Friday, 30 March 2012

Bilal's Mole - more new comics by kids

My Comic Art Masterclasses have resumed since my return from Adelaide. Look, they've already managed to come up with this little lot... (click to enlarge)...



This coming week there are the following Comic Art Masterclasses open to the public:
Monday - Wymondham High School
Tuesday - Dereham
Wednesday - Norwich
Thursday - Norwich



These are all free. And if that weren't enough, on Saturday April 7th in Bath we have another Comic Art Masterclass as part of Bath Comedy Festival, only £6. See you all there.

If anyone wants me to come and show their kids how to do what I've been doing for a living for the last two decades, drop me a line, a comment, a Twitter, smoke signals, the usual methods. Click below to see more, including video and contact details.



RECOMMENDED COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS for Comic Art Masterclass students, teachers and librarians


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Socks Tour Trailermania

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre have gone a little mad making musical trailers for the first dozen dates of their spring tour...



As well as the above all-singing all-dancing clip advertising their forthcoming Bath show, the Socks have recorded clips for all these dates (click to play or to get the link):
Milford Haven April 12
Exeter April 13
Bridlington April 14
St Andrews April 25
Aberdeen April 27
Halifax May 3
Stafford May 5
Chorley May 12
Brighton May 19/20
Hereford May 27
Harrogate June 28 & 29

Feel free to bandy these about willy and, if you would, nilly, if you'd be so kind.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Announcing Socks shows, and Adelaide album

NEWS FLASH! At long last, after years of persuasion and reticence, the Scottish Falsetto Socks are going to perform their very first kids show at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.


This year the Socks will be performing their brand new Socky Horror Show Boo Lingerie every night at 10.40pm, and from Thursday to Sunday every week at 11am they will be performing the family friendly show Chunky Woollen Nits. Both shows take place at the Gilded Balloon Teviot and tickets will be going on sale very soon. Stay tuned for trailers and tasters.

SOCKS TOUR DATES SPRING 2012

But before all that we have a series of Socks shows taking place all over the UK, and we don't want anyone to miss out on them. So make a note of these dates, and if you know anyone who lives within reach of these shows, send them the link now. NOW! Thankyou.


Apr 7 - Bath Comedy Festival
Apr 12 - Torch, Milford Haven
Apr 13 - Exeter Barnfield
Apr 14 2012 - Spa Bridlington
April 25 - Byre Theatre, St Andrews
Apr 27 - Lemon Tree Aberdeen
May 3 - Halifax, Square Chapel
May 4 - Keighley Exchange Arts
May 5 - Stafford Gatehouse
May 12 - Chorley Little Theatre
May 19/20 Brighton 7pm & 4.30pm - First BOO LINGERIE Previews
May 27 - Hereford Courtyard
June 28 & 29 - Harrogate
July 9 - Rondo Bath Preview
July 13 - Beverly Puppet Festival
July 19 - Tring Festival
July 20 - Lass O Gowrie Manchester
July 21 - Nottingham 2pm + Guildford Electric Theatre 8pm
July 22 - Derby 2pm
July 27 - Bedford Fringe
August 1 - 27 - Edinburgh Fringe

ADELAIDE PHOTOS ANYONE?

And if anyone fancies indulging themselves in a book full of someone else's photos, I believe they're called coffee table books in the trade, might I recommend Adelaide 2012. 80 glossy pages of photos from our month in Adelaide, available in hardback or paperback. Have a free preview of the first 15 pages on us...



The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre tour the UK from April and play the Edinburgh Fringe in August, tickets and details here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review


Friday, 23 March 2012

Captain Transvault, new video online

Just before heading off to Australia in February I completed the artwork for this promotional video which has now gone online. Check it out...



Updated to the finished version (which only makes sense if you clicked on the first draft of this blog a few weeks ago). If you're looking for a solution to your PST prolems (no, me neither) Transvault is what you want. And remember, if you're looking for an artist to draw cartoony superheroes, you know where to find me. Enjoy.

The Sitcom Trials - Bristol March 30th



The next Sitcom Trials takes place in Bristol on Friday March 30th at The Wardrobe Theatre, Above The White Bear, 133 St Michael's Hill, Bristol BS2 8BS from 8pm, tickets are only £3.

The five sitcoms in competition are:
"Whitecoats" by Katie Boyles
"Shock Treatment" by Richard Dowling
"Games Night" by Ed Campbell
"The Tragic Life of Roger Bulwark" by Luke Cedar
"Making Heavy Weather" by Eddie Robson & Julie Bower

Reserve tickets by emailing: tickets@thewardrobetheatre.com and turn up 25mins before the show to pay for your tickets. Or… risk it, turn up and get your tickets on the door.

Anyone who would like to spread the word to their friends are free to use the flyer artwork (above or below) to print out or post online. And of course this is only the start for The Sitcom Trials Bristol team, led by Vince Stadon, who already have plans for their subsequent productions. If you'd like to get involved as a writer, actor, comedian or supporter, join the Facebook group, and keep up to date on the SitsVac egroup and/or the British Comedy Guide Forum. All important updates can be found on the Sitcom Trials website, sitcomtrials.co.uk

Have we found the new Red Dwarf? The new Green Wing? The new White Van Man? Only you can decide.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Socks in Fishbowl - Adelaide interview

Never too late to find an interview with the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre from Adelaide. Here they are on Jason Chong's Fishbowl:



It may be all over in Adelaide, and we may already be back home in the UK, and unlike a lot of acts we're not going on to play the Melbourne festival in March and the Sydney festival in April (elsewhere on this podcast you can see Jeff Green using his interview as an opportunity to plug his forthcoming Melbourne shows). So think of this as promotion for the Socks forthcoming gigs in the UK. They start very soon...

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre tour the UK from April and play the Edinburgh Fringe in August, tickets and details here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review


Our Adelaide flatmates

It's Wednesday morning, GMT, and after 30 odd hours of travelling, we're home. I have rarely felt so nostalgic as I've been feeling with every little thing about being home, from the view of London out of the plane windows, through the comforting messiness of England's bumpy bendy hilly roads, to this morning opening up the familiar cupboards in our familiar kitchen and pulling out my favourite Doctor Who mug. A month away in Adelaide is the furthest we've travelled and the longest we've been away from home together ever. Edinburgh Fringe doesn't last as long as this, and you can drive there in six hours if you try. It's been a great experience, about which I'm sure I'll find a lot more to say as I unpack my memories, but it's grand to be home.

One thing I've not written about is our flat mates in Adelaide, which is a ludicrous oversight I must put right. So let's begin with congratulating the award winner. Rob Broderick, aka Abandoman, was nominated in the Adelaide Fringe Awards as both Best Comedy and Best Comedy - Emerging, and on Sunday night won the Emerging category. Hooray, it couldn't happen to a nicer chap.


Here he is (above) at one of the barbecues we enjoyed in our apartment building. Rob was with us in the flat for two weeks, which means he performed for only one week of the Adelaide Fringe (the Garden starting its programme of events a week early), and still he wins an award. In Edinburgh they force us to play for a whole month to even be eligible, madness. Rob was probably the hardest working act in the flat, though there was stiff competition. All through the day he'd be testing out new equipment, he debuted the solo version of the Abandoman act in Adelaide and developed routines with a Keytar and looping sampler doodah (didn't get the technical details) all of which means his act was changing dramatically every day, even before he hit the stage where, if you're not familiar with his act, every word he utters is brand new that second. If you've not seen Ireland's foremost improv rapper, you'd better hurry. After he wins the Edinburgh Comedy Award in August he'll be off to conquer other planets.


Tom and Liesl Binns (above) were our flat mates throughout the month, taking the wedding suite in the flat, as this trip was an extension of their honeymoon, having got married at the end of last year. Together they produce the Ian D Montfort show, which Tom performed every night in the tent next to mine in the Garden. Tom also managed to play at least one extra gig almost every night, and one a number of nights would clock up four gigs, including appearances as Ivan Brackenbury, which means he easily scored the most stage time of anyone in the flat. Like Rob, he was always developing his act, and we were all used as experiments for his magic tricks and mind games. As well as this, Liesl put a lot of work into developing her tan, the trick to which, we are assured, is to sometimes not wear sunscreen. We've come home hopelessly pale in comparison. Tom's new BBC TV show, of which we've had tantalising glimpses, stars Ian D and Ivan and will be on in the Autumn, after which he'll be off conquering those planets with Rob.


And last but by no means least came our flatmate Craig Hill, seen here (above) with the card Heather made him for his birthday, which fell on his first week with us (Craig arrived when Rob left and went on to play two sellout weeks at the Fringe). No testing out tricks and samplers for Craig, he contented himself with singing songs to Hev before jetting off to gigs on a pushbike he found from somewhere. Hev and I had our best night out with Craig when we were waylaid by a fan who knew him from the telly (Craig was a regular on Aus TV's Good News Week) and ended up putting the world to rights in a corner pub till 2 in the morning.

This is the first time I've shared a flat since the Sitcom Trials shows in Edinburgh and the first time Hev & I have stayed with strangers ever, and I'm delighted to report the whole month went by with no dramas, no tensions, and no complaints. I'm not saying it's not fantastic to be home - being able to go to the loo for a wee naked without having to parade through a flat full of other people is a luxury we've missed - but we will long have fond memories of our month in Adelaide with our new found pals.

And how do I sign off my blogs now? I've been so used to plugging my show every night - 29 consecutive nights, including one proper sellout and half a dozen more that would have been sellouts in my usual Edinburgh venues, none too shabby - and listing our quotes. Oh well, here goes for starters...

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre tour the UK from April and play the Edinburgh Fringe in August, tickets and details here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Friday, 16 March 2012

Adelaide to Bedford & all points inbetween

As the month in Adelaide draws to a close, thoughts have to turn to home and the gigs that lie ahead. On the request of James at the Bedford Fringe, the Socks have just produced this little trailer...



Last night the Socks rocked the Pub Crawl gig, a thing that we've done four times now after our own show, where the punters are taken from venue to venue to see acts waiting to perform for them. Because my leg take place in a nightclub it's been a bit unpredictable, and the noise of the chatting drinking punters has been hard to overcome on two occasions. But last night we totally rocked the house and did the best of our four gigs there. Lots of punters came up and had their photos taken with the Socks afterwards, so I look forward to finding those on Facebook.

Today the Socks have their last performance at the Caravan in Rundle Mall (our five minute slot there yesterday being our best yet - all in all yesterday as a bit of good one for gigs. When our appearance on the Fishbowl podcast appears online you'll see us shine in that too), our penultimate regular gig, then tomorrow's the last day. Boo hoo. Gosh we'll be sad to leave the old place. Will we be back next year? The answer to that will come when we add up the figures and see just how well we've done, and how much of that we get to keep. Stay tuned.

I've taken lots of photos while we've been here in Adelaide, but I'm now wary of uploading everything to Facebook cos I have niggling worries about Facebook owning my soul or something. So I'll be printing them in a hardback book, like we started doing with last year's Venice trip, and if you're one of our real close personal friends and you get invited to our house for a party, maybe you can see them all then. Er, our parties are more interesting than just looking at our photos. Or are they? Here's one to keep you going...


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler

Never too late in the season to get a nice review. This just in from The Heckler:



The show put on by The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets is certainly nothing ground-breaking, nor is it a high tech production, but it is worth the ticket price nonetheless.

While the banter between the two puppets certainly borrows from its forebears like Punch and Judy, it is clever enough and cheeky enough to still seem fresh. The same can be said for the continued misunderstandings on the behalf of one of the puppets – whose side the audience will inevitably take.

The real strength of these puppets though, is when they parody films and television, whilst their constant bickering continues. The attempts to interact with the audience in this live show were weaker and slowed the otherwise chaotic energy of the show, as well as drawing attention to the fact that they are in fact, socks on someone’s hands, rather than characters in their own right. On the whole though, the show is delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable – just make sure you leave the kiddies at home and remember not to take anything too seriously.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Little things inc Doctor Who in Adelaide

Little things about our Adelaide experience
 
  Starting with this treat, chalked on the pavement of Rundle Mall


A packed few days ahead. Today I do a podcast called Fishbowl at lunchtime, the Caravan in the afternoon, my gig at 7.45 (for which advance sales are looking marvellous by the way, thankyou Adelaide) and a half hour gig in a nightclub called Sugar for the Pub Crawl which is fun but unpredictable - last night my sound balance was so bad, over the top of punters who couldn't be made to stop talking, that the Socks opening song was inaudible, leading to one bogan in the "audience" shouting out the worst thing a comedian can hear, "say something funny". We turned it around then and killed with Michael Jackson and the Magic routine, but it was hard work. Tonight I do it for the 4th time, which tells you that most of the time it's a good gig. 

  So what will we remember about our month in Adelaide, which has been our first ever visit to Australia?

  Good things:

  The weather. If you like it hot, there's hot to be had. From the days when it reached 38 degrees and turned the tent in which we're performing into a sauna, to the milder days which, at 23 degrees, were still hotter than it ever gets in a British summer, this weather is something we're going to miss (& in a few days time we'll struggle to conjure it up in our imaginations)

  The Festival. Though I may have moaned about the low numbers (we managed only one sellout and one day fell as low as 9 paying customers), on average we've not done badly at all and have certainly fared better than most acts playing outside the Garden of Unearthly Delights.  And the Fringe Festival, plus the Official Festival of which we saw almost all of the visual art (& none of the theatre, but then who ever does see Official Festival theatre?), is a big deal. Second only to Edinburgh in scale it's given me & the Socks the chance to play to an appreciative audience for 28 solid nights, with extra gigs thrown in. That is a fantastic thing which, if we return, we'd be doing again to even bigger crowds next time. Given that the best I can manage the rest of the year is 2 nights in Brighton and 3 at the Leicester Comedy Festival, the Adelaide Fringe is something not to be undervalued or underestimated. It is, however, a nut I still have to crack promotion wise. 

  Not driving. Just like Edinburgh, I've enjoyed a month of just walking everywhere. It's good for your health and wellbeing, though it's worn through the soles of the pair of trainers I bought in the first week we were here. Not looking forward to the coming month's travels at all now I look at them. 

  Another good thing was the spiders. I haven't seen one. Thankyou for all those scare stories everyone.  

  Less good things

  The media. It could be because we have a limited choice on the telly in our apartment, no Freeview or cable, we get 20 channels Inc the main ones (ABC1, 7, 9, Ten, SBS1) plus History, Discovery, News and others that seem to vary, sometimes it'll be Nickelodeon, then it'll be Fox Classics, at one point we get UKTV, then at another it's an English language version of Deutsche Welte. And 4 or 5 sports channels. Always bloody sport on. And none of it is very good. Or Australian. We've caught 3 actual Australian dramas or comedies, Outland (good fun), Miss Fisher Mysteries (think Miss Marple meets House of Eliott) and a thing about some guys who defrauded a bank which was shaping up nicely but became unwatchable because of the adverts. 

  My god the adverts. Anyone in the UK who has ever complained about ads at home, or worse anyone who has ever complained about the regulations that stop us having more ads, you should try watching Aussie TV. You will wretch. Last night I struggled to enjoy a brand new episode of 30 Rock which was interrupted by long ad breaks it seemed inbetween every single scene. They are most frequent and more obtrusive than ads on American TV. I know. Let that one sink in. 

  The bulk of the TV is Anerican or British. Spooks seems to be on every night, as does Letterman, and there's a lot of Graham Norton. I've also seen Porridge , QI, and god help us Keeping Up Appearances. 

  The prize for dumbest dumbing down goes to the Australian version of Countdown. It's the same show as we have back home, the same challangrs, the same time frame, the same nerdy student contestants, even the same set. All that is different is the name. In Australia Countdown is called Letters and Numbers. 

 

I have to apologise for damning the whole of the Australian press based on reading the Adelaide Advertiser. Having subsequently discovered The Age and The Australian I realise this was like judging the whole of the UK press having only read the Clevedon Mercury. Good journalism is alive and well in Australia. On an unrelated note, Adelaide is where Rupert Murdoch's career began and where News International's HQ was until 2004.  

  Another less good thing is the gridded city blocks and their interminable road crossings. Don't get me started on those. 

  Trying to get a drink is hard work. Off licences are called Bottle Shops and are very rare, open for as few hours as they can, and prohibitively expensive. You can't buy alcohol of any sort in most supermarkets or in any convenience store or petrol station (which thinking it through is rather sensible but still frustrating for the Brit abroad) and you're not allowed to drink standing up outside pubs. I realise that even mentioning this marks me out as some uncivilised and uncouth drunk, but it is a marked difference from back home. I think that I have seen no drunkeness in my month in Adelaide. My won't Edinburgh be different. 

  On balance Adelaide is lovely and it's Festivals are fab. Try not to watch TV, and get over the whole road-crossing thing and you'll love it. 

  The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

All done bar the shouting. And gigs.



As quickly as it had vanished, the power supply to my laptop has mysteriously reappeared so I can blog again. And without us really realising it, the month in Adelaide has whizzed by and we only have four days left. Four days jam packed with last minute gigs. For the next three days the Socks will be performing in the Caravan in Rundle Mall, hopefully reaching out to those punters who've still not encountered our magnificence and come to see the show, and on Sunday, our last day in town, we perfiorm on the bandstand once more.

I don't know if I've done full justice in my descriptions of the bandstand in The Garden of Unearthly Delights, so maybe this tiny bit of video (above), which I've eked with the greatest difficulty out of my camera, will give you a taste. It's from a weekend or so back when the Socks did an on-stage interview with SAFM. Rather disconcertingly the interview was recorded without the punters in the park being able to hear it, then was played back as it went out on air, meaning the poor interviewees have to stand there looking puzzled as their voices boom out through the speakers. Of course, this being Australia, there are lots of adverts. I mean lots of adverts. Jesus God you've never suffered as many adverts as you suffer watching Australian TV or listening to Australian radio (I cannot wait to get back to the BBC next week). So the Socks busied themselves by miming to a couple.

Talking of changing the subject, though I say so myself, every now and again I take some cracking photos. This was in the Museum of South Australia last week...


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The Last Tuesday in Adelaide

The good news? The local Apple shop will diagnose your simple problem for free. The less good news? The power cable is buggered on my laptop, whose battery is already as good as dead. Which means I'll be seeing out the final 6 days in Adelaide with just an iPod (& Heather's ipad possibly, if I beg nicely). So no more Socks videos ( there's an unedited one from the nature reserve which might never see the light of Youtube now) and possibly no pretty picture filled blogs. You lucky lucky people.

 

As it happens words alone are all I need to capture the joy that is flyering Rundle Mall on. Tuesday in the final week of Adelaide Fringe. Whereas the weekends have felt fruitful, with healthy queues building up outside the Fringe Box Office, today has been more a case of seeds falling on fallow ground. Here, in no particular order, are the Top Twenty responses the diligent flyerer can expect from the good passers by of Adelaide:

 

"No you're alright"

"No I'm alright"

Shake of the head

"Sorry"

"Thankyou" (takes flyer)

"Thankyou" (doesn't take flyer)

Person makes deliberate wide berth

Person tries to walk through you

Person goes past with arms folded

"We won't be here"

"But I'm only 13"

Palm of hand held up

Puzzled acceptance of flyer as if they've just been handed a dead fish

Walk past as if invisible

Walk past as if a homeless

Walk past as if a mental homeless aboriginal drunk asking for money

Laugh and walk past

Walk past then laugh conspiratorially while glancing back at you as if you have your flies undone

Person would have taken flyer but you missed them cos you were too busy checking to see if your flies were undone

"We've already got tickets" (1 time in 100 they will mean "to your show")

 

I'm sure I'm not the only show promoter longing for the Shooting of Fish In A Barrel that is flyering on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh where it seems, through the mist of my memory, that everyone who passes by is a tourist from out of town wanting to see a show and desperate for someone like you to give them a piece of paper which will help them decide which one. And who won't automatically assume your show is for kids because it's a puppet show. It is as a result of the Adelaide experience that I have decided that, this August, the Socks will be doing a family-friendly daytime show as well as their comedy- audience oriented evening show. If we had been able to let kids from 7 to 12 years old into our show here, we'd have quadrupled our audiences easily, the punters at The Garden being overwhelmingly families with young kids (if I read there's been a population boom in Adelaide in the last decade I won't be in the least surprised).

 

 

 



The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

Monday, 12 March 2012

Art in Adelaide

Lest you go away thinking it's all shows and flyering here in Adelaide, Hev & I have taken the opportunity to take in art and culture, of which there's a healthy amount here in town. For a start there's the Adelaide Biennal and the International Art Series, about which more below. But more noticeable than that is the public sculpture which abounds everywhere. From the statue of Roy 'Mo' Rene who we featured a couple of days ago, to fountains, celebrated dignatories of the past, and more modern pieces, there is permanent sculpture all over Adelaide, as a delightful addition to some truly impressive and diverse architecture. Short of showing you every picture we've taken here (don't worry, we won't bore you) it's impossible to communicate just how different the place looks from places back home (not that the walk to work everyday isn't boring and frustrating, the city being a grid and the road crossings being something we've gone into already). Here, for your pleasure, are just two sculptures that have caught my fancy...


A pig in Rundle Mall


A war memorial where the little guys seem to be marvelling at an angel who's gone to all the effort of putting wings on, and a wee shawl for his shoulders, then totally forgotten to bring any other clothes, so he has to do an Austin Powers with his sword to cover up Little Gabriel.



International Art Series inc Jake & Dinos Chapman and a fabulous video by AES+F (crazy name, crazy guys) called Allegoria Sacra.

Adelaide Biennial

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Our rock goddess technician live

I believe I've mentioned the fact that our technician in Il Campanile here in the Garden of Unearthly Delights in Adelaide is a rock goddess? Brihony, for it is she, is the singer and singwriter with Last Mistress and last night, Friday, we had to live without her as she jetted back to Melbourne to play a support slot to rock legends Baby Animals. This, for your pleasure, is her in action.



We're not worthy.

Inspired by her success, I indulged in someYoutoobling last night, here are the vids I came up with...

Step Up, Last Mistress
Baby I Don't Care, Transvision Vamp  
I Want Candy, Bow Wow Wow  
Drop Dead Gorgeous, Republica  
Inbetweener, Sleeper  
Crash, The Primitives  
Our Lips Are Sealed, The Go-Go's  
I Touch Myself, Divinyls  
What's Up, 4 Non Blondes on Letterman 
Crazy On You, Heart  
Waking Up, Elastica  
Do You Wanna Touch Me?, Joan Jett live  
48 Crash, Suzi Quatro  
Road Rage, Catatonia  
Sick & Tired, The Cardigans (live MTV)  
The Man Who Sold The World, Lulu  
Anarchy In The UK, Mel C  
Race With The Devil, Girlschool  
Philosophy Of The World, The Shaggs  
There Goes Concorde Again, And The Native Hipsters  
Cherry Bomb, The Runaways  
Doin' The Do, Betty Boo  
Vertical Smile, Last Mistress  

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

Oh come on, how's he do that?

I realise in all the time we've been here in Adelaide I've hardly written a thing about our flat mates, which is quite an oversight. For the first two weeks we had Rob 'Abandoman' Broderick in the flat, now replaced by Craig Hill, and throughout we've had Tom & Leisel Binns, and we're all having a lovely time. Tom performs the Comedium Ian D Montfort and occasionally will try our his mentallist tricks on the household, this one having just this moment been tested on me. Tom sends me an email, has me double check it's arrived in my inbox, but says not to open it yet. I do this. He then asks me to think of an image. I think of Mr Blobby. Then he says to open the email and here's the photo he'd attached:



Now come on. How does he do that?

Hev's been able to see Tom's Ian D Montfort show, which is excellent and selling out, but because our times clash I haven't been able to. We did however overhear a marvellous review of the show the other night while stood in a queue:
OZZY BLOKE 1: I've seen that show, that Ian D Moffat.
OZZY BLOKE 2: Any good?
OZZY BLOKE 1: Yeah.

Praise indeed.

Last night's gigs were good, and tonight we're looking at record sales, so let's go out and get stuck into making this a sellout night shall we? By the way, how's the weather back home?


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

Friday, 9 March 2012

Scottish Falsetto Socks Whisky Podcast from Adelaide

And here's that whisky I was talking about (in my last blog). Yesterday the Scottish Falsetto Socks had the pleasure of recording a whisky tasting blog with the star of Whisky Fir Dummies, Alan Anderson. Here it is in its full glory.



We're rather pleased with the end result, though we say so ourselves. And another thing we're rather pleased with is the way our 4-and-a-half-thumbs-up review from The Punch has appeared online - as one of only two acts listed as The Best Of The Fringe. Thankyou The Punch!


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Whisky*, gigs & proper flyering, are you sure this is Adelaide?

Last week I was writing up to two blogs in a day and the Socks were making videos left right and centre, and suddenly here I am having gone the best part of a week without writing anything from Adelaide. Whatever can have happened? The Adelaide Fringe has kicked in, that's what's happened. Before I tell you about it, here's a picture of the Socks with Australian comedy legend Roy 'Mo' Rene.



The big thing that changed last week was the discovery that we could actually flyer during the daytime. For anyone who's not familiar with the Edinburgh Fringe and its flyering tradition, let me explain that over there we have a number of sites, primarily the Royal Mile but also outside the venues, where handing out flyers advertising your show is not only de rigeur but also vital for attracting a crowd, unless you're the big name off the telly who's sold out in advance. I long ago (in 2001 for the first Edinburgh Sitcom Trials in fact) calculated that 300 flyers handed out in a day could amount to 30 bums on seats that night.

In Adelaide, however, this tried and tested method of promotion was proving elusive. The Garden of Unearthly Delights, the venue centre that is home to our performance space Il Campanile (which I learn some people pronounce Eel Campaneel and others Eel Campan-eely, but no-one calls The Campan-isle except me), doesn't start to fill with people until 6pm, giving us only 90 minutes to flyer before the show. And the vast bulk of people going past seem already to have tickets in their hands, usually for a show other than yours. Added to this there is a bizarre anomaly which means the Garden's own box office can only sell tickets for that evening's shows, so there's little point encouraging punters to get tickets for your shows later in the week because, at that moment on that site, they physically can't. So flyering as we know it was stymied. It seemed.

Then, just over a week ago, we (by which I mean The Socks and our fellow Gilded Balloon act Morgan & West the Time Travelling Magicians, who are the most wonderful people whose praises I must take a moment to sing) discovered that the Fringe Tickets Box Office in Rundle Mall showed signs of life and that we were allowed to flyer there. Voila, bingo, abracadabra and other cliches etc, suddenly there's flyering to be done from midday till showtime if you want, and from then on I've had no time to make videos and sit writing blogs. And the bums on seats have increased commensurately, which is just what we were waiting for.

Recent Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre gigs have been glorious, with sizeable audiences making a marvellous noise and overflowing with laughter, applause and appreciation afterwards. Were this either of the Socks first two years in Edinburgh, when we were playing in a 55 seater venue, we would have half a dozen sellouts under our belts already. As it is we're still aiming to fill the 120 seats of Il Campanile before the run is over.

Having extolled the virtues of flyering, and emphasised its necessity, yesterday (Thursday) drew a good audience without any daytime flyering at all. This was not due to any laziness on my part, quite the opposite in fact. The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre chalked up 4 gigs yesterday, every one of them necessitating the collapsing, transporting and re-erecting of the full Socks set every time. We played Alan Anderson's lunchtime chat show at the Austral first (I'll return to Alan and the Austral in this blog when a video we did earlier comes online), then played the bandstand in the Gardens for the fourth time (and I was delighted to learn we actually get paid for these bandstand appearances, which I'd assumed were purely promotional). Then came our regular show at 7.45, a cracker of course, after which it was full speed ahoy to a night club called Sugar to play Alan A's Pub Crawl.

This last gig looked like it would be death on toast. It was in a nightclub, the punters were being herded in from one gig to the next and who knew how many would turn up or how drunk they'd be, there was no proper spotlight and no chance for a soundcheck. And it was brilliant. The punters, who had no idea what at to expect, loved the Socks from the start - and by the way there were loads of them, more than my own gig an hour earlier. Afterwards I was mobbed by appreciative new Socks fans, gushing with my favourite phrase "that was the funniest thing I've ever seen" (which, I'll be honest, I will never tire of hearing and will miss awfully when it stops). And it was a paying gig into the bargain, and such a success I've been rebooked to play it again tonight.

So, how's that for busy? So excuse me if these blogs happen with less frequency than they were doing, but amazingly I only have a week and a bit of Adelaide Fringe to go, and it almost feels like we only just started.


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video



*I realise I have failed to mention the whisky in the title. Stay tuned, that should be in the next blog.

Monday, 5 March 2012

★★★★½ Four and a half thumbs up -The Punch

Fresh in from The Punch,  Australia's Best Conversation, a fab review...


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre have generated a rather large amount of interest and drawn attention to themselves via a series of pithy, entertaining, amusing and often pointed Youtube vignettes.

 Not that I knew this before seeing them selecting to see them based on their name and core promise to produce endlessly barmy songs and sketches. A theatre group wouldn’t lie to me, the trusting hapless punter, would they in the official Guide? Nobody would cobble together random effusive complimentary and theatrical phrases and buzzwords to sell a puppy to the innocent theatregoer would they? Suffice to say that these phrases did not begin to do justice to this superbly written, crafted and performed show.  

The Campanile is a small intimate venue ideally suited for old school puppetry and other acts requiring a deal of audience participation and interaction. How I dread those words; people trying to outperform the acts and believing their own press. Grrr. The audience, appropriately, was small and intimate, initially reticient but increasingly enthusiastic as the puppets weaved their way through twisted verbal guffaw inducing montages of television shows, period dramas (ah, Mr Darcy, so good of you to drop in), mondegreens, film (Star Wars among others), song and other popular culture representatives and icons.

 Initially the puppets, as abstractly unreal as a sock puppet can be and ensconced behind a tartan wreathed stage, formed the locus of the audience before the wash of words gently drew the audience into the world of the puppets and the situations they found themselves in. They became as real and vibrant as characters within a traditionally staged play to me. The props are simple and highly effective with costume changes being rapid while allowing room for high standard improvisation. The use of a stark contrast between the puppets characters, one serious and by the book, one wilfully and amusingly difficult follows on from a grand tradition of disparate comedic characters and allows the script to roam wonderfully.    

The show itself is a triumphant success. It is written as a series of stories within a story, appropriately the puppets are staging a show allowing the script and humour to delve deeper than a series of unconnected pop culture shots and observations. It is a mix of pointed social commentary, popular culture and old fashioned farce all wrapped with a naughty streak a mile wild. Any fan of an old fashioned mashup will simply adore the mix of Gordon Swearyword Ramsay, Superman and Burke’s Backyard. Running jokes permeate the show and provide consistency and depth to the puppets’ characters making it a story and glimpse into life rather than just an unconnected series of hilariously scripted vignettes. We wander from song to song, from play to film and back again awash in a sea of clever puns, bad dad jokes and edgey humour in our boat of verisimilitude. Audience members were literally crying with laughter with some indulging in the ultimate comedic tribute, the double thigh slap. We were constantly entertained, constantly guffawing, and sad when the curtain was called.  

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre is an absolute triumph combining the best bits of standup with revue and musical comedy and presenting it by puppets with funny voices. There’s not a single thing not to love about them.  

★★★★½ Four and a half thumbs up.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

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