Saturday, 28 February 2009

Official Support Socks for Comic Relief

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are now Official Support Socks supporting Kev F's attempt to break the world joke telling record for Comic Relief:

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Comic Relief joke attempt launches on BBC1

Launching the Comic Relief joke telling attempt, piece on BBC Points West features, for the first time, Kev F & the Socks together:

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Comic Art Masterclass comics

As I may have mentioned, I do an awful lot of Comic Art Masterclasses around the country, teaching kids how to tell stories in pictures. They produce a comic by the end of the morning (or afternoon) which they take home. It contains a strip by each of them plus a caricature of each of them on the back page. Here are photos of 16 comics produced already this year:

Jub Jubs Go Mad - Birmingham Central Library
The Evil & The Edible - Launceston Primary, Cornwall
Glabeoon Attack Of The Mutated Pigs - Stottesdon Primary, Shropshire
Attack Of The Powerpuff Scotsman - Werneth High, Stockport
Denise The Menise & The Doom Of Jeremy Clarkson - Orchid Vale, Swindon
Sponge Wars Demon Doors - Orchid Vale, Swindon
Barack H Obama's Chicken Phlegm - Gosport Discovery Centre
Attack Of The Random Cats That Go Moo - Werneth High, Stockport
Big Nose Adventures of Doctor Poo - New Milton Library
Super Rabbit in Stotty Goes Mad Bananas - Stottesdon Primary, Shropshire
Koala Bogey Infested Milkshake - Porthcawl Pavilion
Monster Zap & Poo Bum - Porthcawl Pavilion
Attack Of The Hamsters - New Milton Library
Ken What You Should Dae - Ratho Library, Edinburgh
Tramps Reunion - Greenfield Primary
Doodle McDougal & Timmy The Tomato - Sacred Hearts Primary, Edinburgh

Monday, 16 February 2009

Idiots and money rant

I just saw some idiot on the news saying we soon won't need money, we'll pay for everything on our mobiles. You'll swipe your phone and that'll pay for things. That's all well and good, I understand the technology, it's not that different from chip & pin cards.

What bugged me was the alleged expert's insistence that this technology was so good it was about to replace cash. About. To replace. Cash.

Now I remember at least ten years ago seeing a similar bloke on a similar TV news show telling me that chip and pin and globalised credit systems were so brilliant that "the only people who would use cash would be criminals."

Idiots idiots idiots. Money transferred from your phone. Has he ever tried getting a signal where we live? And if there's no cash and so everybody has to pay by phone, what happens when the sytems down? What happens when your batteries go? What happens when you're in one of the many locations I work in that get no signal (in the last 10 days that would include schools in Shropshire and Dorset, concrete buildings in South Wales and Birmingham, and my Mum and Dad's house in Leicestershire)?

And what about kids? How are they going to pay their dinner money? What are you going to do when you send them down the road to fetch you 20 Lambert & Butlers and a bottle of lambrini and a scratchcard? And what about shops like my photocopy shop that has a minimum of £5 on credit cards? Won't they be the same with this new technology?

More insidious, should we not be suspicious of people suggesting that the only way we could pay money for anything is through a bank. No more relying on the cash in your own pocket, everything would have to go through a multinational global organisation that would hold the power over your every transaction. Stick your hand in your pocket, pull out a few coins, buy stuff, easy. Get on the phone, wait for a signal, hope your pay-as-you-go hasn't run out, then hope the bank will still allow you to pay the two pennies and haven't skimmed a bit off to pay your credit cards. Or of course the bank hasn't gone tits up owing billions for reason you've never actually understood.

If they ever come within even a square mile of getting rid of cash, I'm moving straight over to a barter system. And the first thing I'm bartering for is a big gun and the addresses of all the idiots in banks who trot out this nonsense every decade.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Leicester Say - Thoughts on Leicester Comedy Festival 2009

WE (The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre) just enjoyed a fabulous 5 day run at the LCF, in the Gilded Balloon's all new set-up in The City Rooms in the centre of town.

We did very well, and would like to thank everyone involved.

Who has other thoughts and observations on Leicester Comedy Festival 09?

Friday, 13 February 2009

Chortle review from Leicester

Okay, it's not a bad review after all. I was a bit put off that it appeared to be a 3 star review, then I realised the stars were left over from our earlier Edinburgh review, and that Chortle's Leicester Comedy Festival reviews are in fact star-free. So I'll count this as a 4-starrer:

Review from Leicester Comedy Festival, February 2009

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre is one of those ideas that can be stupidly entertaining over a three-minute internet clip, although you fear just how thin the joke is stretched during a 60-plus minute show.

It is exactly what it says on the label: two sock puppets who speak in high-pitched comedy Scottish accents rattle through puns, songs, puns, sketches, puns, vaudeville backchat, puns and puns.

Yet though the abandonment of all restraint and shame, the show can often be hilarious, thanks to the power of chutzpah alone.

Creator Kev F Sutherland has created a viral online marketing campaign for the wee chappies that’s as ferocious as ebola, releasing a new clip almost daily. It means a lot of material is generated for this full-length offering, so although the chuckle levels do flag at times, overall it’s a lot more entertaining than you would think.

Our nameless duo aim to be the Morecambe and Wise of the hosiery world, right down to the Play-What-I-Wrote dynamic of one sock attempting something weighty, which the other undermines with their impatient tomfoolery; although they do eventually cooperate for the potted version of Romeo & Juliet that closes the show.

Sometimes the banter is almost painfully bad: for example the sequence when sock B repeatedly – and increasingly tenuously – misunderstands the person sock A is talking about. It starts with ‘deforestation’ being confused with ‘DeForest Kelly’ and goes downhill (if you can acknowledge such a thing) from there. Yet by acknowledging the unlikeliness of the confusion, but ploughing on regardless, the painfulness of situation becomes funny.

Sutherland has, basically, hit on a formula that makes appalling jokes work. No flesh-and-blood comic would ever get away with the sort of forced material often on offer here. But say it in a silly voice, with a sock on your hand, and it transforms into something charming.

The low-tech constraints of it all provide laughs, too, as from behind the Punch-and-Judy style booth, Sutherland struggles gamely with costume changes for his google-eyed characters, or even loses his place in the script.

This show might not be high art, but it’s happy to celebrate its own sheer daftness – and with that sort of lively, knockabout attitude you can’t help but have silly fun.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Leicester Comedy Festival, February 2009

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Rave Sock reviews & Chortle front cover

Look, we're on the cover of Chortle. Also we got a rave review in the Leicester Mercury:

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre at the City Rooms

Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 10:00

By Sally Tipper

Yes, you read that act right, and no, I’d not heard of them either.

They’ve been both a hit and a hoot in Edinburgh, apparently, not to mention on YouTube, and if you like your comedy woolly, silly and a little bit sweary, then this could be the show for you.

Sock puppets are pretty funny. Singing sock puppets are that bit funnier. Singing sock puppets indulging in slapstick violence and mocking popular culture – what could be funnier?

You want more? How about if the whole thing were performed in a Scottish falsetto? Then surely you’ve got a winning double act on your hands.
Click here!

It turns out to be nigh-on impossible to keep the grin off your face as you’re regaled with bizarre parody after bizarre parody - Shakespeare, Johnny Cash and mods and rockers all came in for the squeaky-voiced hosiery treatment to great effect.

Look past the silly premise, though, and there’s some pretty smart scripting and spot-on comic timing at work here too.

They’re here until Friday.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Guinness World Record joke telling attempt for Comic Relief

I've been asked by my local BBC to attempt the Guinness World Record telling most jokes in an hour. 600 one liners. I'm going to go for it. So, unlike Tim Vine (former record holder) who had 8 hours of self-penned one liners to choose from, I don't. I have maybe five minutes of one liners from 10 years as a stand up, the rest of my stuff being longer stories or, most recently, sketches songs and dialogues.

So the thought is to collect gags from the general public, and my thought is to do it via Twitter. Since Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters, gags must de facto be short enough to fit the bill. Just hope they don't all turn out to be Tim Vine gags.

At last night's gig I met Barry Cryer but failed to get a starting gag from him. Must remember to miss more obvious opportunities like that more often.
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