Saturday 11 May 2013

★★★★ Broadway Baby review for Socks in Space in Brighton

Hooray! The second night of Socks In Space in Brighton just got ★★★★ 4 stars from Broadway Baby.


Socks Appeal

Broadway Baby Rating:
Let’s see, how can I describe this one? There are a couple of socks that like to sing (up high, mind). Oh, and they’re Scottish (High-voice-landers). And they’re planning a mission to space.
Thing is, I’m not really sure they ever got to space. When your stage is a wobbly tartan window I suppose it can be difficult to give the feel of galaxies far, far away. Not to mention that waffling – what socks are prone to do when you give them a voice – is fairly counter-productive to space exploration. Luckily, there’s a good show in the waffle – an hour-long Smothers Brothers/Two Ronnies escapade so tangential you can’t believe it’s been scripted. The waffling tangents included medlies (horror movie clichés, the upsides of being a sock), sci-fi movie history and lots of punny sock-on-sock bickering.
Note to parents: I like my ‘sweary words’ in full-blown Technicolor, not stifled by the presence of young ears. It’s true we’re talking about sock puppets with googly eyes, but that sign next to the listing means ‘Parental Guidance’, not bring your kids (though I’ll admit, the parent/child logo is confusing). Happily, the socks thought on their feet and were quick to capitalise on the unmined comedy gold that surfaces when you let your young’uns interact with innuendo-spouting puppets – who else would think ‘Bob’ was a suitable name for a spaceship? They then suggested Fred as a conciliatory gesture, to the socks’ chagrin.
In the end, the closest they get to space is donning Trekkie and Jedi costumes and re-enacting the Obi-Wan(ker)nobi/Darth Vader duel with bendy straws and falsetto humming. My face hurt from smiling; most of this {sweary-word} is hilarious, probably even more so during an adults-only viewing. I should be able to deconstruct why a cut-out David Bowie on a stick lamenting old age and singing about starlings in a croaky Brummie accent is funny, but alas, it just is. Go see for yourself, preferably back to back with the new Star Trek for an extra-special postmodern viewing experience.

Amy Holtz
Amy Holtz has written 14 reviews for Broadway Baby since joining the team in 2012.

These two nights have been the first of our Socks previews where we've dropped all the "safe" material from previous shows (in particular the Magic routine, which is a guaranteed high point, though we currently still have Star Wars in there) and tried out almost all new material. You'll remember the mix of the two got us a 5 star review in Bath last month, so it's genuinely thrilling to see this much rawer less-practised show still getting 4 stars. I come away knowing lots that needs to be changed, and with lots of new sketches to write and try out until we've got the perfect show, but if a work-in-progress can get a thumbs-up like that I feel very good, fingers crossed, about how we're progressing.

(Notes to self: last night, night 2 in Brighton, saw TV Channels and Bionics both dropped from the previous night, and Captain America v Loki performed for the first time from handwritten notes. Both nights saw Shatner routine for first time, neither included Some Bugger or Sweary Poppins or Magic)

SOCKS ON TOUR - Your next chance to see the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

May 25, 26 - Inverness Happy-Ness Festival
May 29 - Theatr Mwdlan, Cardigan
May 31 - Exchange Arts, Keighley
June 1 - Junction, Goole
June 2 - Barnsley Civic
June 8 - Warwick Arts Centre
June 25 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
June 27 - Victoria Theatre, Halifax
June 28 - Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol
July 2, July 9 - Leicester Square Theatre, London
July 5 - The Lord Nelson, Norton Sub Hamden, Somerset
July 13 - Chapter Arts, Cardiff Comedy Festival
July 14 - Sheffield, New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Bristol Comedy Box at the Hen & Chickens
July 18 - Larmer Tree Festival, Salisbury
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 21 - Derby Funhouse 3.25pm
+ Mimetic Festival, Enfield 8.30pm
July 22 - Clowns Pocket, Neath
July 26 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
July 31 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, 10.15pm, Edinburgh Fringe
Sept 4 - Belfast Black Box
Sept 5 - Derry Waterside
Sept 21 - Braintree Arts Theatre
Oct 5 - Farnham Maltings
Oct 11 - Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
Oct 24 - The Capitol, Horsham
Oct 25 - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Oct 26 - Canterbury Festival
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre

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