Socks playing guitar. Socks doing magic. Socks arguing over the meaning of the term ‘Halloween’. Socks making many, many puns. The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, exactly what it says it is, is a loud, crude and very enjoyable hour of comedy in which a pair of socks seem to be able to do anything except stick to their script.
The two socks of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, brainchild of comic Kev F Sutherland, are here to present Boo Lingerie, or the ‘Socky Horror Show’ as one of them prefers. As you might infer it’s a show all about horror, though the socks differ quite significantly in their definition of what makes for good horror. Along the way they make room for a retelling of Jekyll and Hyde with a brilliantly stupid twist, several humorously ragged songs with a determined lack of timing and an extended routine involving Ann Robinson, the priest from The Exorcist and a golf commentator. Not every joke is a winner: a song about horror movie serial killers evokes a lot of tropes that are thoroughly trodden ground by now (the final girl remaining at the end, you die if you have sex, etc.), but the gag rate is very high and the Socks are fine with poking fun at themselves and each other when one doesn’t land. There are several moments when one sock remains on stage while the other burrows for a prop or costume. Watching a sock stalling for time is quite a unique experience, and Sutherland was always amusingly upfront about it.
A lot of people most likely already know whether The Sock Puppet Theatre is their sort of thing. For those who don’t: if you would describe your pun tolerance as ‘middling to low’, you probably need not apply. For everyone else, the Socks are as ridiculous and hilarious as ever. They’re as ramshackle as they ever have been, too. Last night’s show ended in quite a hurry, skipping completely over a Burke and Hare routine as the Socks rather hastily claimed to have run out of time. What happened next I won’t spoil, but it made me doubt that they were being entirely truthful. If they genuinely did overrun then Sutherland has an outstanding contingency plan for wrapping things up in a hurry. If not, then well played sir. Well played.