And here we see the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre in a shopping mall...
That's the boys in Rundle Mall Adelaide, doing a slot in the Fringe Caravan, watched by shoppers with children and, I'm delighted to say, getting some good laughs. It's a promotional stage for the shows in the Adelaide Fringe / Garden of Unearthly Delights* and we're all under strict orders to keep things kid friendly. Apparently last year a stand up comedian said a sweary word and it made the papers.
It's difficult, though, to know what counts as a sweary word in Australia or Adelaide. Bugger. for example, slipped by unnoticed, as did bloody, but we cut out a couple of cocks from the opening song. Crap similarly elicited no response. There was only one word which, afterwards, we were told we should avoid when we play that stage again. And that word is..?
That's right. Amsterdam's major airport is the most offensive word we could think of to say to the good people of Adelaide. (If you've not heard the Socks routine which mentions Schipol, here it is performed live in Camden a couple of weeks ago.)
And Camden, and indeed England, Britain or the Northern Hemisphere, couldn't feel further away right at this moment. Adelaide is hot. Sooooo hot. I went to Abu Dhabi last year, and that was technically hotter except that nobody spends any time outdoors in Abu Dhabi most of the time so you're usually dressed to be indoors in icy air conditioning. Here in Adelaide we're outside a lot. Walking to and from the venue - and don't get me started on how long it takes to cross the bloody roads - then most importantly promoting and performing in the Garden.
Our venue is great and though it got hot for me I'm sure the audience were more than used to it. Me, I sweated so much I was blinded for the last 10 minutes of the show. I think the fact that I was sweating SPF30 sunscreen into my eyes probably didn't help.
The audience however more than made up for it. Not quite a full house yet, but well up on the first night and making a marvellous noise throughout. I even signed my first Socks autographs of the run last night, which is always lovely.
As an extra boost I've discovered that the sales figures I've been seeing on screen, and which has me a bit disappointed after Friday night, don't in fact tell the whole story. They only show me the tickets sold through the Adelaide Fringe box office. The tickets sold through the Garden's own box office don't appear on my screen which means we're doing even better than I thought, which is very nice to know.
This is one regard in which Adelaide has echoes of Edinburgh in the past. In 2007 Edinburgh had two box office systems like that, until one crashed and they had to amalgamate. Another echo of Edin past was that all the drinks in the Garden are served in glass. Glass bottles, glass glasses, all tinkly smashable glass. And as far as I could see none of it was getting smashed because, well I guess people just know how to behave. In Edinburgh every outside venue I can think of has served all drinks in plastic cups for years now.
We have yet to make a Socks video here (new camera to get used to as much as anything else) and haven't experienced much of Adelaide itself except a few shops (the exchange rate makes everything feel unnervingly expensive), work, sleep and a bit of jetlag. Oh and I bought my first thongs yesterday (that's Australian for flip flops) and am nursing the resultant blisters between my toes. But I'm sure we'll find plenty to enjoy once we settle in. Meanwhile the crowds are lovely, the Socks are doing good shows, and I guess you can grow to enjoy losing half your body weight in sweat every night, I think of it as exercise.
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide at 7.45pm every night until March 18th. Tickets here.
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video
* The Garden of Unearthly Delights, which is the main venue in Adelaide and where the Socks are playing, starts its programme of events a week earlier than the full-blown Fringe, which makes it a little bit like the Edinburgh Fringe is relative to the Edinburgh Festival.