Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Socks Do Shakespeare - best tour ever

As the dust settles, and I have a brief respite from the string of schools I'm working at this month, I'm able to look back at the Socks Do Shakespeare tour that ended in Ludlow in June, and happily record it as our most successful tour yet. It is, without question, my favourite of our shows, and has had universally the best reception from audiences, who've turned out in good numbers too.

I was chuffed to be sent this review, from Anita at the Ludlow Fringe, which should be on their website:

It is often said that Shakespeare never wrote a funny joke in his life. It may even be true. What is certain is that the bard never write a joke remotely as funny as the one come up with by the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre about the negotiations between Richard III and the bloke who answered his emergency call of "a kingdom for a horse" at the battle of Bosworth Field.
     Just to be sure, I ran it past a few friends and their unanimous reaction confirmed my original impression. So, without much further ado, I now have the honour of announcing that their show does indeed feature the greatest Shakespeare-related gag of all time.
     Not that their show isn't packed with loads more. It is. It's just that this one is bloody hilarious and it alone is worth the price of admission from now until the end of history.
In fact, I've just told it to myself again and... give me a moment....
     Go see the show for yourself and tell me I'm wrong. If you do not laugh out loud a lot I'll eat my shorts.

The graph is a little deceptive. It shows our settlement for every show (red line) and the average of those (green line), and currently has a gap for the Brighton Fringe shows, for which we haven't been paid so don't know what we made yet. Also still to come are the two Camden Fringe shows in August. But what it's not showing is the actual profit for each show. Obviously a show like The Rondo in Bath (which is that big spike you can see to the left) is a clear winner all round, our settlement far exceeding the guarantee, and the travel costs being negligible. But the spike to the right is Aberdeen Uni, which includes travel costs being added on as part of the settlement. And don't get me started on Inverness. When I deduct the travel and accommodation costs from the Inverness gig, which I went into plenty of detail over earlier, we have a show that only just broke even.

I could, were I feeling masochistic, go over these figures and deduct travel, accommodation, and Festival entry costs (eg Glasgow, Leicester, Brighton, Camden, Ludlow all had up-front costs to get the show into the brochure and/or to hire the venue, which I've not shown here). But those costs will only make a real mark on about a third of the shows (the Scottish, Irish & Festival shows), the rest being a pretty simple matter of turning up and playing, usually for a guarantee, sometimes for less, sometimes for more. Either way it's been a feel-good tour.

I'm frustrated that I've made no progress in selling the Socks to the TV, but that is entirely up to me so I'd better damn well get on with it. If you don't ask, you don't get. So what say I get in touch with the people who matter now, and invite them to our Camden shows? Stay tuned for news.

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