Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

Real name: Kev F Sutherland
Created by comedian and comic book creator Kev F. Sutherland in 2005
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Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Goes To Hollywood – Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Nione Meakin

Two greying, squeaky-voiced sock puppets, a ramshackle cardboard theatre and an badly ventilated Fringe venue sound like ingredients for an evening of tooth-grinding irritation. So how on earth does The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre turn out to be so bloody good?

Most of the credit must go to writer and performer Kev Sutherland, whose script crackles with a wit and energy delightfully incongruous with its amateurish setting. He effortlessly blends good-natured pantomime japery with the incisiveness and topicality of a top-class stand-up. There can't be many puppet shows that can pull off both jokes about a mix-up between Ingrid and Ingmar Bergman and jokes that revolve around a deliberate misunderstanding of the word 'ghoulies'.

The rest of the applause belongs to the socks - on Sutherland's capable hands, they really do seem autonomous entities. Arriving on stage with a familiar refrain, the kilt-wearing odd couple offer a chaotic and decidedly non academic tour through the movies, accompanied by songs performed on Lilliputian guitar and piano.

Taking each genre in turn, confusion and disorder reign as the practical limitations of the conceit combine with the pair's personalities to render scenes from films such as Casablanca and Star Wars almost, but not quite, unrecognisable.

The socks' musical turns are an absolute delight. One has to commend the ability to see in Kenny Loggins' Eighties hit Footloose the potential for a clap-along commentary on swine flu and if you're sick of listening to Billie Jean and Beat It in the wake of Michael Jackson's death, why not revisit the impenetrable lyrics of Earth Song, socks-style?

 Sutherland realises the endless comic gold to be had from the simple act of two socks behaving like a human double act and he mines it shamelessly. He also exploits problems like changing costumes when your hands are otherwise engaged to make it as much a part of the fun as the actual jokes.

If there's any criticism to be made of this show, it's that there's almost too much going on simultaneously to fully appreciate. If that's as bad as it gets, you know you're onto an absolute winner.

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Published: 18 Aug 2009

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