Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Midsummer Nights Dream - 32 years later, BBC catches up with Leicester


Last night BBC 1 showed an excellent version of Midsummer Night's Dream, adapted by Russell T Davies and directed by David Kerr. It neatly shaped the play to be 90 minutes long with a good balance of fantasy (it has, inevitably, been compared to Doctor Who) and comedy, with extra added LGBT fun that Shakespeare probably didn't have in mind. I was chuffed to find that I was the first to add it to Midsummer Night's Dream's Wikipedia entry (I hope my edit is still there, they often get taken down for no obvious reason). In my entry I make mention of this adaptation's healthy Black And Minority Ethnic mix in the cast (casting by Andy Pryor, also of Doctor Who).

Which brings the BBC kicking and screaming to the the standard of The Leicester Haymarket 32 years ago.


Way back in 1984, fresh from our very first visit as punters to the Edinburgh Fringe, Heather and I booked to see pretty well the next year's worth of shows at the Haymarket in Leicester. And amongst them, in October 1984, was A Midsummer Night's Dream designed by John Byrne, who was then artistic director of Leicester Haymarket, and who many will know as the writer of Tutti Frutti, the painter of Gerry Rafferty's album covers and portraits of Billy Connolly, and as one of Scotland's greatest living artists.

The production was directed by Nancy Meckler and as well as including the most hilarious Rude Mechanicals, in the form of Edinburgh Fringe stars The People Show - whose Pyramus & Thisbe remained the laugh-out-loud funniest I had seen until The Lord Chamberlain's Men's outdoor production in 2011 - it had the best and most representative BAME casting I'd seen to that date. Given that this show took place in Leicester, in 1984, it would have been wrong and totally unrepresentative of the city to have cast it any other way. 32 years later, even moreso.


The cast included Don Warrington (of Rising Damp fame) as Oberon and Theseus, Angela Bruce (of Angels, and Doctor Who's Battlefield) as Helena, Souad Faress as Titania and Hippolyta, Vicky Licorish as Hermia, and local schoolkids, almost all Indian, as the fairies. In 1984 it seemed perfect, and one would have thought that would be how things would stay from that time on.

Or, as they say this century, "going forward". But the 1980s were an idealistic time, full of political forward thinking, especially in the arts, and many of our thoughts of how far we'd progressed turned out to be more optimistic than we realised.


LGBT matters, for example, looked like everything was improving in the world in 1984. Look at the top pop acts of 84/85 and you see Boy George, George Michael, Holly Johnson, Elton John, Freddie Mercury and others all tantalisingly on the brink of coming out (a newly-coined term at the time). Sadly the AIDS epidemic put paid to that hope for most people, and it would take some people decades to be able to be honest and out. Russell T Davies's Dream is at least testimony to the changes more recent years have brought.

But BAME casting (no, we didn't say BAME in 1984)? In 1984 Leicester was ahead of the curve.

Look at the BBC's last Midsummer Night's Dream, in 2005, as part of the Shakespeare Re-Told season. Lennie James is Oberon, Mina Anwar is the minor character Flute, and that's about it for minority ethnicity in that Peter Bowker/ Ed Fraiman adaptation.


On the big screen, since 1984, Midsummer Nights Dream has been directed in 1996 by Adrian Noble starring Lindsay Duncan and Alex Jennings. As far as I can see, every single character is white. In 1999 it's done in Hollywood by Michael Hoffman, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline. Again every face I can see on IMDb is white.

Julie Taymor does slightly better with her 2014 big screen adaptation, casting David Harewood as Oberon, and all her 'Rude Elementals' as black or minority ethnic, but still not up to the levels of the Beeb in 2016 or Leicester Haymarket in 1984.


So what does this tell us about the state of BAME representation on TV? Probably not a great deal. Far better researched pieces have been written on the subject than these casual meanderings (see here an article about a database showing how black and Asian performers are “ghettoised” into second-tier roles, and here about the Multicultural Shakespeare In Britain project for Warwick University). But we can hope that such considerations will continue to be borne in mind, now that they are on the agenda of such a visible player as BBC 1, and not the avant garde forward-thinking of a regional theatre in the distant and idealistic past.

Let's hope what we saw this week doesn't turn out to have been a... well, you can see where I was about to go there.


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016 - see the previews in your town!

★★★★★ "Accessible, contemporary and ridiculous" - Brighton Argus May 2016
★★★★ "Eat your heart out, Olivier" - What's On May 2016 
★★★★ "Comedy genius at work" - Theatre Bath April 2016 

May 19 - Old Joint Stock Birmingham
May 22 - Komedia, Brighton Fringe
May 28 - Ards Puppet Festival, Newtonards
June 9 - Bridgend 
July 3 - Derby Bar One 2pm 
July 8 - Flavel, Dartmouth
July 10 - Tring Festival 
July 14 - Market Harborough Theatre
July 17 - Sheffield New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Greater Manchester Fringe , Kings Arms Salford 7pm
July 21 - Barnes Fringe
July 22 - Bedford Fringe
July 30 - Blaenavon Rhymney Brewery
Aug 3 - 29 - 10.30pm The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 

Friday, 27 May 2016

Amazing Adventures Of Your Hairline - comics by kids in Barking, Plymouth & Wilts


Were you aware of dabs, or dabbing, or doing the dab? If you're as old as me, probably not. According the pupils in Year 5 at Widewell Primary near Plymouth, it's a thing that Jason Derulo does. You live and learn. Anyhoo, they chose that as the title for their comic, and had Donald Trump doing it. Just one of the comics created by pupils in this week's Comic Art Masterclasses.


The pupils in Year 5 at Northbury Primary in Barking, which I was returning to after visiting for last year's Magna Carta project there, are obsessed with something different. Their hairline. Or rather the phrase "your hairline" which was an in-joke phrase that came up in every group (I was working with all 4 of their year 5 groups over two days). Like all in-jokes, I never got a satisfactory explanation as to why it was funny. If you have to ask, you'll never know.


In the village of Broughton Gifford in Wiltshire they were reassuringly infantile. For one class at least, where Big Bottom won the search for our favourite title (everyone in the class writes a title on a piece of paper, then we have a knockout contest to find the most popular). Then they were back to Year 5 level with My Teacher Is A Psycho (one of those words, like Zombie Apocalypse, that every kid wants to know how to spell but for some reason no teacher has ever told them).


What kids find funny will always remain unfathomable, which is why "Jeff" and his popularity can never be explained to me. This comes from a meme from two years ago, where a character from a film says "my name is Jeff" in a funny voice. Quite why, two years later, some ten year old kids think this is the funniest thing on god's good earth I cannot imagine. But it seems to be. Sigh.


The celebrities they chose for my "treads on a worm" demonstration were Barack Obama, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, JK Rowling, Rihanna, Simon Cowell (still suggested in 75% of classes if not finally chosen), Ariana Grande and (most original suggestion of the week) Leonardo DaVinci.



Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres. After a morning or an afternoon every pupil goes away with a photocopied comic containing a strip by every single one of them, and an individual caricature by Kev F. Please email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video 

Monday, 23 May 2016

★★★★★ "Accessible, contemporary and ridiculous" - Brighton Argus

A 5 STAR REVIEW from Brighton Argus for Sunday's Socks do Shakespeare preview at Komedia? That'll do nicely.


REVIEW: Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, Komedia, Brighton Fringe - ★★★★★

Shakespeare performed by sock puppets? Romeo and Juliet as a comedy? The famed sock puppet theatre from the mind of Kev F. Sutherland previewed its latest show in a one-off spectacular.

In celebration of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre delivered unique and humorous interpretations of the famous plays through jokes, arguments and songs.

It was performed to an enthusiastic audience in the intimate venue, which added to the charm of the performance. No children attended, which surprised even Sutherland.

There were opposing characterisations, the puppets were like chalk and cheese; one attempted to act straight while the other couldn’t be serious.

The ‘costume’ changes throughout were slick, given it was just Sutherland on stage, apart from one malfunction during Romeo & Juliet that caused roars of laughter.

It was just silliness and classic comedy inspired humour that kept everyone entertained, while Meta moments enhanced the absurdity.

The performance had an improvisational quality, but Sutherland clearly knew his Shakespeare knowledge and managed to make it accessible, contemporary and ridiculous through the banter between the two sock puppets.

It is not a deep or meaningful show, but humour for humour’s sake, and that is what makes it so enjoyable.

Becky Snowden.



The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016 - see the previews in your town!

★★★★★ "Accessible, contemporary and ridiculous" - Brighton Argus May 2016
★★★★ "Eat your heart out, Olivier" - What's On May 2016 
★★★★ "Comedy genius at work" - Theatre Bath April 2016 

May 19 - Old Joint Stock Birmingham
May 22 - Komedia, Brighton Fringe
May 28 - Ards Puppet Festival, Newtonards
June 9 - Bridgend 
July 3 - Derby Bar One 2pm 
July 8 - Flavel, Dartmouth
July 10 - Tring Festival 
July 14 - Market Harborough Theatre
July 17 - Sheffield New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Greater Manchester Fringe , Kings Arms Salford 7pm
July 21 - Barnes Fringe
July 22 - Bedford Fringe
July 30 - Blaenavon Rhymney Brewery
Aug 3 - 29 - 10.30pm The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 

Friday, 20 May 2016

Attack Of Donald Trump - new comics by kids from Ireland & Birmingham


I've probably bored you already with my travels to Ireland (it took two journeys and an unimaginable amount of money to visit two schools), and I've certainly seen an inordinate amount of Birmingham (plane diverted to: 1, nights spent in hotel there: 2, days in school there: 2, Socks gig there: 1) all of which was delightful. No really, it was, even the diverted flight. But look at the comics that have come out of all the Comic Art Masterclasses. Boy, those year 5s in Kings Heath be hating on The Donald, yoh.


Here are the comics from Kennedy College in New Ross, Wexford. You may spot the tiniest bit of graffitti on one of the covers that reads "Up The RA". If you know what that means - and, no, I didn't to begin with - you may have an idea of the fun some 1st and 2nd years in County Wexford can be.


Jake's Nipples, and a totally innocent title called Fluffy Malone, which I'm sure isn't cyber-bullying in any way. Welcome to Dublin 12.


And My Thigh's Moustache Is Evil takes the prize for mostly inexplicable title of the week. I can only apply for using "inexplicable" twice in one blog. Now, which celebrities did this lot of ne'erdaewells choose to tread on a worm..?


They chose Jessica Ennis-Hill, Michael Jackson, Kim Jong-Un, Tom Cruise, Stephen Hawking, Barack Obama, David Bowie, and one that, sadly, I failed to record and can't for the life of me remember.



Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres. After a morning or an afternoon every pupil goes away with a photocopied comic containing a strip by every single one of them, and an individual caricature by Kev F. Please email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video 

Comedy Of Errors - Socks do more Shakespeare


More new music on a Shakespearian tip (which, I imagine, no-one says any more) from the Socks. Comedy Of Errors, click to play and do please enjoy.

This will be part of the Audience In music for Socks Do Shakespeare, a montage that's already 8 minutes long, so needs editing down. Though it's great to have an audience at Edinburgh so big they take 8 minutes to get in (not that we don't have to cut the show down slightly, with all that entails), let's not bank on that happening every night. I like the Audience In music to give them something entertaining to listen to while they're taking their seats.

I occasionally get asked by punters if they can get CDs or downloads of our music, but because we use so many cover versions and samples, I'm not sure where to begin making that happen. I'd certainly love to hear 2012's Night On Bare Mountain 12 minute extravaganza again myself, and I remain resolutely proud of last year's Police & Thieves Reggae medley.


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016 - see the previews in your town!

★★★★ "Eat your heart out, Olivier" - What's On May 2016
★★★★ "Comedy genius at work" - Theatre Bath April 2016

May 19 - Old Joint Stock Birmingham
May 22 - Komedia, Brighton Fringe
May 28 - Ards Puppet Festival, Newtonards
June 9 - Bridgend 
July 3 - Derby Bar One 2pm 
July 8 - Flavel, Dartmouth
July 10 - Tring Festival 
July 14 - Market Harborough Theatre
July 17 - Sheffield New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Greater Manchester Fringe , Kings Arms Salford 7pm
July 21 - Barnes Fringe
July 22 - Bedford Fringe
July 30 - Blaenavon Rhymney Brewery
Aug 3 - 29 - 10.30pm The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 

★★★★ "Eat your heart out, Olivier" - What's On Midlands

A fab 4 STAR review for last night's Socks Do Shakespeare preview at the Old Joint Stock in Birmingham from What's On Midlands' Heather Kincaid. Many thanks!


Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre review

Best known for their bastardisations of classic movies, cult TV shows and topical debates, this year, Scotland's most high-pitched singing socks sink their toes into some high art and history with a timely show to celebrate our country's greatest poet, William Sockspeare.

Part of a series of pre-Fringe previews, the Old Joint Stock show saw the googly-eyed puppets perform their own unique versions of some of Shakespeare's greatest works – or at least saw one of them attempt to. If you're worried that it's all a little English for Scottish socks in these times of referenda and rift and tension between our nations, then you've yet to see Tybalt as a leather-clad Glaswegian hard man. Or rather sock.

Interestingly, the Scottish Play is one they barely touch on, but there are cracking takes on Richard III – revised and updated to include an instant dinner – Othello – complete with crisps – and Cymbeline – the story of a chap called Ian who isn't all that bright. As ever though, it's at least in part the songs that make it, and in particular, there's a genius reworking of Blur's “Boys & Girls” about Shakespearean gender-bending.

The socks have gone all out on this year's costumes, with doublets, ruffs, golden chains and pretty dresses, though no sign of any hose, which is probably for the best. In fact, so proud are they of the high production values for this show that, rather than changing between outfits and thus allowing us only fleeting glimpses of each, they instead opt to show off several all at once: so one of them manages to be simultaneously Roderigo, Othello and a pianist in a tux. Eat your heart out, Olivier.

There's a sort of meta moment when the socks go to see a play, recounting the almost certainly inaccurate story of how they were first brought together by Shakespeare and a discussion of those iconic characters Dick and Bottom. It's not the rudest part of the show: there's bawdy enough humour throughout that even filthy-minded Renaissance play-goers would probably have approved. Maybe not the best way to convince the folks at CBBC that you're an appropriate choice for a kids' show, which apparently may be on the cards (about time, too), but nevertheless it's pretty bloody funny.

**** Heather Kincaid


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016 - see the previews in your town!

May 19 - Old Joint Stock Birmingham
May 22 - Komedia, Brighton Fringe
May 28 - Ards Puppet Festival, Newtonards
June 9 - Bridgend 
July 3 - Derby Bar One 2pm 
July 8 - Flavel, Dartmouth
July 10 - Tring Festival 
July 14 - Market Harborough Theatre
July 17 - Sheffield New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Greater Manchester Fringe , Kings Arms Salford 7pm
July 21 - Barnes Fringe
July 22 - Bedford Fringe
July 30 - Blaenavon Rhymney Brewery
Aug 3 - 29 - 10.30pm The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 

Socks Shakespeare Edfringe Preview OJS BIrmingham report


A very good preview at the Old Joint Stock in Birmingham last night (May 19) of Socks do Shakespeare. This year's pattern of not-too-many Preview shows, with enough time to write and rewrite inbetween them seems to be working to our benefit.

Last night was part of the OJS's Cabaret Festival and, thanks to the warm weather, didn't draw the biggest crowd ever (30 or 40 punters by the look of it), but they were almost all new to the Socks and thus perfect for trying out new gear and not letting it get off with an easy ride.


It seems we have a lot of good material. And, though it's clear where the structural stuff is needed, we managed to busk it successfully. So we had material that built very well to the "break up" moment of the show just before the finale, but we still need that moment properly written, and we could use running joke and call-back material better woven through, which will come next. Here's the running order from last night with notes.

Audience IN music (brand new) - Edited together montage of Romeo, Henry 5, Two Gentlemen, Loves Labours, As You Like It, King John & Allusion (recorded vocals for Allusion last thing before setting off for gig). Works well, but needs remixing for variable volume and to front-load shorter versions of songs.

Opening gags - Doublet to Hose routine. All good before the song.
I'm A Sock
Shall I Compare Thee - Excellent
That One About (brand new) - Excellent. Applause for punchline.
Met In Theatre - Getting better, still not as good as prop (ad libs to audience about this get lots of laughs, which routine doesn't)
Brush Up Shakespeare - Good
An Actor Prepares (new) - Excellent. Why had I not put this in the show before? First time we've ever done it live and it's perfect.
Hey Nonny Nonny + gags (brand new) - Excellent. Perfect linking routine.
Girls & Boys (shortened) - Good. Got laughs in lots of places for the first time.
King John Rossiter (brand new) - Very good, short but funny
Cymbeline (2nd time out) - Getting funnier, needs rewriting at the start, laughs all come in second half (it is only 90 seconds, 45 of which are excellent)
Insults routine (brand new) - Excellent. Good laughs throughout and good linker.
The Porter - Excellent
Oh Mr Porter - Very good, gets laughs where it should.
Richard III - Parts one and two both now Excellent. For the first time, part 1 was funnier than part 2
(Note: Costumes: By this stage we've hardly used costumes, and they're appreciated when introduced properly. Integrate them better)
Othello - Not so good. By this stage we've built up the speed of the show, heading toward climax, so this piece is now too slow and cluttered.
Iago's Song (speeded up) - Much better. This will go better earlier in the show, with a greatly reduced Othello.
Shakespearian Word Association (brand new) - Very good, will become excellent when it's in the right place.
"Falling out routine"  - busked tonight, needs writing, still worked very well.
Romeo & Juliet - Excellent as always, though parts were a bit messy through sloppiness or laziness. Remember to keep it tight and not lose gags to less-good or indulgent ad-libs.
Sweary Poppins - We'd actually crossed the 60 minute mark, but I felt they deserved a bonus. Show may actually need a closing song (may not though)

All in all a really encouraging preview. Sunday in Brighton (where we already have more advance sales than we ended up with at OJS) will be a good test. Rewriting today.


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016 - see the previews in your town!

May 19 - Old Joint Stock Birmingham
May 22 - Komedia, Brighton Fringe
May 28 - Ards Puppet Festival, Newtonards
June 9 - Bridgend 
July 3 - Derby Bar One 2pm 
July 8 - Flavel, Dartmouth
July 10 - Tring Festival 
July 14 - Market Harborough Theatre
July 17 - Sheffield New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Greater Manchester Fringe , Kings Arms Salford 7pm
July 21 - Barnes Fringe
July 22 - Bedford Fringe
July 30 - Blaenavon Rhymney Brewery
Aug 3 - 29 - 10.30pm The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 

Thursday, 12 May 2016

11 hours and £1500 later - travelling to Ireland

1pm: "After only 5 hrs delay we're boarding FR505 from From ! May be late for work"

There is stiff competition this week between Ireland and Romania. Forget the Eurovision Song Contest, in my little world this is a much bigger contest. The two countries are bidding for the title of Most Unnecessarily Complcated School Visits of the year.

Bucharest, which was a wonderful trip, at a school who have been lovely and helpful throughout, has been having fun with paying me. First I had to provide a Certficate of Tax Residency from HMRC, which I applied for. After a couple of weeks HMRC replied to tell me I'd applied incorrectly (the form asked which period I wanted this to cover, I gave the period I would be working in Romania, they replied that you couldn't apply for a period in the future. But we eventually got that through, after I'd returned). Then this week they tell me I've got that Certificate in my own name, but I've billed under my company name, so I need to bill again under my own name. Then they send me a form which they'd said, while `I was there, that I didn't need to sign, which I now need to and... blah blah blah, more to-ing and fro-ing of paperwork than any visit ever.

But Dublin is rivalling all that with its travel complications. 

It all started with a school in Wexford who want me to come. I'm delighted to, but in order to get there, i need to fly to Dublin so the only sensible thing is to organise a Dublin school in the same visit. That way I can land at 9am, drive to a Dublin school for the day, then I have time for my 2 hour drive to Wexford ready for the following day's school.

So I put out the shout to schools, and i get a booking. It'll be Thursday in Dublin & Friday in Wexford. I book the flights and they're dirt cheap, only £35 return.

Then I get a reply from another school, who can take me on the Tuesday. Bonus. Even if the Wednesday is left empty, it's worth me moving my flights and having 4 days in Ireland for 3 days work. I move my flight, at a cost of £30. 

Sadly the Tuesday school has to cancel, which is a pain, and not something I can bill them for. I move the flight back to where it started, with another £30 charge. Yes, I've paid £60 to move flights that only cost £35 in the first place.

Then when I get to Bristol airport this morning (hi, it's Thursday morning as I write) I realise that, what with moving flights and all,  I've forgotten to pre-book my parking (for the first time in years) so this'll be my most expensive parking.

Still, all looks good for our 8am flight. Though, to be  honest, it is a little foggy out there. I was just admiring the effect of the airport being cut off by a wall of white when we got the message that our flight had been diverted. The fog wouldn't allow it to land in Bristol, so it's gone to Birmingham instead. And so, if we want to get on it, must we passengers.

So it is that it's 9.51am, and I'm on a bus that's crawling through Bedminster on its way to the motorway and thence to Birmingham airport to get a flight that, if we're really lucky, might leave Birmingham at 12.30, in which case I'd be in Dublin by 1.30, picking up my hire car by 2, and arriving at my school on the other side of Dublin on this side of 3pm. If I'm lucky.

I am assuming today's visit to St Kevin's College in Crumlin won't be happening. But by golly I should be in plenty of time to start work in Wexford tomorrow morning. Let us see how things go shall we?

Kev F, on a replacement bus, 9.54 am. 79% battery left on laptop.

11.30 - still on coach, just past the turn for Shilrey. School have suggested rebooking me for next Wednesday. New flights and hotel might scrape in at £120, which added to today's share of travel means I could still turn a profit on the trip. Though I would, as the saying goes, make more money auctioning dogs.

From today's flight. Why's there a crucified Jesus at the end of the plane? Ah, get a photo of him anyway.

By 1.30 we were on the plane waiting for passengers to arrive. And half an hour later, or long enough for me to read two copies of Shortlist from cover to cover (wondered where all the female journalists had got to before realising it's a Bloke Mag. Who knew there was still such a thing. Do only men fly? Weird) we were still waiting. We eventually took off, and landed in Dublin at just after 3pm, which would have been just about time for me to finish teaching at St Kevins. In the meantime, via text, we'd arranged for me to visit them next Wednesday instead, so the day wasn't totally lost.

Now all I had to do was pick up my hire car and I'd be away. 3.30 I got to Thrifty to pick up my pre-booked car. 4.30 I finally drove away with my totally newly-booked car having found, after being shunted between Thrifty and their neighbour Sixt, through both of whom I'd somehow booked and amended the booking for this car twice already. And don't get me started on the insurance deposit they "don't take" from your credit card but they need to "secure" from your credit card. Can you imagine how much money they need to ring fence on your credit card?

€1600!!! That's well over a thousand pounds. If you don't have a grand free on your credit card - as two couples queuing in front of me (at the two desks of the two companies I had to wait at) didn't - you were stuffed. Added to this was a £300 deposit, and the comparatively meagre £50 for the car hire itself, and there's £1500 on my credit card that I can't use (for how long I can't imagine). None of us remember seeing that on the forms when we booked, and it certainly wasn't mentioned on the paperwork I had with me. (That's for the smallest car. People hiring people carriers were being asked for 3 grand security.) Very luckily I was able to do it, but you can be sure I'll be taking the bus when I come next week.

Following all that, the two hour drive to my hotel in Wexford, ready for tomorrow morning's school was a doddle. But bloody hell. Having expected to get to a school in Dublin to maybe start work by 10am, I ended up turning up for an 8am flight and getting to my destination at 7pm. I could literally have got to LA in that time!


I'm watching Eurovision and having a pint, and I don't care who knows it.
PS: Friday went swimmingly, I did my school and drove back to the airport and flew home with no problems. Once home I reached into my travel bag to get something and sliced the tip of my thumb on my upturned shaving razor. Very much one of those weeks.



Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres. After a morning or an afternoon every pupil goes away with a photocopied comic containing a strip by every single one of them, and an individual caricature by Kev F. Please email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Two Gentlemen Of Verona - Even more new Socks doing Shakespeare


Will this flow of nonsense never abate? Here's another Shakespearian musical number from the Socks, again destined merely to be part of the audience in music, not even part of the show (but as I noted yesterday, I've been pretty busy on that too this week, and these side dishes are an accompaniment to the main meal, as it were. I kid myself that they're also a nice little teaser to keep the avid fans sated, though their viewing figures hardly suggest there are hordes gasping for our every utterance. Whatever, it's fun, do please click and play, and share if you like it.

So, so far the audience are going to be coming in to the sound of Romeo & Juliet (the theme I tag onto the end of most of these videos when I remember) + Just An Allusion, King John, I'm Henry The 5th, Love's Labours Lost, Two Gentlemen of Verona and (spoiler alert) As You Like It (probably uploaded at the weekend). A week or more's recording work, adding up to about 6 minutes of music. I did the same last year with that bloody Minging Detectives Reggae medley. Will I never learn?


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do Shakespeare at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2016 - see the previews in your town!

★★★★ "Eat your heart out, Olivier" - What's On May 2016 
★★★★ "Comedy genius at work" - Theatre Bath April 2016 


May 8 - Derby Comedy Festival 5.30pm
May 19 - Old Joint Stock Birmingham
May 22 - Komedia, Brighton Fringe
May 28 - Ards Puppet Festival, Newtonards
June 9 - Bridgend 
July 3 - Derby Bar One 2pm 
July 8 - Flavel, Dartmouth
July 10 - Tring Festival 
July 14 - Market Harborough Theatre
July 17 - Sheffield New Barrack Tavern 2pm
July 17 - Greater Manchester Fringe , Kings Arms Salford 7pm
July 21 - Barnes Fringe
July 22 - Bedford Fringe
July 30 - Blaenavon Rhymney Brewery
Aug 3 - 29 - 10.30pm The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 
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