Saturday, 23 March 2019

Socks Roll Up at Glasgow Comedy Festival - 3 great shows

Remembering last year’s previews of Superheroes, when I suffered with a tough crowd on the second night, this year the Socks geared themselves up for three nights in a row, giving the first full tryouts to the new show Roll Up! I’m happy to report they went wonderfully.

In February we did a partial tryout of some new material, but mostly gave the crowd the best of the Superheroes show, so these were the first attempts to do an hour of Roll Up. Two nights at Dram, and a night at the Britannia Panopticon.

Night one, Wednesday at Dram, went well, considering the shows gags were all badly clustered together and we finished after 45 minutes, so rounded the show off with a revisit of Earth Song and Don’t Let’s Be Beastly.

I then spent Thursday daytime rewriting the script, introducing new material, adding new music, totally revamping the show. The structure for Thursday night at Dram was the one that worked so that’s what we stuck with for Friday at Britannia, with one small addition. Here’s the running order we have so far:

Opening 3 gags Ocelot/Barnum/Steroids - (on the first night we opened with way too many strung together)
Can I do Eurovision? - Introduced Thurs, got sympathy from start
I’m A Sock

Greatest Showman opening - (on the first night opened whole show with this. Much better after I’m A Sock song, still needs better punchline).
Gags Burlescue/3 Rings/Knuckles/Leno - good, could use more

Philip Astley routine - (slashed by 2 thirds from first night, musical punchline introduced, from audience suggestion, 2nd night)
Mad Cow adlib (started as adlib Weds, currently part of script)

Anne Hathaway Song - this will have to be replaced by something better.
Performance Artist - Remembered this from the 07 show and threw it in adlib on 2nd night. It works.

Audience suggests acts. This has given us good adlibs so far. Whether they’ll work so well as repeats we’ll have to see. Lion Tamer was good, Knife Thrower good, Juggling I developed into a routine with sound effects for Friday, which suffered from bad sound, it might stay.

Bechdel Test - Repeated from last year’s show, for Thurs & Fri. Will have to go.
Magic Routine - Brilliant as always (from 2010). So tight, we just have to make everything else this tight and we have a good show.

Nicole Kidman - Worked well from start. ‘Flying Fuchs’ monologue may have to go.
Brexit/Polish/marriage - contrived but seems to work as a plot line.
Eurovision Brexit song - Now works as it’s integrated into the plot.

Lady In Pants - gappy but it works.
Cross Channel Golf - a bit long, not sure it fits. Might replace.
Greggs song - works well. Would like to expand into dance routine.

Grimaldi routine - My favourite new routine. We need more like this.
City Of Stars song - seems popular, it’s a grower
Trapeze act - quite good but needs tightening. Call back to juggling is good (need more of these)

Phantom Of Opera Finale - Good in parts, getting better as it goes. Not the greatest showstopper, could we find something new and perfect?

Don’t Let’s Be Beastly - A mild end to the show, people seem satisfied with it. Again, if something amazing comes along in the next spate of writing, all the better.

So we have a good plot, with the capacity for tightening, and much more staying on topic than last year’s show. I’m inspired to keep writing, feeling like we’re building towards more of a Shakespeare than a Superheroes.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre: Roll Up! at The Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, July 31st - Aug 25th 2019 at 9.30pm. On sale now!

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