 

July 31st - August 25th, The Scottish Falsetto Socks ROLL UP! at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose 9.30pm, every night of the Edinburgh Fringe 2019. Sexy new venue, sexy new timeslot. Book now!

Sunday, 30 June 2019

History Of Edinburgh Fringe, Part 1 to 6


Brand new from the Socks, a complete history of the Edinburgh Fringe in a series of videos to be released between now and August. Today (Sunday) we recorded the first half dozen episodes, and this is the first to go live. Part 1: The Big Bing.

Part 2: 'Fringe'

Part 3: Free Festival

Part 4: Beyond The Fringe

Part 5: David Frost

Part 6: Too Big

Enjoy.


The Scottish Falsetto Socks brand new show ROLL UP! is previewing Nationwide:

June 27 - Neath Comedy Festival
July 4 - Maesteg Town Hall 
July 8 - Barnes Fringe
July 12 - Kings Arms Salford, GM Fringe
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 28 - Derby Bar One 

July 31st - August 25th, The Scottish Falsetto Socks ROLL UP! at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose 9.30pm, every night of the Edinburgh Fringe 2019. Sexy new venue, sexy new timeslot. Book now!

Friday, 28 June 2019

And then there were five… previews left. Notes after Neath


We do Neath Comedy Festival every year, pretty well, and The Old Duke is our regular venue for previews. The biggest challenge is not hitting your head on the low-lying beam above the stage (I avoided it this time). The second biggest challenge is making sure you entertain an audience who might not have seen you before (it was about 50/50 when we asked them) and definitely need you to keep up the laugh quotient. Not necessarily a tough crowd, but closer to a comedy club audience than a Socks-fan-filled theatre show.

Unlike our last preview in Grassington, Neath were harder work, but when we got them on board they were great. We were wrong-footed at the start (always a bad thing) by technical hiccups. Tony the owner, and acting technician, had a great lighting set up for us. Then, as soon as Noel James took the stage to introduce us, flicked from full white lights to red, for no obvious reason. So the Socks had to get him to put the lights right in our opening moments, which is hard to do when you’re trying to make a funny impact and give them confidence in you.

Then the sound balance was bad, which meant me adjusting the volume on my iPod during the first number (to be honest, I’m not sure Tony’s hearing is what it was back in the day when he was DJ-ing at The Marquee and rivalling Emperor Rosko for biggest touring rig in the country. Yes, we had a great chat at the start of the show, I like Tony.)


Once we’d got over that stumbling start, we started winning them round with the opening gags and what they could hear of I’m A Sock. The rest of the show’s running order was the same as Grassington with these notes:

Annie The Elephant - dropped this, it’ll stay dropped
Audience suggestions - Fire eating was excellent. Sadly their first choice was juggling so we did Juggling Dr Who. This is always going to look less great when it happens, just cos it’s not spontaneous, but we’ll have to live with it.
Australian Accents Song - getting better, still needs a stanza cutting
Nicole & Clown - after a good first half, which peaks with the Magic Routine, we’re still suffering a trucker’s gear-change when the second half is more sitcom than sketch show. Good laughs, but not the same as first half.
Pagliacci - struggles when the room’s not totally swept up in the show. Not bad, but a harder room makes you want to make every bit funnier
Grand Finale - intro (two scripts) really needs to be clearer, but lots of good laughs from this whole routine, right up to the punchline.
Ended with Sweary Poppins. Again a cop out, but a damn good ending for a club-type venue (we were the first half of a double bill, with Noel James doing his hour afterwards.)

So, lots of stuff to work on. The next day (Friday) I sat out in the sun in the garden with a biro and did some solid rewriting. Let’s see how much of the new material, including rough things called Cold Dead Hands, Susan Calman gag, Accents Challenge, Stealers Wheel gag, Stalker subplot, Out Of Your League routine, and Fair Dinkum, make it into the next preview on July 4th in Maesteg.

UPDATE: July 4th Maesteg. The above script amends, written in the back garden while I got my back sunburned and performed a week later as the skin peeled, went in and they worked. Maesteg were a smaller crowd (another hottest day of the year) but more warmed-up than Neath and the show was tighter, with no false starts.

Audience suggestion was firing from a cannon. The second time we've tried it, and fresh as ever, v good. Accents challenge worked well. The new Greggs prop with longer stick worked, and is now choreographed properly. New Clown gags worked, Fair Dinkum worked, Stealers Wheel got very good laughs. New Nicole Kidman outfit debuted (Hev sewed this week, so the two match) and almost worked, except I lost the prop just before its final appearance, one of the small performance cock-ups I have to avoid. Most reassuringly good laughs are for the Finale which is now very tight. The punchline of the whole show is still anticlimactic and, as always, we ended with Sweary Poppins. I fear we may have to make that our official closing number. (Goes off to Google if we've ever actually ended the Edinburgh show with it).

UPDATE: July 8th Barnes. At the OSO Theatre we gave them that same basic script again. Once more the biggest problems are the fluffs. I have to get the props on cleanly, and have smooth material flowing to cover the costume changes, otherwise it really makes the show stutter.

Greggs prop - hand came off in middle of routine, that's not good. Fix it. Also it's messy in the finale when they are all wearing each others costumes but could be clearer. Need to open the show with confidence when we're acting as our own warm-up act, so try and avoid ad-libbing before the audience have 'got' the characters and you've delivered good funny lines. Audience suggestion was lion taming, which got a shout of 'fix' when I produced the lion prop, but still went well.

UPDATE: July 12th Manchester, Kings Arms Salford. A small crowd in a hot room, and a good test of the material. Really need to make the opening section stronger, it's still a bit bitty. And I want to move the Pagliacci routine to earlier in the show, it holds the flow up being where it is. Everything else was good, but I want to make it better still. Lots of lovely audience Sock-selfies at the end, which is a real feelgood factor.


The Scottish Falsetto Socks brand new show ROLL UP! is previewing Nationwide:

June 27 - Neath Comedy Festival
July 4 - Maesteg Town Hall 
July 8 - Barnes Fringe
July 12 - Kings Arms Salford, GM Fringe
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 28 - Derby Bar One 

July 31st - August 25th, The Scottish Falsetto Socks ROLL UP! at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose 9.30pm, every night of the Edinburgh Fringe 2019. Sexy new venue, sexy new timeslot. Book now!
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