Monday, 17 August 2015

The Police, a video clip, Socks on stage

I am indebted to Socks fan Nigel Thurgar who took some excellent photos at one of this week's shows. Here we see a scene towards the end, by which time both Socks are wearing at least three layers of costume. Why, out of context it almost looks a total mess.

The run of Minging Detectives has been going great guns, with sellouts galore, our total sales just pipping last year and continuing strong, and some very good nights. Some not so good, I'll be honest, so let's hope those weren't the nights with reviewers in (they will be, you wait and see).

The adlibs and improv stretches have been hit and miss. When you get an audience who are "going with it", it takes off and inspiration flows. Other times not so much. A couple of nights ago we were totally stymied by suggestion after suggestion - we had nothing for Rebus or Cagney & Lacy, for example. Whereas anyone who was in on the night where Cadfael was suggested had some inspired moments that surprised even me. Similarly the suggestions of shows we've never heard of, like Castle starring Nathan Fillion, have given us some great comedy discussions with the audience.

The intended improv section, where Sting and The Police come on, has been the most variable, and the most challenging for me. I forget them pretty much as soon as we've done them, but if they could all be as good as last night's we'd be winning prizes for improv (not something that's likely to happen, as anyone who saw the weekend's shows will happily attest). To the tune of Walking On The Moon, the Police solved the crime of Fraud, at 10 Downing Street, the two suspect for which were "Schaden" - yes, a member of the audience was trying to make a schadenfreude gag there - and Sigmund. Sigmund Fraud, geddit? Those were 3 or 4 very good minutes of an otherwise excellent show.

In fact last night's show (Sunday), which had our smallest audience of the month so far (41 payers, though there must have been a good few people in there with passes), was probably our most consistently funny. I certainly enjoyed it immensely, following as it did a couple of tough nights with sellout crowds, a lot of whom weren't getting a lot of what we were doing. Of course, we set up the video camera for one of the tough nights. Here's a taste of it:

We await proper reviews, but a few people have been in now, so only time will tell. And tonight we make a guest appearance at Pun Run. Stay tuned.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre present Minging Detectives, every night at 10.30pm at the Gilded Balloon, from Aug 5th - 30th at the Edinburgh Fringe. Book now.

(Written 16th August 2015, but not posted) This is one you definitely want to keep to yourself till the end of the Fringe, and probably longer, I'm feeling a bit down today. I have a dreadful feeling there was a Guardian journalist in last night's show, and it wasn't a very good show. That is to say the audience didn't laugh as much as they have been, and I'm afeart the show really does fall apart towards the end and is not as good as our previous shows.

Last night the show had a delayed start because someone had come in with a ticket for the wrong day, so there were 92 people trying to squeeze into our 90 seats (a sellout). I learned afterwards that it was a journalist who'd blagged in on the wrong day, and that 2 genuine punters were edged out. This was confirmed when, today, I see our sales have gone down from 90, which is what it said last night, to 88. Which means 2 refunds or, fingers crossed, 2 re-scheduled for another night.

So the journo stayed, and watched a less-than-good show (I've videod it, I'll be able to digest at length whether it's as poor as I thought). But which journo? In a slightly-better-case scenario, it's this guy who tweeted me:

Daily Star Arts Desk ‏@DailyStarArts 13h13 hours ago
@falsettosocks ★ Not Scottish and not a sock. In hindsight may have been in the wrong venue. Alan.*

*On closer inspection of his tweets, I find DailyStarArts has tweeted lots of shows that he doesn't seem to have seen. ie:
@Title_OfShow ★ Show does not even have a title. Did not enjoy. Admittedly I watched through the keyhole during the tech. So may improve. Al
@swiperightTC ★ Main actor perennially swiped left. A major plot hole districts from a promising idea. Alan.
Saw #AnOakTree @edfringe today. ★. just a bloke talking to another bloke who wasn't even a professional at acting. And they charged us! #pff

In a worse case scenario it's this guy, whose email I didn't find until the following day:

Chris Wiegand via  15 Aug (1 day ago)

Hi Kev - Can I have a press ticket for this tonight (Sat) please? Thanks, C

Chris Wiegand
Stage Editor, Guardian News & Media

Double-worst case scenario, they both came together and I'm going to get one star reviews at both ends of the newspaper spectrum.

UPDATE: As of August 30th, none of these fears has come true.

UPDATE: Mon 24 August. After a much better couple of weeks than that miserable post above suggested (no bad reviews have appeared yet, the Guardian remaining shtum) I'm into the final week of the show, with only 7 gigs left to go. We're beating last year's totals and the audiences have been great.

By the way they were a really tough crowd tonight, a byproduct of quite a lot of strangers coming as a result of my flyering. Hello Muddah got an audible "that's not funny" even before it had started.  And that was with a hardcore of 26 Socks fans who'd prebooked before the day (and were lovely, they stood out in the crowd).

There were 4 industry comps in, and I think they were from BBC Scotland. I fear they didn't see us on our best night (when an audience isn't going with it, the show can feel unfunny, and there was a lot of that tonight). So don't hold your breath for our BBC Scotland series. God, we had a couple of people leave during the show, do you think it was them? Sigh, let's assume it was shall we?

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