Monday, 5 March 2012

★★★★½ Four and a half thumbs up -The Punch

Fresh in from The Punch,  Australia's Best Conversation, a fab review...

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre have generated a rather large amount of interest and drawn attention to themselves via a series of pithy, entertaining, amusing and often pointed Youtube vignettes.

 Not that I knew this before seeing them selecting to see them based on their name and core promise to produce endlessly barmy songs and sketches. A theatre group wouldn’t lie to me, the trusting hapless punter, would they in the official Guide? Nobody would cobble together random effusive complimentary and theatrical phrases and buzzwords to sell a puppy to the innocent theatregoer would they? Suffice to say that these phrases did not begin to do justice to this superbly written, crafted and performed show.  

The Campanile is a small intimate venue ideally suited for old school puppetry and other acts requiring a deal of audience participation and interaction. How I dread those words; people trying to outperform the acts and believing their own press. Grrr. The audience, appropriately, was small and intimate, initially reticient but increasingly enthusiastic as the puppets weaved their way through twisted verbal guffaw inducing montages of television shows, period dramas (ah, Mr Darcy, so good of you to drop in), mondegreens, film (Star Wars among others), song and other popular culture representatives and icons.

 Initially the puppets, as abstractly unreal as a sock puppet can be and ensconced behind a tartan wreathed stage, formed the locus of the audience before the wash of words gently drew the audience into the world of the puppets and the situations they found themselves in. They became as real and vibrant as characters within a traditionally staged play to me. The props are simple and highly effective with costume changes being rapid while allowing room for high standard improvisation. The use of a stark contrast between the puppets characters, one serious and by the book, one wilfully and amusingly difficult follows on from a grand tradition of disparate comedic characters and allows the script to roam wonderfully.    

The show itself is a triumphant success. It is written as a series of stories within a story, appropriately the puppets are staging a show allowing the script and humour to delve deeper than a series of unconnected pop culture shots and observations. It is a mix of pointed social commentary, popular culture and old fashioned farce all wrapped with a naughty streak a mile wild. Any fan of an old fashioned mashup will simply adore the mix of Gordon Swearyword Ramsay, Superman and Burke’s Backyard. Running jokes permeate the show and provide consistency and depth to the puppets’ characters making it a story and glimpse into life rather than just an unconnected series of hilariously scripted vignettes. We wander from song to song, from play to film and back again awash in a sea of clever puns, bad dad jokes and edgey humour in our boat of verisimilitude. Audience members were literally crying with laughter with some indulging in the ultimate comedic tribute, the double thigh slap. We were constantly entertained, constantly guffawing, and sad when the curtain was called.  

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre is an absolute triumph combining the best bits of standup with revue and musical comedy and presenting it by puppets with funny voices. There’s not a single thing not to love about them.  

★★★★½ Four and a half thumbs up.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

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