The Scottish Falsetto Socks are in the middle of a two night run at the Harrogate Theatre (on a double bill with the marvellous Ali Cook) and have taken the time to visit a local landmark, Mother Shipton's Cave in Knaresborough...
Do feel free to retweet this or any other Socks videos to your friends, it can't hurt. Meantime, if you're not a devoted Socks fans or comedy obsessive, the next few paragraphs won't interest you, thanks for your time.
Thursday night was the first of two previews of Boo Lingerie at the Harrogate Theatre, and a first outing for almost all of the material performed. The audience's patience was greatly appreciated given the rawness of the stuff, and the hit-or-miss nature of finding out, in public, whether things are as funny in practice as they seemed when you first dreamt them up. Here's the running order we gave them last night, with some notes. Tonight the order has been changed, some substitions made, and a lot of chaff trimmed.
Running order, Boo Lingerie Preview, Harrogate Thu 28 June 2012
Opening Song - Horror "fire' song. It's rare for us to start a show without the traditional I'm A Sock song, and this isn't as strong. It doesn't set us up as funny from the start, doesn't define the characters enough, so will now be appearing later in the show. Tonight we'll open with I'm A Sock.
Poe routine - not the best opening routine. Gets one more try tonight then might get trimmed down to just one line.
Abraham Lincoln Vampire running gag. This starts well and runs through the show. With development it'll survive.
Boo Lingerie song. Not bad, try it again tonight.
Burke & Hare. Lots of good laughs in this, lots trimmed before tonight, possibly moved to the finale.
Poetry Olympics. Not bad, back tonight.
4 Horsemen. Not bad, back tonight.
Wicker Man & adlibs. Can only get better, back tonight.
The Beetle. This puzzles a lot of people and is too long. May try again tonight if time.
Magic Routine. From the touring show, this is so strong and on-topic that it stays in the show.
Scary Vicar & Friends. Best laughs of any new material of the night, back again tonight (when it'll probably die on its arse of course)
Walk On Wild Side + Always A Woman + Sweary Poppins - three standards from the touring show, included to beef up the safe laughs. One or two may get done again tonight.
Frankenstein/ Danny Boyle. Starts well, song very good, then needs cutting and rewriting. Will appear earlier in the show tonight (not finale material)
So, let's see how the show progresses. Tonight I aim to try out the Bucket List routine and GaGa Rasputin (which went well in Brighton), possibly losing The Beetle in the process. Let us see how things go. Work, as they say, in progress.
UPDATE: 21.08 Friday The Socks have just finished Harrogate 2, it was a triumph. Changing the order, and going on first (before Ali Cook, last night he opened and we closed) made a world of difference. Here are my notes:
Opened with I'm A Sock. It has 8 or more good laughs in the space of 2 and a half minutes. Unless we have something better than that to open the show it'll have to say. With an opening like that, every subsequent bit of material gets a 100 times warmer reception than it got last night.
Intro stuff was trad lines, then Lincoln Vampire stuff. Good. Then...
Boo Lingerie song. Memo to self: this song is only funny if the audience know that the show is called Boo Lingerie. If they don't, it's pointless. Might still work.
Poetry Olympics - some laughs, some groans, stays for now.
Poe - some groans, some people asking "what was that?", and it went wrong halfway through. Cutting room floor material.
Horror "fire" song - Too frenetic and loud to get laughs. It may have to go.
Bucket List - went brilliantly. First live outing and, with a bit of editing, this could be good.
4 Horsemen - good. Keep improving the performance, can only get better. Great applause at end.
Wicker Man / audience improv - need more audience interaction throughout. This developed very good rapport with elements in crowd that stayed to the end.
Scary Vicar & Friends - very good. Needs editing but lots is good, good laughs & applauded ending.
Gaga Rasputin - Wanted to try this. Not funny enough I think.
Frankenstein - Cut this off halfway through, just tried intro & song. Starts well but would need ending rewritten. Song good.
Ended with Magic & Sweary Poppins, both excellent obviously, perfect end to show. Only did 50 minutes as we were opening, so had to miss out Burke & Hare and The Beetle, both of which are still in the running for Edinburgh. Also didn't do Walk On Wild Side or Always A Woman, which we did last night, which is testament to how well it was going. Laughter and audience interaction added minutes to the show making a lot less material go a lot further.
My thoughts go out to the audience who had to watch Thursday night's preview, they got the short end of the stick. Tonight is how you want a preview to go. Now we have just a month to write a bit more, trim a lot more, and have the best brand new hour-long show anyone's ever. We continue...
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre present not one but two new shows at the Edinburgh Fringe 2012: Boo Lingerie - A Socky Horror Show every night at 10.40pm and Chunky Woollen Nits - The Family-Friendly Hour at 11am. Tickets are now on sale, book now!