(Why yes, we did unveil some new props today, thankyou for noticing)
On the hottest day of the year so far, a sunny Sunday afternoon at 5.30, I was amazed we drew any audience at all, so I was delighted to have about 25 people in the Bean Caffe in Derby for a preview / work-in-progress show for Socks do Shakespeare. Having had such an easy ride with the sellout crowd in Bath last month, who seemed to laugh at anything and everything, a smaller number is always a harsher test of whether you really have material that works or not. Here's how it went.
INTRO gags and banter - good. Doublet was thrown away. Anything that leads to more interaction in this first stage is good and more is needed.
I'M A SOCK - always good.Tempted to try Shakespearian words, but could backfire. Didn't today.
HOSE - New today. Built well, first cracking punchline of the day.
SHALL I COMPARE THEE - Getting better every time.
MET IN THEATRE - Still getting its best laugh from the joke "all this prop just for that one gag?" Needs tightening.
BRUSH UP SHAKESPEARE - Good
CYMBELINE - New today. Slow start, got better & better, some great laughs.
GIRLS & BOYS - New today. Nice, but not sure it's funny enough live. Couple more tries to see.
RICHARD 3 - Great. Part 1 (with new costume) now as funny as part 2. Becoming high point of show.
FORBIDDEN PLANET RAP - Not working. You can't hear it, or it's too fast, with no comedy timing. Resigned to Youtube.
THE PORTER - Very good, some great laughs.
PORTER SONG - Also good, but have to make sure it's clear and audible or not funny.
OTHELLO - Trimmed even further, but by this stage in the show we're wanting more of the overall Sock vs Sock story arc to be biting. That's the bit of writing that most needs doing.
IAGO'S SONG - Too slow, and not funny enough. Might stay, if rest of show can maintain momentum.
ROMEO & JULIET - Brilliant finale as always, and growing lots of new ad-libs.
Thoughts: More interaction with audience needed. Need material to cover every single Shakespeare play still. And Sock V Sock story arc needs to dominate the flow of the hour. We're getting there. (Feels way better than Minging Detectives did by this time last year, or even by the start of August last year!)
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016 - see the previews in your town!
May 8 - Derby Comedy Festival 5.30pm
May 19 - Old Joint Stock Birmingham
May 22 - Komedia, Brighton Fringe
May 28 - Ards Puppet Festival, Newtonards
June 9 - Bridgend
July 3 - Derby Bar One 2pm
July 8 - Flavel, Dartmouth
July 10 - Tring Festival
July 14 - Market Harborough Theatre
July 17 - Sheffield New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Greater Manchester Fringe , Kings Arms Salford 7pmJuly 21 - Barnes Fringe
July 22 - Bedford Fringe
July 30 - Blaenavon Rhymney Brewery
Aug 3 - 29 - 10.30pm The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe