Saturday, 29 June 2013

Socks in Space in Progress

A week of Socks in Space previews and, by golly, I think we're getting there. This week the Socks played the first of three shows at the Leicester Square Theatre in London (60 min preview), the Victoria Theatre Halifax (90 min show of which the second half was mostly preview), and the Wardrobe Theatre Bristol (intended as 60 min preview, but ended up doing 1 hr 20 mins, inc some old favourite stuff).



(Above, London Tuesday). In part or in whole these shows have been testing out the new show Socks In Space on its run up to Edinburgh and it is progressing well. Brand new this week were:

- Doctor Who song - needs cutting in half, not bad.
- Green Screen song - good laughs, needs shortening. By the 3rd show we'd integrated it into the drama better.
- Break up song (Elton/disco) which works well.

Paul (Gannon, who was doing sound in London) runs Geekatorium and is a sci fi expert, so I value his input, His only real criticism was that we could lose the CPR sketch, which is now my favourite in the show and was a total hit in Bristol. Also in Bristol a fenzy of ad libs brought the whole Melies routine to life, and if we can remember any of what we did we'll do that again (if the off-screen suicide of Zeppo makes it to Edinburgh, this is where it was dreamt up in improv). Hev, in Halifax, suggested the Dr Who song might be a bit dated, so possibly it'll be squeezed out. London also drew possibly our most non-plussing review of recent years from What's On In London. "While sock puppets aren’t normally my thing, there were definitely moments in this show that had me laughing, nevertheless" will not be going on the posters.

Last week's writing has brought some killer new jokes, and songs of which I'm really proud, and which will be even tighter when a couple of them use a verse apiece . A new sketch is bubbling under that'll bring the whole shebang together. Next stop London on Tuesday, see you all there.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Edinburgh Festival Comic Art Masterclasses by Kev F

This August, coinciding with the Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh Book Festival, Kev F Sutherland, writer & artist for The Beano, Marvel Comics, Doctor Who and many more, will be delivering a series of free Comic Art Masterclasses at local libraries across Edinburgh.



By the end of the two hour session, which is open to anyone aged 7 and upwards, everyone goes away with a comic containing a strip drawn by every one in the group, plus an individual caricature by Kev F. To get involved with the classes, contact the libraries directly. Kev F's Edinburgh Festival Comic Art Masterclasses will be taking place at:

Aug 5, 6, 7 Balerno High School Summer School
Aug 8 Currie Library
Aug 9 Drumbrae Library (am) & Kirkliston Library (pm)
Aug 12 Colinton Library
Aug 13 Granton Library (am) & Muirhouse Library (pm)
Aug 17 Morningside Library (am) & Newington Library (pm)
Aug 20, 21 Portobello Library

Kev F's Comic Art Masterclasses will be appearing at Beanotown on the South Bank in London on July 27 & 28, Aug 31 and Sept 21. Classes are free, details here.

Drawing on his (gulp) 25 years of working for everyone from The Beano to Marvel, from Viz to Doctor Who, Kev F visits schools, libraries and art centres across the country (and internationally, inc Abu Dhabi and Ireland). If you would like him to come to your school, do please get in touch via his website, Twitter or Facebook.

Socks on BBC Bristol, and in Bristol

The Scottish Falsetto Socks (and their floppy haired mentor Kev F) appeared on BBC Radio Bristol on Tuesday doing a fun interview with Laura Rawlings...



Click to listen to the programme (Kev & the Socks are on first, but the recording might not be up there forever so listen sooner rather than later if you're going to). And the reason we were there? Well, there's quite a lot of Bristol action to plug. This week, on Friday June 28th, the Socks are playing at The Wardrobe Theatre (that's tonight as I write it, see you all there) and if you miss that, they're back at Bristol's Comedy Box on July 17, book now.

Meanwhile Bristol's Sitcom Trials team have two writer-performed sitcoms going to the semi finals in London on July 19th. Lewis Cook's None Of The Above and Naomi Carter's Situation Normal won their respective heats and are going to be taking on the winners and runners up from Bristol, Manchester and London, everyone hoping to win a place at the final in Edinburgh on August 21st. But of course you already knew that, cos you follow the news on sitcomtrials.co.uk, don't you?

So, along with some talk of comics and art classes, it was a nice plugathon, and I even got the opportunity to record a couple of plugs for the Socks shows which will get played during other programmes. Let's see what that does to bums on seats shall we? Ah, and I did a one-minute carciature of Laura as we spoke...



Not lost it.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Comic Art Masterclasses - Cardiff July 7 free, apply now

More great news for budding comics artists. I will be doing two Comic Art Masterclasses in Cardiff on Sunday July 7th as part of Sky Arts Portait Artist Of The Year events. They're free and, if you apply in time, you could take part.



The classes take part at Cardiff Civic Centre on Sunday July 7th at 12 midday and 3pm. they are open to anyone from age 7 upwards, each session last two hours, and by the end everyone will take away a comic containing a strip by every single person in the group plus an individual caricature by Kev F, ie me.

To apply for these classes, provided free to you by Sky Arts and Storyvault TV, email festivalbookings@storyvault.tv saying whether you wish to attend the 12 midday or the 3pm class.

Also coming up, Kev F's Comic Art Masterclass at Beanotown, the South Bank Centre, London - July 27, 28, August 31, Sept 1st.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Free Cheese For Sale - a bumper bundle of comics by kids

Once more the summer term has seen me busy working with primary school pupils presenting my Comic Art Masterclasses. Have a look here at what they've produced in the past week and a bit.



The batches above and below come mostly from afive day run in the primary schools of Lincolnshire, organised by the wonderful Bourne Grammar, with one foray into Cambridgeshire and to Malmesbury and North Somerset. An excellent variety of inspiring titles, I'm sure you'll agree (my favourites must be I Want My Head Chopped Off By A Worm, Alpaca Alcohol Swipe and My Grandad Trumped At The Dinosaur Sale - did I mention these are all years 5 & 6?) and the contents inside are equally good. The future of comics is safe in their hands.



When I ask them to name a celebrity with which I can do my "treads on a worm" demonstration routine, I get 4 suggestions from the room from which we choose their favourite, this being the name I make a subtle note of on each cover. What I never record is the names that get rejected, but I can report anecdotally from this week that Simon Cowell is suggested 90% of the time, it is a very rare class that doesn't mention him, and Bob Marley continues to crop up a lot, as does the Queen. In the past week, however, old favourite Michael Jackson didn't get a single mention. Maybe he was never that big in Lincolnshire.

The celebs they ended up choosing were Simon Cowell (three times), Keith Lemon, Boris Johnson, Bob Marley, Johnny Depp, Ed Sheeran, Rolf Harris, Emilie Sande, Miranda Hart, and (most original suggestion of the week) Zlatan Ibrahimovic who, I'm assured, is a footballer. Like I would know what he looks like.

If you want to experience my Comic Art Masterclass, which is suitable for anyone aged 7 or over (there's no maximum age limit), I'll be doing classes at London's South Bank Centre this summer as part of Beanotown - see details here - and in August I'll be appearing in various libraries in and around Edinburgh, of which more details soon. And you can see me in the Lake District in October, stay tuned for that update. In the meantime you can always book me to come to your local school. Email and we'll take it from there. Details of my class, and more examples and testimonials, are on the website comicfestival.co.uk.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Kids want David Tennant as Doctor Who - Comic Art Masterclass findings



This week I've been doing a run of schools in and around Bourne in Lincolnshire, the results of which I'll post anon. And, as you might be able to see in the photos above and below, I have an interesting finding regarding Doctor Who. In almost every class I ask the kids which Doctor Who they'd like me to draw on the board, and every time this week the answer has been David Tennant. This has been going on for a few weeks now. I asked them why today and got the answer "cos he's the best Doctor."



On the flipchart above they challenged me to draw all 11 Doctors, and I did my best. Shut up. But why should this Matt Smithimosity have come about? I have a theory. It's the Peter Davison Syndrome.

Does anyone else remember the 1980s? Where, despite the Doctor role changing hands two or three times, most people when asked to draw Doctor Who would draw a guy with curly hair and a long scarf? Well into the 21st century, as far as The Simpsons, Family Guy or Dead Ringers were concerned, Tom Baker remained The Doctor. And why? Well, it could be that the shows became less good. But here's my theory, the if-you-will Peter Davison Syndrome. It's all about the scheduling.

Because when Tom Baker left Doctor Who, not only did Peter Davison enter a show with declining budgets and production standards, with a fun-hating script editor and possibly its least fondly remembered producers, but he also joined a show where some idiot had buggered up the scheduling. Having been a fixture of Saturday nights since its inception in 1963, in 1982 someone thought it would be A Good Thing to move the show to twice-weekly slots on Tuesdays ad Thursdays, up against the most popular TV show in the country Coronation Street. And, amazingly, the ratings began a decline from which they never recovered. And, since this meant it was never again watched by as many kids as had watched Tom Baker in the role, he remained the Doctor they would have asked an itinerant comic artist to draw on a flipchart right through the 80s, had the subject come up.

So it is with Matt Smith. As pointed out by Private Eye last week, the broken series of Doctor Who with long gaps between them in recent years mean that, between Jan 2012 and June 2014, kids will have seen 16 new episode of Doctor Who starring Matt Smith, whereas in the same time span of David Tennant's run on the show they would have had 41 episodes. Wow. That means that David Tennant's saturation of the TV schedules as The Doctor was near three times as dense. Is saturation dense? Whatever, you get the point.

All of which explains why, to the current generation of 8 to 12 year old school kids, Matt Smith is only one third as much Doctor Who as David Tennant was. Which is a great shame as I think he's a cracking Doctor, and I'm really sorry that he'll be the first incumbent in the role to have been outlived by a single story arc (this "Silence Will Fall" nonsense that started in 2010 and still hasn't been fully explained).

I may stop asking kids which Doctor they want me to draw. I'll certainly going to have to brush up on my "other 9" Doctors, if they're going to ask for the whole bunch again. And that could happen.

Come to Kev F's Comic Art Masterclasses at Beanotown in London this summer.
+ Comic Art Masterclasses in Edinburgh throughout the Fringe & Edinburgh Book Festival, August 2013.

If anyone wants me to come and show their kids how to do what I've been doing for a living for the last two decades in my far-famed and much-loved Comic Art Masterclasses, drop me a line, a comment, a Twitter, smoke signals, the usual methods. Click below to see more, including video and contact details.



.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Beanotown Comic Art Masterclasses on the South Bank

Great news for all our readers - Comic Art Masterclasses in London in July...



Click for more details including the address (the South Bank, London) and booking information. I shall see you all there, yes?

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Hello Socks fans - Edinburgh ahoy!

Hello, we are the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
 - and so am I
 - and so is he. And we just wanted to take a moment to thank you for being our fans.

This Spring has been our busiest ever and we'd like to thank everyone who's come to see us from Inverness to Malta, from Cardigan to Keighley, at the Glasgow, Leicester and Brighton festivals, and at the dozens of other shows all over the country (and don't worry, there's plenty more to come). Whether you've come to see us live, watched us on Youtube or followed us on Facebook and Twitter, we love you all and hope you're enjoying our nonsense.



Coming up very soon is the Edinburgh Fringe where we're bringing our new show Scottish Falsetto Socks In Space and we'd love your help in making this - and all the preview shows running up to it - the biggest and best ever.

You'll have seen some of Socks In Space online (eg Vinny Jones CPR and Fireball XL5 are in the show) and some bits of it have been tested out in our Spring tour (you may have seen routines like Bionics, the Taylor Swift song, crewman Expendable, and a long version of The Melies Brothers, all of which have been cut as we've gone along) but most of the show has yet to be seen live and we're looking forward to unveiling it.



Now we know you'll have already booked your tickets for Edinburgh, if you're going, or the Preview show that comes nearest to you (if you haven't, there's a list below). All we can ask is that if you have any friends or family who you think are Socks fans in waiting, please let them know we're coming. Show them your favourite Socks video and send them our way and we'll make this summer a whopping great big Socks party.

Yours with heaps of Sock love

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre*



COUNTDOWN TO EDINBURGH - your chances to see the Scottish Falsetto Socks between now and Edinburgh

June 25 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
June 27 - Victoria Theatre, Halifax
June 28 - Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol
July 2, July 9 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
July 5 - The Lord Nelson, Norton Sub Hamden, Somerset
July 13 - Chapter Arts, Cardiff Comedy Festival
July 14 - Sheffield, New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Bristol Comedy Box at the Hen & Chickens
July 18 - Larmer Tree Festival, Salisbury
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 21 - Derby Funhouse 3.25pm
+ Mimetic Festival, Enfield 8.30pm
July 22 - Clowns Pocket, Neath
July 26 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
July 31 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, 10.15pm, Edinburgh Fringe




(*And so am I. And so is he.)

UPDATE Mon Jun 17: Have written and recorded a song for the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre since coming back from a school today. It gets tried out first in London, live. If it doesn't work live, it becomes part of the audience-in music. (Would have made it into a YouTube vid, but am stung by recent review of Socks In Space in Warwick that complained that so much of the new show was already up there. So from now on, all under wraps until you come see the show.)

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Beano artist in Welwyn Garden City

Yes, hardly White Man in Hammersmith Palais, but it's the best I can do. Here's me in the Welwyn & Hatfield Times...

Beano comic cartoonist wows crowd in Welwyn Garden City

Comic book illustrator Kev F in action Comic book illustrator Kev F in action
Saturday, June 8, 2013
8:00 AM
A CARTOONIST from the Beano comic made a stop in WGC to give youngsters a masterclass in drawing.

Kev F Sutherland, who has worked for Marvel Comics, visited the library and spent the day teaching children how to draw and write for comics. He said: “It was great and they were marvellous.
“Every single one of them has potential.”
He visited WGC Library, in Campus West, last week.

“I write and draw for a living and it is quite important to make sure the next generation does the same,” he added.

The youngsters got to create their own comic strips and were able to take them home.
Shirley Everall, reader development officer for Herts Libraries, said: “Parents who stayed thought it was absolutely fantastic and he kept the children engaged the whole time.”
A total of 60 youngsters joined in the fun, with 29 in the morning and 31 in the afternoon.
“I think it shows that the library does more than issue books,” Mrs Everall added.

Coming up are some rare opportunities for members of the public to come to my Comic Art Masterclasses, in London during the Summer holidays at The South Bank in London as part of Beanotown. Keep watching that link, and this space, for further announcements (but just in case, keep 27/28 July and 7/8 Sept 2-4pm free in your diary).

If anyone wants me to come and show their kids how to do what I've been doing for a living for the last two decades in my far-famed and much-loved Comic Art Masterclasses, drop me a line, a comment, a Twitter, smoke signals, the usual methods. Click below to see more, including video and contact details.


 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Oh Poo! Zeus is On The Loose - new comics by kids

Those lovely people at Berol have awarded me and my Comic Art Masterclasses to three schools as part of their Creative Club promotions, and today was the first. Here are the comics produced by the pupils at Red Maids Juniors in Bristol.



I've added the colour afterwards, but the comics themselves are produced entirely using Berol color fine black pens, and don't they look grand. Here are some of the girls' actual strips, a very high standard today from year 4 & 5.



The celebs they chose for the "worm" demo were Miranda Hart and Simon Cowell.  See more such examples at comicfestival.co.uk

And coming up are some rare opportunities for members of the public to come to my Comic Art Masterclasses, in London during the Summer holidays at The South Bank in London as part of Beanotown. Keep watching that link, and this space, for further announcements (but just in case, keep 27/28 July and 7/8 Sept 2-4pm free in your diary).

If anyone wants me to come and show their kids how to do what I've been doing for a living for the last two decades in my far-famed and much-loved Comic Art Masterclasses, drop me a line, a comment, a Twitter, smoke signals, the usual methods. Click below to see more, including video and contact details.



Monday, 10 June 2013

"Kept the entire audience in stitches" - MCM Buzz review of Socks in Space in Warwick

It seems Warwick Arts is the place to go if you want reviewing. Our second review from Saturday night's show is here on MCM Buzz:

Socks In Space – The SFSPT On Tour

sockswebpage
On Saturday 8th June 2013, YouTube sensation and Edinburgh Fringe favourites, The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, landed their spaceship at Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry as part of their Socks in Space Tour.

The SFSPT, best known for its Doctor Who spoofs and parody songs, is the brainchild of comedian and comics artist Kev F. Sutherland, whose comic strips have appeared in a huge range of cult magazines, including The Beano, Doctor Who Magazine, Doctor Who Adventures, Red Dwarf Smegazine, and various Marvel comics. As well their YouTube videos and live performances, the SFSPT have also appeared in Doctor Who DVD extras for The War Games, The Horns of Nimon and The Dominators in 2009-10.
ev_4639Even seen live, when the top of Kev F.’s head can often be made out just above his puppet theatre stage, it’s astoundingly easy to forget that the hapless and hilarious socky pair are played by just one man – so much so that it was something of a shock when he emerged at the end to take his final bow. Dubbed “the Abbot and Costello of the sock world”, the socks follow what is in some ways a very traditional “straight sock/funny sock” style of humour, and have a deceptively homemade, amateurish feel, which adds a visual charm vaguely reminiscent of the famously wobbly sets and goggle-eyed monsters of their favourite TV series.

Throughout the show, gag after gag kept the entire audience in stitches: no mean feat, taking into account the huge age range present. Although their videos are popular amongst younger audiences, the socks have so far played most of their live performances to adult-only crowds, and it proved something of a struggle to keep all the jokes clean. Still, they did almost manage to get through the whole show without using any “sweary words”, and a great deal of extra humour was derived from semi-successful attempts to avoid them.

As ever, the performance was a musical one, including songs about horror movie clich├ęs, country and western music, and even a rendition from a cardboard cut-out David Bowie. It also featured a mini-history of science-fiction, a string of fantastic Avengers gags and a cleaned-up version of their Star Wars routine involving drinking-straw lightsabers.

The SFSPT Socks in Space Tour continues across various UK venues, and is highly recommended to any fan of sci-fi and/or socks. For further information on tour dates and tickets, click here.



Sunday, 9 June 2013

"will have you literally laughing your socks off"- ★★★★ review for Warwick Arts

Yes, putting aside the "literally" laughing your Socks off bit, which it's hard to ignore once you've noticed it, this is a lovely review of the Socks at Warwick Arts on Saturday night.



Socks in Space, The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre – Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

Writer: Kev F. Sutherland

Reviewer: Nicole Evans

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★★☆

Socks in Space Scottish Falsetto Sock Theatre Warwick Arts CentreThe Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre first entered the comedy scene in 2005 and has been gradually gaining popularity since. Being a Fringe Festival favourite and a massive hit on YouTube, it came as no surprise to hear that Warwick Arts Centre had to open up extra seating for the Sock’s performance there this evening.

The new show Socks in Space is a 90 minute mixture of some classic sock material and a new set of sci-fi orientated sketches, billed as being appropriate for all of the family. Well known for adult natured humour, the idea that the Sock’s are touring with a family friendly show might be a difficult one for existing fans to get their head around. Don’t worry though, the toned down show may well appeal to the younger members of the audience (even my younger than guidance age son giggled his way through),but the act is still far from a children’s puppet show and retains the charms of its adult counterpart…albeit with the removal of the “sweary words”. Parental guidance is definitely advised if you are considering ignoring the age suitability.

The first part of the show combines some classic sketches that anybody that has seen the Socks previously will be familiar with, with some occasionally genius ad lib. With material ranging from Halloween and horror films to musicals, the Socks hilariously joke their way through, arguing with each other and the audience along the way. The timing and personality (who knew socks were capable of facial expressions?) of the puppetry is sheer brilliance, and even when it’s less than perfect, Kev F. Sutherland has the ability to turn it around and make seamless jokes from his mistakes. The second part is a little more scripted and featured the new aspect of the show. Sadly this brought the only let down of the evening. Although still very funny, it was a bit of a disappointment to discover the new material is mostly sketches already available online (and toned down for children), and therefore doesn’t feel very new to any fans watching.

Minor disappointment aside, The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre is certainly an act worth going to see. Sutherland’s material would be funny without puppets but his skills with woolly hosiery are pure genius and will have you literally laughing your socks off.

Reviewed on 8th June.



SOCKS ON TOUR - Your next chance to see the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

June 25 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
June 27 - Victoria Theatre, Halifax
June 28 - Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol
July 2, July 9 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
July 5 - The Lord Nelson, Norton Sub Hamden, Somerset
July 13 - Chapter Arts, Cardiff Comedy Festival
July 14 - Sheffield, New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Bristol Comedy Box at the Hen & Chickens
July 18 - Larmer Tree Festival, Salisbury
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 21 - Derby Funhouse 3.25pm
+ Mimetic Festival, Enfield 8.30pm
July 22 - Clowns Pocket, Neath
July 26 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
July 31 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, 10.15pm, Edinburgh Fringe

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Press Release - Socks tour London to Edinburgh




Press Release


Release date immediate

UT Productions presents

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre – In Space

National tour continues to Edinburgh Fringe 2013

The Scottish Falsetto Socks’ hilarious new sci-fi themed show spoofs everything from Star Wars to Doctor Who via David Bowie and Vinny Jones, and has already earned 5 star reviews. A nationwide tour takes them up to their 6th Edinburgh Fringe in August.

"This is the unparalleled pinnacle of comedy puppetry" - ★★★★★ Venue April 2013

As well as being stars of stage, screen and YouTube, The Scottish Falsetto Socks have a cult following as DVD "easter eggs" on Doctor Who videos. They appear on classic stories like The War Games and The Horns of Nimon, and sci fi has been the subject of some of their most popular sketches. Their YouTube videos Torchwool and Primarkeval are two of their biggest hits. Rest assured, their new show is hilarious and reduces all audiences to tears, not just geeks.

"Had every single audience member... laughing until they cried." ★★★★★ Edinburgh Evening News Aug 2012

After touring from Aberdeen to Adelaide (Pick Of The Adelaide Fringe 2012), Aberystwyth to Aarhus (it's in Denmark, headliners three years running), and all points inbetween, the Socks are bringing their new show to Inverness and Beyond!

"Superbly written, crafted and performed show" ★★★★½ The Punch (Australia) 2012
           
PRESS CONTACT:                                    
Kev F Sutherland                     
T: 07931 810858                    
E: kevf.sutherland@virgin.net                                              Tour listing details on next page


See the Socks videos at  http://tinyurl.com/Sockvids
Twitter @falsettosocks
Facebook.com/ScottishFalsettoSocks

Scottish Falsetto Socks tour schedule June to August 2013

Date
Venue

Booking no
June 8
Coventry
Warwick Arts
June 25
London
Leicester Square Theatre
June 27
Halifax
Victoria Theatre
June 28
Bristol
Wardrobe Theatre
tickets@thewardrobetheatre.com
July 2 & 9
London
Leicester Square Theatre
July 13
Cardiff
Chapter Arts
0292 0878444
July 14
Sheffield
Funhouse
0114 2349148
July 17
Bristol
Hen & Chickens
July 18
Salisbury
Larmer Tree Festival
02380711820
July 20
Bedford
Corn Exchange
July 21
Derby
Funhouse
0133 2590580
July 22
Neath
Clowns Pocket
July 26
Manchester
Lass O’Gowrie
01612736932
July 31 – Aug 26
Edinburgh Fringe
Gilded Balloon

For further information contact Kev F Sutherland T: 07931 810858  E: kevf.sutherland@virgin.net                

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Story Of Susan Boyle - more comics by kids



Here are the front covers of comics by, and caricatures of, kids in my recent Comic Art Masterclasses in Swindon, Goole and Welwyn Garden City. The celebrities they suggested for the 'treads on a worm' demonstration were Susan Boyle, Beyonce, Will I Am, Simon Cowell and, most originally, Jon Fruscanti out of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. See more such examples at comicfestival.co.ukhttp://utproductions.co.uk/masterclass.html

And coming up are some rare opportunities for members of the public to come to my Comic Art Masterclasses, in London during the Summer holidays at The South Bank in London as part of Beanotown. Keep watching that link, and this space, for further announcements (but just in case, keep 27/28 July and 7/8 Sept 2-4pm free in your diary).

If anyone wants me to come and show their kids how to do what I've been doing for a living for the last two decades in my far-famed and much-loved Comic Art Masterclasses, drop me a line, a comment, a Twitter, smoke signals, the usual methods. Click below to see more, including video and contact details.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Is There Life On Doctor Who? - New song from the Socks



The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre sing a new song about Doctor Who, in the run up to the 50th Anniversary. Enjoy. And if you're lucky, this might find its way into the new Edinburgh Fringe show Socks In Space - tickets on sale now.



COUNTDOWN TO EDINBURGH - Your chances to see the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre before the Edinburgh Fringe 2013

June 8 - Warwick Arts Centre
June 25 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
June 27 - Victoria Theatre, Halifax
June 28 - Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol
July 2, July 9 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
July 5 - The Lord Nelson, Norton Sub Hamden, Somerset
July 13 - Chapter Arts, Cardiff Comedy Festival
July 14 - Sheffield, New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Bristol Comedy Box at the Hen & Chickens
July 18 - Larmer Tree Festival, Salisbury
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 21 - Derby Funhouse 3.25pm
+ Mimetic Festival, Enfield 8.30pm
July 22 - Clowns Pocket, Neath
July 26 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
July 31 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, 10.15pm, Edinburgh Fringe
Further dates to be added, (plus regular appearances at your local comedy club, check listings for details and, if you can't find us, ask your local comedy club to book us, it can't hurt). Watch Facebook, here or ents24 for updates.

Les Miserables by the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre



The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre saw Les Miserables for the first time this week and immediately produced their own version of it. At less than five minutes long, they beat the film version by well over two hours. Click to play, please enjoy, and do feel free to Retweet to your heart's content.



COUNTDOWN TO EDINBURGH - Your chances to see the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre before the Edinburgh Fringe 2013

June 8 - Warwick Arts Centre
June 25 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
June 27 - Victoria Theatre, Halifax
June 28 - Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol
July 2, July 9 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
July 5 - The Lord Nelson, Norton Sub Hamden, Somerset
July 13 - Chapter Arts, Cardiff Comedy Festival
July 14 - Sheffield, New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Bristol Comedy Box at the Hen & Chickens
July 18 - Larmer Tree Festival, Salisbury
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 21 - Derby Funhouse 3.25pm
+ Mimetic Festival, Enfield 8.30pm
July 22 - Clowns Pocket, Neath
July 26 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
July 31 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, 10.15pm, Edinburgh Fringe
Further dates to be added, (plus regular appearances at your local comedy club, check listings for details and, if you can't find us, ask your local comedy club to book us, it can't hurt). Watch Facebook, here or ents24 for updates.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Hit The North - Socks tour diary, Cardigan to Yorkshire



Here we see, courtesy of Jym, the Scottish Falsetto Socks on stage at the Exchange in Keighley, one of the four shows we've played in the past five days in each of which the Socks gave a full 90 minute show, including most of the new Edinburgh show Socks in Space, plus a best-of selection, in Cardigan, Keighley, Goole and Barnsley. Cracking gigs, every one, with some more cracking than others. Here's what we learned...

1) Adult shows are easier to do than kids shows. Keighley was the only one of these four dates which was in a traditional comedy venue, ie with a bar, and where the audience was all grown ups. It meant the Socks had a free rein with their choice of material, and where they could talk like adults knowing that all the audience had a chance of understanding what was going on. In the other three we were listed as 'Family friendly', which is something we've started doing ever since the experience of Adelaide 2012 which led to the early-morning Edinburgh 2012 show Chunky Woollen Nits.

Now we have no problem at all in performing a family friendly show, indeed I feel our chances of appealing to TV are enhanced by letting it be known that The Socks can perform a 90 minute show without sweary words or gratuitious adult content. But the problem with 'family friendly' listed shows - or as they have been in some instances, listed as a 'Kids show' - is that you get kids in. And try as we might to insist that no-one under the age of 7 should come to the show, there are always under-7s that get in. And truly, honestly, genuinely, 5 and 6 year olds kids do not know what is going on in a theatrical stage show or a comedy show, and they are incapable of sitting through a 90 minute show without disturbing it or it disturbing them. In two of this week's show the Socks had to contend with the sound of parents explaining to their over-young offspring what was happening in the show, and my god the sweets! Who takes rustling packets of sweets and sits in the front row of a comedy show rustling them, passing them round, and even having conversations with each other about passing the sweets? Kids, that's who!

Sunday's matinee show in Barnsley was the hardest. Not because there were 5 year olds in, though inevitably there were, but because there was a birthday party in. That was 10 ten year old boys, making the place their own, stomping their feet (The Socks were on the same level as the audience which meant this rattled the set like an earthquake), trying to look over the set during the interval (only stopped by staff intervening), and obviously eating bloody sweets (the first thing I heard, during the show, was not the rustling of the sweetie packet, but the words "Can I have some sweets?". Followed by the rustling of the sweetie packet).

So, although we will continue to try and present our show as a pre-Watershed not-too-adult package, I will be increasingly wary of shows which might attract too many kids. This all comes, of course, hot on the heels of last weekend's Inverness shows, which included The Socks performing in the open air, in spaces which had 4 year olds running around in front of the stage ignoring you. Memo to self, ask more questions in advance!

UPDATE: Tuesday - Sure enough, one of our gigs gets a complaint from a parent who brought a 5 year old daughter and a son "just turned 4" to sit in the front row of one of our Family Friendly shows. We have got to emphasise the "over 7s only" part when we promote this show! She writes that
she'd bought the tickets along with ones for Wind in the Willows weeks earlier, so brought along her husband and two children (5 daughter and son just gone 4), who sat on the front row.  Apparently the age limit wasn't made clear and there was even a special offer for 'family tickets', making it seem like all shows would be suitable for all ages.  Her husband needed to remove the 4 year old twice not long into the first half as he was not interested in the show, understandably, and was later waking up with nightmares because, she says of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse prop, which I would guess would have the same impact as taking a 4 year old to see Horrible Histories or making them watch Doctor Who when they're not ready. They got their money back, and I'm pleased to say there was also a positive report to the theatre from their independent reviewer who said it was "Surreal, sock-tastic fun, I think it would do well again if people were forewarned next time!" having realised the kids in the audience problem. 

2) Grouping gigs together is both big and clever. As the person responsible for booking the Socks tours, I am particularly proud of this weekend's schedule of Friday Keighley, Saturday Goole, Sunday Barnsley, and for Heather's suggestion that we stay overnight Fri & Sat in Wakefield. This was perfectly centrally positioned so I could get home easily after gigs, and have a comfortable base from which to start each day (Saturday in Goole also included a Comic Art Masterclass in the daytime, so was a long day's work, by my standards).

Why can't I arrange all my tour bookings like this? Why, for example, did I end up being in Inverness one Monday and the Isle of Wight on the Tuesday? And why, this coming weekend, will I be in Manchester on Friday night, Walthamstow on Saturday morning, and Coventry on Saturday night? The truth is because I don't pick the dates as often as they pick me. And if a theatre can take me on a good day, ie a weekend, I'm hardly likely to turn the date down just because it involves a bit of travelling. Last year's biggest travel oversight was the distance of the drive between Aberdeen and Harrogate. Six hours door to door, who knew the top end of the country was that long? I bet there's far worse still to come, and I'll realise it the day before I set off.

3) The new show is "getting there". Socks In Space has had more previewing and preparaton than any of our previous Edinburgh shows, with us having given it its first tryouts in Leicester in February. Since then a good few pieces have been added and taken away, and we are starting to get something that works. Obviously in these theatre shows, we include a lot of tried and tested stuff, particularly because we were doing these venues for the first time, but they've had a fair bit of "Space" tested on them, and it's going down well.

For the record, and this is for my benefit more than anyone else's, the running order for these 4 shows has been:
1st half: I'm A Sock, Halloween, Michael Jackson, The Western, Horror Cliche Song, Musicals, Sawing A Sock In Half. 2nd half: Space intro (inc Ship in Bottle in Keighley only), Johnny Cash song, The Avengers (now with Iron Man costume & Captain America, v good), Melies Bros (getting shorter every time), Fireball XL5 song, CPR, Star Trek routine (getting longer every time), Ding Dong routine, David Bowie (the hit of the 2nd half since we reworked it), and Star Wars. (Keighley also got Walk On Wild Side & Sweary Poppins).

Not tried out in these shows, and possibly dropped from Space altogether, are the Expendable song, the Bionics routine, the Taylor Swift song, and the 2001 "throw the bone" gag, which I am the only person who thinks is funny. If you saw it in the early previews, then lucky you.



COUNTDOWN TO EDINBURGH - Your chances to see the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre before the Edinburgh Fringe 2013

May 29 - Theatr Mwdlan, Cardigan
May 31 - Exchange Arts, Keighley
June 1 - Junction, Goole
June 2 - Barnsley Civic
June 8 - Warwick Arts Centre
June 25 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
June 27 - Victoria Theatre, Halifax
June 28 - Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol
July 2, July 9 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
July 5 - The Lord Nelson, Norton Sub Hamden, Somerset
July 13 - Chapter Arts, Cardiff Comedy Festival
July 14 - Sheffield, New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Bristol Comedy Box at the Hen & Chickens
July 18 - Larmer Tree Festival, Salisbury
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 21 - Derby Funhouse 3.25pm
+ Mimetic Festival, Enfield 8.30pm
July 22 - Clowns Pocket, Neath
July 26 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
July 31 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, 10.15pm, Edinburgh Fringe
Further dates to be added, (plus regular appearances at your local comedy club, check listings for details and, if you can't find us, ask your local comedy club to book us, it can't hurt). Watch Facebook, here or ents24 for updates.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

June in the Socks calendar - Forbidden Planet

This is how we celebrate June on the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's 2013 calendar, with the Socks take on Forbidden Planet (click to enlarge)...



If you want to enjoy this in full printed glory you can still buy the calendar with its 12 unique brand new specially drawn cartoons by Kev F formerly of The Beano. It's good for another 7 months and is a collector's item joy to treasure. Click on the image to see more of the calendar and the link to the shop, or if you can't wait, buy it here.



COUNTDOWN TO EDINBURGH - Your chances to see the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre before the Edinburgh Fringe 2013

May 29 - Theatr Mwdlan, Cardigan
May 31 - Exchange Arts, Keighley
June 1 - Junction, Goole
June 2 - Barnsley Civic
June 8 - Warwick Arts Centre
June 25 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
June 27 - Victoria Theatre, Halifax
June 28 - Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol
July 2, July 9 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
July 5 - The Lord Nelson, Norton Sub Hamden, Somerset
July 13 - Chapter Arts, Cardiff Comedy Festival
July 14 - Sheffield, New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Bristol Comedy Box at the Hen & Chickens
July 18 - Larmer Tree Festival, Salisbury
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 21 - Derby Funhouse 3.25pm
+ Mimetic Festival, Enfield 8.30pm
July 22 - Clowns Pocket, Neath
July 26 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
July 31 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, 10.15pm, Edinburgh Fringe
Further dates to be added, (plus regular appearances at your local comedy club, check listings for details and, if you can't find us, ask your local comedy club to book us, it can't hurt). Watch Facebook, here or ents24 for updates.

What's that you say? You'd like a song and a video specially produced by the Socks telling you all about the Socks sci fi calendar? Go on then...






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...