Possibly the most ridiculous show at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets are in their ninth year and were greeted with a sell-out audience. Most of the crowd were returning fans, making the show feel a bit like being initiated into some sort of cult.
A fun novelty at best, an encyclopedia of Shakespearean puns at worst.
The two socks, one of whom is kilted, give their two pennies worth on the Bard, performing a selection of songs about socks and Shakespeare on their instruments, who are all nicknamed ‘Steve the Technician’, before making a series of jokes and puns on the subject of the playwright. Initially, these are quite funny, and I laugh with the rest of the audience. But, my goodness, there are so many puns. Laughing turns to groaning, and the audience became divided: devoted fans continued to roar and clap alongside the over-enthusiastic and well-lubricated members of the front row, whilst others, myself included, grew restless, like someone stuck at the dinner table too long with Great Great Uncle Fred, hearing the same stories- or are they? Who can tell?- for the hundredth time. Twenty five minutes in, I reached saturation point.
The humour was occasionally bang on, making use of long, drawn out lists to illustrate points, with frequent ‘comic’ mishearings between the two socks. The show itself is quite novel, the sort of thing that would only ever sell out at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but the jokes did grate a little bit after a while, and rude dad humour, performed by two socks with the same falsetto voice, is something that can only be taken in moderation. The Shakespeare component is very light-hearted, with less of a focus on accurate Bardic representation, but predominantly there to make ‘Dick’ jokes about the history plays. The retelling of Romeo and Juliet is fun, but comes near the end of the show, which is altogether too long.
A fantastic show for a vocal audience with ample opportunity to exercise your eyes through frequent rolling, due to the show’s predictability. A fun novelty at best, an encyclopedia of Shakespearean puns at worst. Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets is definitely unique.