Monday 9 December 2013

Socks on tour - a year in review

And so, with a sweetly silly gig in the Royal Hotel in Weston, on the bill with three comics and promoter Alan Holloway entertaining 20 non-paying punters and getting away with it, the Socks brought their 2013 gigging schedule to an end (okay, there is a  local private party still to play before Christmas, but that won't be one for the gig listings). A fine gigging year and no mistake.

Starting in Malta in February and including a very successful month at Edinburgh ("at Edinburgh" means at the Fringe, as opposed to "in Edinburgh" which just means.. er.. it means in Edinburgh) 2013 has seen the Socks play 76 full length solo shows (35 Spring tour, 26 Edinburgh, 15 Autumn tour) and a further 16 spots on comedy bills including two shows on the BBC stage at Edinburgh and two heats of the Musical Comedy Awards (we didn't win). Most of the touring shows were 90 minuters, as were the two Christmas Specials, and we've also written a pilot episode of a telly show about which you might hear more. If not, it'll be ploughed into next year's new live show, on which we've already started work.

Among the more novel venues we have to mention The Black Pearl in Malta (Errol Flynn's old boat) for which we need to thank Erin & James for giving us an excellent working holiday in a beautiful place we might not have visited otherwise; The Tom Thumb Theatre in Margate (a former coach house, now the country's second smallest working theatre); and the Lass O'Gowrie in Manchester for being the venue we'll miss the most, (the show with the highest hand-count of home-made fan Socks for starters) thanks to the damn fool brewery who own it closing it down and wiping out the award-winning pub theatre which has been home to the Socks and the Sitcom Trials for the last five years.

One of the Socks prettier looking venues, not even on the touring schedule, on a comedy bill in Hertfordshire in October

And, though every audience has been marvellous - this year we've had almost universal love and support from our crowds (okay, there was a slot on a bill at a boarding school in Dorset where a hall full of posh 15 year olds were determined not to laugh at anyone or anything, but they were a really weird exception to the rule) - The Socks would particularly like to sing the praises of:
-  the good folk of the Larmer Tree Festival for giving us two tents full of audience in one day
- the punters of Canterbury for selling out the Spiegeltent for our very first appearance in town
- the lovely people of Bath for giving us our first 5 star review of the year for our two April shows, then having us back for Helen of the Natural Theatre's party, then selling out our Christmas Special, and already booking us for two more shows next spring. The award for Not Being Able To Get Enough Of The Socks is yours
- those venues who keep having us back and back again like the Birmingham Old Joint Stock (sellout again) and the Barton Ropewalk (another sellout), and Exeter Barnfield and Chorley Little Theatre and the festivals in Glasgow and Brighton and of course Edinburgh and ...

And now, looking at the list, I find myself wanting to praise so many audiences and so many venues, can I just thank you all. Why, I feel like drawing a map...

(tries to draw Google map of all venues, linked with arrows, finds it too difficult, gives up)


Feb 2, 3 - The Black Pearl, Malta
Feb 8, 9, 10 - Leicester Comedy Festival, Kayal
Mar 9 - Flavel, Dartmouth
Mar 21, 22, 23 - Glasgow Comedy Festival, The Dram
Mar 30, April 5 - Bath Comedy Festival, Ring O'Bells
April 12 - Plough Arts, Torrington, Devon
April 13 - Barnfield, Exeter
April 27 - Gardyne Theatre, Dundee
April 28 - Eden Court, Inverness
May 1 - Swindon Arts Centre
May 9, 10 - Komedia, Brighton Fringe
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
July 31 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, 10.15pm, Edinburgh Fringe
Sept 4 - Belfast Black Box
Sept 5 - Derry Waterside
Sept 21 - Braintree Arts Theatre
Sept 22 4pm - Nottingham Comedy Festival
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 1 - Ace Centre, Nelson
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 14 - Hull Comedy Festival
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre
Nov 17 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
Nov 30 - Christmas Special, Camden Head, London
Dec 6 - Christmas Special, Ring O'Bells, Bath


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