John Luke Roberts puts on a brilliant, surreal tale of a haunted sock. It is a one man horror comedy, assisted by the performance of one talented red sock. The script is very well written, witty and educated. Roberts criticises his own position within the play in a very clever and self-deprecating way.
The story is in three parts and each section is very aptly named. It’s a story about Ralph, a failed fine artist in London who comes across a haunted sock. The sock helps him become a better artist and, in return, Ralph makes the mistake of agreeing to help the sock get revenge for his death. Other characters are introduced such as Laura - Ralph’s love interest - and Eddie, Laura’s boyfriend and a gallery owner. There is a side story of Roberts’ own life and relationship with his father that is equally surreal.
The stage is small and the only props are a small box, a lamp and a tape recorder - and of course the sock. Roberts makes good use of his space and the props and has a great connection with the audience. Especially good use is made of the tape recorder where all the audio needed streams from, such as the accompanying suspense music.
From the title you might assume this is a kids show and although there is no swearing, kids probably wouldn’t get most of the jokes. It’s a sock puppet show for adults, a lighthearted tale of serial murderers and haunted objects. From start to finish Roberts is fully in charge and swiftly shifts from comedy to horror. Roberts is a very likeable character - he also comically takes on all of the side characters, commenting on the fact that they shouldn’t all look identical and some suspension of disbelief is needed. The side story about his father is good but isn’t fully interwoven with the sock horror. Although the horror is absurd, it somehow works. I will from now on look at red socks much more sceptically.