Monday, 31 August 2020

Edfringe Virtual Fringe - a look back on the month

It wasn't quite Edinburgh, but parts of it came very close. I wasn't putting on a show every night for three and a half weeks, but I did manage to put on four shows, and they were "Edinburgh sellouts" - that is, had I been in last year's Gilded Balloon venue, I'd have been turning punters away, and emerging to the words "Sell Out" on the chalkboard.

The four shows we staged, on Zoom, were the initial All Request Show on July 31st; Socks In Space on August 13th; Boo Lingerie on August 21st; and Socks Do Shakespeare on August 29th.  I've uploaded various video clips from the shows, listed below, so you can get a taste. I tried, as much as possible, to keep a degree of interactivity and spontaneity, to make people aware the were watching a live show. That said, the only way to do the musical numbers, was to prerecord them and play them in as video clips. I'd like to master doing them live, but for this season that was the way they had to be done.

Sales were good and, had I been doing a show every night, would have been more profitable than a usual Edinburgh month, because of course I didn't have to give any of it to the venue, our listing in the virtual Edinburgh Fringe programme was free, and I'd had to spend nothing on posters and flyers. Oh yes, and we weren't staying in Edinburgh, which saved a couple of thousand pounds (memo to self: don't forget the letting agent still have our 2020 flat deposit for use in August 2021!). 

All Request sold 62, Space sold 37, Boo sold 54, and Shakespeare sold 56. Space suffered from something I only discovered on the night, which was that WeGot Tickets (an excellent ticketing service that I shall continue using) has a standard setting which makes tickets go off sale at 6pm. This is very unhelpful for a show like ours, which gets last-minute 'walk up' sales in the virtual world the same as the real world. The following week's Boo show sold 10 tickets in the gap between 6pm and 8pm, as I know Space would have. Space was also on a Thursday, which may be less of a "night out" date, whereas All Request and Boo were on Fridays, and Shakespeare was on Saturday. Again, it doesn't equate to something like last year, where we appeared on the Sold Out board 16 times out of 26 shows, but it may be as close as can be done with online gigs.

The definite highlight of the month was getting our 4 star review in The Scotsman, for Socks In Space. Which, coupled with a 4 star review from Everything Theatre, a glowing mention in a Kate Copstick Scotsman article, and the briefest of brief appearances on The One Show, ticked the top boxes for emulating the Edinburgh Experience.


The biggest thanks for inspiring me, and showing me this was possible, has to go to Dean Friedman. If he hadn't contacted me back in April to ask the Socks to make a guest appearance on his Deanzine Live Stream Sunday show, they might not have emerged from their bag. Dean had started the shows when, like every performer, he had his live work stopped by the pandemic, and invited singer-songwriting guests onto his shows every week for a very entertaining live show that attracted a good audience. The Socks came back, first for fortnightly guest appearances, and later every week, doing a song every time. This was how we worked out we had to prerecord and mime our clips, which worked fine. Then, when Dean did his monthly All Request Zoom gigs, I realised the technology at my disposal, ie Zoom, would enable me to do this with the Socks. That led to a 15 minute test gig in mid July, then to the July 31st first experimental show, and on to the 3 Edfringe revival hours. The Socks rounded off the month by co-hosting and doing a half hour slot in Dean's Song Fest, which ran from 4pm to 10pm on Sunday 30th. The Socks will be returning on September 25th with their New Material Night.


And, by the way, it's great to have graphs to look at again. It doesn't say as much as my Edinburgh graphs of old, but it's interesting to see how half the tickets are sold a week in advance, then there's a slow period leading up to the show, then another big clump of sales happens on the day of the show. Just like in real life.

In contrast to the success of the Socks shows, I also tried to line up days of Comic Art Masterclasses through August which were nowhere near so successful. I'd done a day of classes on July 23rd, which attracted a highly satisfactory 38 ticket buying punters. However that may have been all the punters I was able to reach in the world. Because, apart from classes organised for private parties and by art centres which were well attended, the ones organised and promoted by me were virtual washouts. (Aug 5 attracted 17 punters, but Aug 20 and 28 only managed to find 4 punters apiece). 


The rest of the true Edinburgh Experience has been missed, so no art and no socialising (Socks shows post-drinks chat notwithstanding, those have been quite good fun, but still not quite the real thing). Since lockdown had eased by the start of August, Hev and I have been able to go out and about on away days, but museums and galleries aren't open as normal yet. The above picture shows the closest we've come, when Hev led us to the Luke Jerram installation in the grounds of Bristol Uni's Chemistry Department. A tiny slice of both the Edinburgh and the Venice feeling, we can't wait till the real thing returns.

Video clips from the Socks Edinburgh shows:

All Request Show:


Socks In Space:

Boo Lingerie:

Shakespeare:



 The Scottish Falsetto Socks return to Zoom for a New Material Night on September 25th. Suggest topics they should tackle, on Facebook or Twitter, and get your tickets for the resulting show here


 



Friday, 28 August 2020

Kapow! - The Zoom comic classes of August

 

I surprise myself in discovering that, through August, I ended up producing nearly half a dozen comics with kids in Zoom Comic Art Masterclasses. Because, to be brutally honest, they have been the most poorly attended classes I have ever done, for reasons discussed in this earlier blog. (In short, class organised by school or library = they provide the 60 bums on seats, class organised by me = I have to find every single bum on seat which is the equivalent of me finding 60 schools or libraries).

One class I cancelled outright (August 20), and asked the kids in the morning to move to the afternoon session. The final ones, (Aug 28th) I asked the two sets of kids who'd booked the morning if they'd move to the afternoon, but only one could. So I had a class in the morning with only one paying customer. It was a pair of twins, meaning their £9 ticket (from which I take away little over £8) for two hours saw me working for about a third of minimum wage! It was fun, but not quite as worthwhile as my classes usually are. The afternoon session had three paying customers, so not so bad, but still rather a silly way to be spending my time. (That said, the classes were fun, I loved doing them, and the kids had a great time. But doing them as good as voluntarily is not something I'll be doing again in a hurry).

As a last minute bonus, I've added the first comic of September, produced in a class with kids in Harrow, organised by Harrow Arts Centre.

The celebrities these six groups chose to appear in my demonstration strip were The Queen, Jason Manford, Stan Lee, Harry Hill, Kylie Jenner, and Michael Jackson.

I shall begin the process of selling myself to schools for the new term and hope normal service returns soon.


Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres - AND NOW ONLINE VIA ZOOMemail for details. His debut graphic novel Findlay Macbeth is available on Amazon. Follow Kev on Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here





Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Prince Of Denmark Street sketches


Thanks for your patience, today I finally got round to drawing the personalised sketches for everyone who'd requested one. And my thanks to all those of you who either didn't state a preference, or just said 'draw what you want', cos I had the greatest fun doing just that. I have, as you can see, put the stars of Prince Of Denmark Street into the poses of famous album covers. Who can spot them all? Of course, for those of you who had specific requests... 

I'll be honest, I'm glad only one of you asked for every single one of the Doctor Who, and Bananaman! Meanwhile, I had fun with those album cover homages... 


All going well these, and the pages of original artwork, should be going in the post tomorrow. Thanks again for your support. And soon, very soon, there'll be a new Kickstarter starting for my third graphic novel The Midsummer - wait, where are you all going? Kev F






Monday, 24 August 2020

"absolute highlight of the whole picking and mixing experience" - The Scotsman


Thanks to Louise Fairbairn for tweeting this to us, and Kate Copstick for writing it in the first place, The Socks' Edinburgh experience continues to be exceptional with this article from Friday's Scotsman. It closes by referring to "The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets, whose delightful song about the Bechdel Test is the absolute highlight of the whole picking and mixing experience."

Get us. Thankyou everyone, honoured and flattered we are.

Pick n Mix Edinburgh Fringe offers festival lovers 60 second clips of shows you could have seen

Viewers can pick a clip to watch or tune into a mixed stream of continuous Fringe entertainment, with the ability to interact and comment on the videos.


 

Open access is a wonderful thing. Democratic, offering hope and opportunity. Over the years it has made the Edinburgh Fringe what it is, and that is something extraordinary, exciting, gloriously unpredictable.

As this year's access IRL was closed by Covid, the internet exploded with the displaced and the desperate of the erstwhile Edinburgh Fringe.

A slightly late addition to the online offerings comes from the Fringe Society itself.

Pausing only to secure 1.2 million in grants and interest free loans, plus a sponsor in AJ Bell, the organisation who give you your 40 brochure words for 393 quid are offering up an online “Pick'n'Mix” of 60 second clips of shows that you could have seen had the Fringe gone ahead. The access to post videos is open to all registered Fringe would-have-been performers.

This is not a bad idea at all. But, as part of the now financially supported Fringe.com platform, it should be much better. A well thought out minute, with an informative wraparound, should be a powerful advert for next year as well as all the time in between. That is not really what we get here.

The Pick'n'Mix page is about as visually basic as a web page gets. We are not here for the state of the art aesthetic or clever lay-out, but surely we could have had the show's 40 words relocated on screen. That would have been helpful. However, we choose our genre and then we simply press the red rectangle that says ‘SPIN AGAIN’ to enter a world which, in many ways, succeeds as a digital microcosm of the Fringe. However 'spinning' every 60 seconds, reveals a discombobulating kaleidoscope of performances in 'minute-ture'. It is genuinely intense.

To be brutally honest, my first 20 minutes of 'spinning' made me feel quite a lot better about the cancellation of the entire Fringe. My second 20 minutes did not exactly leave me crying hot, salt tears for what might have been. Not if this is it.

Sixty seconds is tough. It does not suit everyone. But it does give the Pick'n'Mix feature a nice hook, and it leaves it up to the performers to work out how best to use the time.

I can only assume that no guidance or back-up is given to the performers by Fringe.com. Shame. Some comics offer a dodgy video of last year's performance, others flaunt their expertise with a 'promo' – all graphics and crash zooms and no idea what the show, much less the performer, is actually like. Some choose to fill their minute with televisual location sketches which it is hard to imagine being replicated in a 20-seater with no lights behind a pub in Leith. And many simply have no idea how to focus a minute. There are, however, some who do it well and leave me wanting more and starting to making notes for August 2021, which is surely what this is for. I mean the Fringe Society have money to make...

So next August (pandemics and Acts of God permitting) I shall be seeing Stuart Thomas (friendly comic whose minute made me laugh a lot), Martin Graham (ditto), Dr Fran Chadha-Day who will, hopefully, have sorted out her nervous delivery to do her fascinating material justice, Westdal and Hayward (who might turn out to be Hinge and Brackett wannabes, but their song “I've Taken Me Bra Off” promises otherwise) and The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets, whose delightful song about the Bechdel Test is the absolute highlight of the whole picking and mixing experience.

The Edinburgh Fringe Pick n Mix is online at https://picknmix.edfringe.com

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Ludow Fringe classes - the problems with virtual festivals


Human Super & The Hypnotic Idiot - today's comic produced with kids in my Comic Art Masterclass, arranged to coincide with Ludlow Fringe.

And, full disclosure, it was my smallest attendance ever, either in Zoom or real life. I only managed to attract three kids to the class, none of whom was from Ludlow. Demonstrating the vast difference between virtual events and real life. Had I been at the actual Ludlow Fringe, as planned, just my being there would have seen my two planned classes filled with about 60 kids. Because kids gotta go somewhere, and parents are glad to get them off their hands for a few hours (plus my classes are brilliant, obviously). The mere inclusion of my events in a festival programme usually does the trick. Nothing compares with a programme and a local crowd.

Now, with the entire planet as my potential audience, I've proved we really have to find some new means of reaching them, otherwise these virtual festivals are getting nowhere fast.

UPDATE: I just thought through the maths of this, and it really comes down to sales. When I do a class with a school - like the first couple of Zoom sessions I did with Red Maids and Edgeborough at the end of June - I get to work with 60 kids in the day, and all I've had to make are two sales. If I get through to one teacher, or one head, then that one sale equals a day of work. Ergo the 100 days of schools I did last year took just 100 successful sales. However to run my own Zoom classes, every single pupil is a sale. So to fill one day of classes I'd need to make 60 sales. And suddenly you see how mathematically improbable the whole thing is.

I email literally thousands of schools, at certain times across the year, from which I make 100 sales, meaning I end up working with (and drawing the caricatures of) over 5000 kids in a year. In order to achieve that end result through self-promoted Zoom classes, I'd need to make 5000 individual sales. Which, given that less than 1% of emails to schools results in a successful sale, would mean me somehow contacting an incalculable number of potential pupils, or their parents. It's infeasible when you see it put like that.

I'd better get emailing schools again, hadn't I?

Meanwhile, the next Comic Art Masterclasses, the last of the holidays, are Friday Aug 28th at 10am and 2pm, do please spread the word.

Aug 28 10am https://www.eventbrite.com/e/114528562012
Aug 28 2pm https://www.eventbrite.com/e/114529561000


Friday, 14 August 2020

★★★★ "The absolute essence of the Edinburgh Fringe" - Everything Theatre

 

Would you believe it, our second 4 star review for last night's online Socks In Space show, this time from Everything Theatre - a reviewer who we didn't even know was there! 

The absolute essence of the Edinburgh Fringe, captured by the most talented footwear you’ll see perform this summer!

Author: Mary Pollard

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival: a time where you might take a risk seeing something out of the ordinary; when you would share a drink and a laugh in a sweaty space with strangers, and perhaps be a tad forgiving of a show that felt a little experimental or unpolished, or indeed has a largely tartan set. Socks in Space by the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre really captures this essence of the Fringe in a compact yet magnificently ridiculous Zoom show.

The socks come with their own enthusiastic fan base and we’re all in the same Zoom room together as the show begins, just like being at a dodgy virtual Edinburgh venue. As the 21st Century Socks logo rolls in, the fun begins!

A revival of a 2013 show, the performance is totally unapologetic in its re-hashing of old material, but this works well alongside the retro space theme. Two simple, grubby looking socks, goggly eyes sewn on top and a bit of felt in their ‘mouths’ are a veritable Eric and Ernie in hose form. They provide everything you might ask for in a fun night out. There’s music, corny improv, audience participation, bad jokes, bad taste and an abundance of laughs, all in a scots falsetto, with hilarious spontaneity and weirdly eclectic depth. Yes, many of the jokes are poo jokes, but this show also includes rapidly executed Gilbert & Sullivan rewrites (which can’t be easy to do with a felt tongue), an encyclopaedic knowledge of comic books, retro film and tv, and words like ‘recherch√©’. It’s bold and adventurous, just like a voyage into space! I particularly loved the excess tartan, the vernacular language and references to Corstorphine, which anchor the humour within a rich scots heritage and give the Sassenachs something challenging to translate. We are entertained with all the sci-fi classics; Star Wars, Star Trek, Fireball XL 5, Aliens, and a peculiar appearance from 2013 David Bowie in pensioner form, which is totally off the wall!

Sometimes the shots of the attendant audience become a bit distracting when you’re wanting to see more of a sock dressed up as an Irn Bru can (and the costume changes are both rapid and impressive!), so it’s almost like being on Gogglebox, but this is all part of the fun and helps create an authentic Edinburgh feel.

As a little bonus, puppeteer Kev Sutherland popped up at the end of the show for ‘a drink in the bar’, just to make the Edinburgh experience complete, which was a lovely opportunity to bond with the audience. Turns out he’s also a comic book illustrator who has worked on everything from The Beano to Marvel comics!

The socks offer no clever illusion: from the start they declare their performance really needs a green screen and some foam, which they cannot supply. But this means that the audience must surrender itself unquestioningly to the material they do have to offer, which is inventive, hilarious and totally bonkers. This is an incredibly satisfying production that really feels like a Fringe night out. Grab yourself a pint and prepare for an hour packed with laughs.

★★★★ "A distracting tonic for the times" - The Scotsman

 


Well blow me down if this whole Virtual Edinburgh Experience isn't made nigh on perfect - we just got a 4 star review in The Scotsman, for last night's Socks In Space. 

By Fiona Shepherd
Friday, 14th August 2020, 6:10 pm

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Company: Socks In Space ****

In the midst of general grimness, it could feel indulgent to be laughing at two boggle-eyed sock puppets with heroically high voices deconstructing landmarks of popular culture, but boy, does the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre provide a distracting tonic for the times.

Weekly this month, the Socks are revisiting their greatest theatrical triumphs live via Zoom. Boo Lingerie (their Socky Horror Show) and Socks Do Shakespeareare still to come but first was a reprise of their hit 2013 sci-fi spoof Socks In Space with its then-topical jokes left in.

Even the pre-show music – helium renditions of space-themed classics – raised a chortle, with Come On Alien, their homage to Ridley Scott’s film sung to the tune of Come On Eileen a particularly fine showcase of the talent for scansion, satire and silliness which followed through to the show itself, which was a gleeful celebration of puntastic juvenilia involving cute costumes, DIY recreations of classic scifi scenes and an inspired musical tribute to the art of FX, called Green Screen and Some Foam (to the tune of… you guess), all executed in lovably lo-fi style – even if the Socks’ passing resemblance to the Clangers went unexplored.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Socks on One Show + Ticket Sales


It was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but the Socks were on The One Show! How much like the actual Edinburgh Experience is that? On Monday night's show they did an article about how Edinburgh was missing not having a Fringe this year, and in an interview with someone from the Fringe about Virtual events, we came up as part of a montage, with the above snippet from the video we sent to Edfringe for inclusion in their virtual montage. (I had thought originally it was a clip from the 15 minute segment we sent to Gilded Balloon, but actually this is filmed earlier last month, before the walls got covered in flipchart pages for my classes. Hmmmm.)

And if that's not Edinburgh Experience enough, I am so enjoying looking at this page every few hours...


My ticket sales. Possibly the definitive Edinburgh experience is checking my sales, watching them go up every hour, or not as the case may be. For this month's three shows I'm using WeGotTickets, who have the nice feature of a heads-up on the first page telling what your sales since you last looked. They know what we're like, and that all we're interested in are the latest sales.

The only thing missing is a chalkboard with "Sell Out" written on it, that I can take a photo of after the show. Though, given that I can simply keep adding tickets ad nauseum to these Zoom events (I was told the other day that there's someone getting audiences of 1000 on Zoom, which I didn't think was technically possible) that's probably not going to be a thing. First show of the month tomorrow, looking forward to it.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Unbelievable Truth Questions - Beano and Clowns

 

Thanks once again to Felicity & Tom who threw another grand Zoom Quiz party, Hev & I had the excuse to write a couple of Unbelievable Truth scripts. I did Beano, she did Clowns. Can you spot the 5 truths smuggled in among the lies in each essay? The answers are at the foot of the post.

Unbelievable Truth – THE BEANO

 

The World’s Second-Longest Running Comic – The Beano was first published by Alfred Harmsworth & Co from their offices in Aberdeen in 1907.

 

 It began life as an advertising supplement sponsored by Campbells Baked Beans, hence the name Beano . The strip on its first cover was Trumpolina The Bean Eating Fairy. She appeared alongside fellow characters Harry Koe, Runner Bean – the adventures of a teenage athlete, and a happy family of bottom burps called The Windipops. The free gift attached to the front cover of Beano No 1 was a packet of bean seeds.

 

To show that tastes were very different in the olden days, the first issue of The Beano included a pull-out section on the newly fashionable jazz music, a picture on the cover of a little black boy eating a watermelon, a message from Lord Kitchener, and the comic ended with The National Anthem, which readers were expected to stand up and salute while reading.

 

Copies of Beano number one are incredibly rare. There are only 3 known to exist, and in 2015 a copy sold at auction for a record £7000. Characters in the very first issue included Dennis The Menace, Desperate Dan, Minnie The Minx, Lord Snooty, The Bash St Kids, and Desert Island Dick. Desert Island Dick is most famous for having a desert island dick, though the follow up Fanny Island never caught on.

 

Dennis The Menace, famous for his stripy green jumper, his catchphrase “It’s Clobbering Time, and whose dog Gnasher is just Dennis’s hair with legs added, was named after the music hall song “Dennis The Menace Plays Tennis”. His name originally only had one N in, until it had become a playground game for children to say it as dee-niss, to rhyme with penis.

 

Over the years The Beano has featured many characters, none of which has ever been adapted in a TV series, stage show or theme park. Interesting Beano characters from the past include Musso The Wop, The Leather Nun, Poopy and Peepee, The Righteous Brothers, and The Vibrating Bum Faced Goats.

 

The Beano appears widely in popular culture. Peter Cushing is reading a copy in the film Doctor Who & The Daleks; Michael Caine is reading one in Get Carter; & the characters in Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrells are based on the Bash St Kids. The Beano appears on the cover of albums by The Stone Roses, Eric Clapton, U2, Coldplay and The Nolan Sisters.

 

End of lecture (Answers at foot of blog)


Unbelievable Truth – CLOWNS

 

Everybody loves clowns and nobody has ever been scared of them ever. If anyone was scared of clowns, that fear would be called Pierrophobia

 

Clowning goes all the way back to pre-history and there are cave paintings in North America dating back 12,000 years of a big-footed character, called Rur-nal Muck-dur-nal, who is shown handing out dinosaur burgers. When, 12,000 years later, McDonalds were designing their famous clown, they could have used this classic design, but just went with a Bozo instead.

 

Clown face make up was invented by Dame Barbara Cartland who was just trying to put her face on and got carried away. Like all clowns, she registered her characteristic make-up design by painting it onto a dried orange.  The main types of clown in ancient Roman theatre were Dopius, Sneezius, Stupidus, Grumpius, Bashfulios, and Doc. And in the Italian Comedia Dell Arte the clown is called Dell Boy his best known routine being Falling Through The Bar.

 

The most famous clown, the one with the big red nose and colourful face, is called a Pierrot. Their characteristic long shoes came about after Joseph Grimaldi the clown had his feet trodden on by an elephant and needed the shoes to disguise his injuries. Grimaldi was a particularly unlucky clown, having been stabbed by a lion tamer, having his leg chopped off by mistake by a surgeon, and having his head chopped off by his daughter. After that he only played bit parts.

 

If you really love clowns, as everybody does, you can show your appreciation in Milan by carving your name on Pagliacci’s tomb, in London by dancing on Grimaldi’s grave, and in Paris in the catacombs where you can see the embalmed body of the original Harlequin.

 

Every movie star loves dressing as a clown because of the extra dignity it gives you. This is why Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Harry Potter, Lara Croft, and John Wick have all done it. John Major once attended the Houses Of Parliament dressed as a clown because, famously, both his Mum and Dad were circus clowns.

 

End of lecture. (Answers below)


BEANO Answers:


FACT – Black boy on cover on No 1, omitted from later reprints.

FACT – Lord Snooty , drawn by Dudley D Watkins was in Beano No 1.

FACT – Gnasher was Dennis hair & legs. Artist Davy Law told the writer he couldn’t draw dogs, so was told to just draw Dennis’s hair and add legs. Later Gnasher grew a face.

FACT – Musso The Wop (Mussolini) was in the Beano 1940 – 43. Same artist also drew Addy & Hermy, starring Hitler & Goering.

FACT – Beano on John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, held by Eric Clapton. Nicknamed The Beano Album.

 

LIES you may have mistaken for truths:

The World’s Second-Longest Running Comic (NO, Longest, 3180 issues in 2015)

Published by Alfred Harmsworth & Co (NO, DC Thomson)

Aberdeen (NO, Dundee)

1907 (No, 1938)

Advertising supplement for Campbells Baked Beans (NO).

The free gift packet of bean seeds (NO, a Whoopee Mask).

There are only 3 known to exist (NO, there are 20)

Copy sold at auction for a record £7000 (NO, £17,300. Estimated now to be over £20,000).

Desperate Dan was in the Dandy, Desert Island Dick in the Topper, the others all came later.

Catchphrase “It’s Clobbering Time (NO, that’s The Thing),

“Dennis The Menace Plays Tennis” (NO, from Venice)

None has ever been adapted in a TV series, stage show or theme park (NO, Dennis has had all three, Bananaman stage show, Beano rides at Chessington World of Adventures).

The Vibrating Bum Faced Goats were in Viz

Peter Cushing is reading a copy in Doctor Who & The Daleks (NO, it’s The Eagle. Matt Smith later reads one in The Rings Of Akhaten)


CLOWN Answers:


FACT – Ronald McDonald is based on Bozo, a famous red-face clown from a 1950s kids TV show. He was also the inspiration for Krusty The Clown in The Simpsons.

 

FACT – Roman clown was Stupidus. Main 4 were Sannio, Stupidus (the mimic fool, hence our word stupid), Scurra (a tramp or hobo, hence scurrilous), and Moriones (hence moron).

 

FACT - Grimaldi’s daughter had his head removed, on his instructions, because of his fear of being buried alive.

 

FACT – You can dance on Grimaldi’s grave.  In 2010 a coffin-shaped memorial made of musical floor tiles, was installed in Joseph Grimaldi Park in Hackney

 

FACT – James Bond, Roger Moore, dresses as a clown in Octopussy

 

LIES you may have mistaken for truths:

Pierrophobia. (NO, it’s Coulrophobia).

Face painted on an orange. (NO, it’s an egg, kept in the Clown Face Register).

Red face clown is a Pierrot (NO, it’s an Auguste).

Pagliacci’s tomb (NO, he’s fictional)

John Major’s parents were circus clowns (NO, his Dad Tom Major Ball was a music hall performer but not a clown. His mum was a dancer)



Friday, 7 August 2020

Socks shows in Edfringe programme! And a reviewer's coming

 

The Socks are in the Edinburgh Fringe programme after all. The Fringe has launched a Virtual Fringe, and has enabled those of us who would have been putting shows on to submit our events for free so, delightfully, the Socks' three shows are now on edfringe.com as if it was happening for real. And, I think, it's made a difference to sales. We've certainly put a lot on today (Friday), let's see where we end up on Thursday. And we've attracted our first reviewers, and not just any old one...
We've got The Scotsman coming, to our first show Socks In Space. Talk about the full Edinburgh experience! And of course this year we don't get the luxury of getting used to the show with a whole load of previews, this time it's a one-off. Though admittedly it's a show we've done before, in. 2013 (when, I see from my blog, The Scotsman didn't make it along to review us) it's still going to be daunting to be putting our all into its first night.
I've given comp tickets to people who came to last week's All Request show, cos I think they deserve them. They get the choice of one of these shows free, cos I think it's a bit much to expect anyone to pay to come and see the same act 4 times in the space of a month.

Now, better get the damn show ready for Thursday. Do I still have the space helmet?


Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Socks All Request Zoom Party - the videos



The Socks first All Request Zoom Party was a resounding success, with positive reviews all round, and the next three shows already lined up throughout August. And I've now uploaded most of it, so you can enjoy it if you missed it. In order of appearance (having failed to record the opening routine, I'm A Sock song, Halloween and the Michael Jackson tribute routine) we begin with Period Drama (above). Then we have...






Always A Bastard, and rounding off with...


Star Wars. We ended the show with Sweary Poppins, but I won't upload that so we always have it for future live gigs, whenever they return.

By popular demand, the Socks are reviving three of their classic Edinburgh Fringe shows to perform throughout August. All three are on sale now:


Aug 13  Socks In Space  - Their 2013 sci fi extravaganza, including Star Trek, Alien, Star Wars, and a song about David Bowie's 65th birthday which we're sure hasn't dated at all.


Aug 21 - Boo Lingerie, the Socky Horror Show - Their 2012 horror special, including Frankie Valli and the 4 Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, Burke & Hare, Jekyll & Hyde and more.


Aug 29 - Socks Do Shakespeare - 2016's Shakespeare anniversary classic show, attempting everything fro Hamlet to the sonnets, Romeo and Juliet to Othello, and so much more. In fact, you name it, they'll try it.


All shows are at 8pm and are hour long shows (though they may overrun). One ticket admits as many people as can fit round the screen, so get the whole bubbled family in the room (then chuck the kids out, it's for age 12 and over only, some strong language).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...