Here's a little treat for you, the Socks doing the Batman v Superman song live in Bath, last night at the brand new Widcombe Social Club (only opened last week, the paint's barely dry). It's a great new venue, and the audience were equally marvellous. We managed our first full Shakespeare preview, and here (for my future reference) is how it went.
Before now we've been throwing in some Shakespeare material amongst the Minging Detectives (Leicester) and the best of the rest (tour dates), but tonight in Bath for the first time it was all Shakespeare (except for Batman vs Superman, which might not survive in the show for that reason) and all new (except the revived Romeo & Juliet, being brought back to life for the first time since 2009's tour). Here's the running order with my thoughts.
INTRO - A couple of naff new puns, topped by the "Hose" routine which I ad-libbed before the show and which is staying.
I'M A SOCK - Never done a show without it (tried a couple of Socks In Space previews without it, didn't go well)
SHALL I COMPARE THEE routine - new, brilliant, staying.
(AN ACTOR PREPARES - Bugger! This routine was supposed to go here and I forgot it when I was assembling the final script. That'll have to wait till next time)
BATMAN v SUPERMAN + Song - Very good. Not on-subject though, and a bit topical, so may have to go.
MEET IN THEATRE routine - At last (after Leicester + tour shows) I think we've made this as funny as the prop. Will get better, is staying.
BRUSH UP YOUR SHAKESPEARE song - Yes, perfect, staying.
RICHARD 3rd routine - Part 1 worked for the first time, hooray. Part 2 always good, earned a Tweet afterwards of "Best Richard III gag ever". So both parts are staying.
FORBIDDEN PLANET rap. Not sure. Didn't get all the laughs, and beatbox defo needs re-recording.
THE PORTER routine - Excellent, staying.
OH MR PORTER song - Very good, will get better, staying.
OTHELLO - Yes, works in its new shorter form, lots of laughs (at last). Staying till bettered.
IAGO SONG - Good, but music too slow and not many laughs. Try with faster music.
(TITUS ANDRONICUS - was scripted here, but we were already at the 45 minute mark so not tried yet)
ROMEO AND JULIET - All perfect, as expected. Though it has the problem that I lifted its "Is that it?" ending and stuck it at the end of Minging Detectives last year, so will need a new ending.
Ended with SWEARY POPPINS, but that was just as a reward (and cos we had 2 mins to spare) and never intended for the actual show.
So the show has got lots of good stuff in already but needs:
- Reference to lots more Shakespeare (ideally every single play)
- Running gag / through story and payoff (though we used the collapse of Othello to pass for that moment tonight, it needs something better in reality)
- Final musical number
Basically if I keep writing stuff and replacing the okay stuff with the better stuff, we should end up with a cracking show, as we've done in the past (though I remain a little sensitive to the fact that last year's Minging Detectives never quite achieved that and ended up as a collection of variable sketches which never added up to more than the sum of their parts. This year we shall put that right).
Apr 9 - Widcombe Social Club, Bath Comedy Festival
May 8 - Derby Comedy Festival 5.30pm
May 19 - Old Joint Stock Birmingham
May 22 - Komedia, Brighton Fringe
May 28 - Ards Puppet Festival, Newtonards
July 3 - Derby Bar One 2pm
July 8 - Flavel, Dartmouth
July 10 - Tring Festival
July 21 - Barnes Fringe
July 22 - Bedford Fringe
Aug 3-28 - Edinburgh Fringe