Thursday 21 February 2019

Socks Roll Up First tryouts Leicester Feb 15 & 16

As the audience were leaving after the first of these two nights at Leicester Comedy Festival, I heard someone saying to a friend “so it was mostly Superheroes.”

Which was very true. Every year, in Leicester in February, I have the choice of trying out the brand new show which I’m developing to take to Edinburgh in August, or giving them the complete and polished show that we did in Edinburgh the previous year. Or a mixture of the two. This year we went for the mixture.

Last year (as you’ll see below*) we tried out an all new show, about half of which made it into the final finished product. This meant Leicester hadn’t seen most of the good stuff, so we gave them 40 minutes of Superheroes (editing out the Racist Brother material and All By Myself) and 20 minutes of new stuff. I say new, about 10 minutes of it was the Magic Routine which is a staple of our touring show and which is, so far, the only good bit of Roll Up.

The new material they got (in different orders on the two nights) was:

Roll Up gags inc Funambulism, Anabolic, Bare Knuckles, Paul Daniels, Yogi, Sufi, Gnostics, Kung Fu and Yurt. All good. So we have one minute in the bag.

Greatest Show opening (Sat only) - doesn’t work yet

Anne Hathaway song - gets laughs, better integrated in Saturday show

Statue Of Liberty routine - not funny yet

Tom Thumb routine (Fri only) - not funny

Les Mis routine - too long, only funny in small parts, doesn’t quite fit

Magic routine - excellent as always, but overshadowed other stuff

City Of Stars song - funny in parts, ends poorly

We then rounded off the show with the Superheroes finale, then a song. 

(Fri) Don’t Let’s Be Beastly To The Leavers - good, needs to lose a verse, does it fit in this show?

(Sat) Gary Barlow Brexit routine & song - very good, again does it fit?

So I’m in as good a position as I was in years like Shakespeare (16) and Space (13), which ended up being my favourite shows despite being almost entirely unwritten by the end of February. As I type this I am sat on the balcony of the Teatro cafe in Clevedon (yes, it’s that warm in February) seeing if I can get some bloody writing done today. One hour later I appear to have written this and nothing else yet. Onwards and upwards.

* Past years at Leicester have gone like this:

2018 - Mostly new Superheroes, with a bizarre amount of Christmas material in there. 

2017 - Shakespeare (2016), because there was no new show that year.

2016 - Mostly last year’s Minging Detectives, with 10 minutes of new Shakespeare 

2015 - Mostly last year’s And So Am I, with 20 minutes of new Minging Detectives

2014 - Socks In Space (2013). So we didn’t start writing that year’s And So Am I until later in the year.

2013 - Even by Glasgow in March we didn’t have a new show-full, so Socks In Space was a slow developer. So many dropped routines were being tried like The Melies Brothers, the 6 Million Dollar Man, and a Taylor Swift song I’d forgotten we ever did.

2012 - I have no record, but I imagine it was the Best Of show that we were about to take to Adelaide

2011 and earlier I have no record for, those shows’ gestation being lost to the mists of time.

Mar 20/21 - Dram Glasgow 

April 5 - Chorley Little Theatre 90 min (Superheroes)
May 24 - Victoria Halifax Roll Up 
June 1 & 2 - Brighton Komedia
June 8 - Harlequin, Reigate
July 8 - OSO Barnes Fringe
July 19 - Kings Arms, Greater Manchester Fringe
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 30 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 9.30pm


Andy Stenhouse said...

We thought it was a good show, not a great show, but as it's Leicester and we've got used to it being a little less coherent we thought it was a good start for the new show. I suggest you leave in all the brexit stuff as the pre-show music (at least until the madness is over!)
The Roll-up material was pretty good and stood up to the earlier material pretty well.
We came away very happy!!

Andy Stenhouse said...
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