Kev F. Sutherland is a talented man. The mastermind behind both The Sitcom Trials, and the acclaimed Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, he is also an comic strip creator for The Beano and Doctor Who Adventures – and that is just a tiny selection of the work he has done.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of The Sitcom Trials it basically showcases new sitcoms (submitted by you) in a head-to-head, enhanced audio style. This takes the form of a script in hand reading with props, sounds and other aids to enhance the ‘viewing’ experience. Each sitcom ends on a cliff-hanger with the audience voting for the one that they want to see the end of.
Taking place in Bristol, Manchester and London, The Sitcom Trials has been enormously successful, no doubt down to its combination of varied scripts, enthusiastic hosts and talent on the stage. Kev Sutherland is the compere for the nights, and whips up the audience into frenzy ready for the treats that await them.
Obviously most of the scripts are work in progress, but you can quickly see the gems of ideas being polished. Certainly in Manchester’s Halloween special there were some great, and demanding ideas performed with gusto by the assorted cast (pictured from left to right including Kate Collins, Bex Harrison, Michelle Ashton, Jamie Fillery, Phil Chadwick and (front) Sean Mason).
You could do far worse for comedy than pop down and see some raw talent in action at The Sitcom Trials. As was pointed out, you’re never more than ten minutes away from something new if there’s a sitcom you don’t like which is something that can’t be said of an hour long comedy act you might have paid a lot more to see. There’s always the possibility that the next big thing could be discovered right in front of your eyes as well…
Having sprung out of The Sitcom Trials, is an award winning success story of a pair of talking, singing and dancing socks. Like a modern day Punch and Judy act, the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre (and so am I, and so is he etc.) continue to delight and entertain with their “Socky Horror Show”.
This special show for Halloween features the argumentative socks as they goad the audience into an hour of non-stop laughter. Never before have two cotton socks been so hilariously funny. With some witty observational humour, and hilarious songs (“I’m a sock, I’m a sock, you wear me when cooking with a wok”), all mixed together in an endearing tongue-in-cheek way, it is easy to see how the cheeky pair have become a hit.
It’s very easy to forget that there is only one person behind the Socks, such is the intensity of the performance as the two argue with each other. Part improvisation, Sutherland’s creations also react to the audience (“See what you’ve done, you’ve made the front row groan now!”) and carry their array of increasingly bizarre props. Effort is also taken to include local jokes, and hilariously backfired when there was only a slight titter from the audience. One sock turns to the other and wryly quips “Hmm, we’ll cut that out next time, obviously that’s a nice place to be going. For future reference, where is the worst place to go in Manchester?” which was greeted with uproarious laughter. You had to be there, but it demonstrates the talent and improvisation at work.
Taking in tributes to horror movies, a spectacular rendition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a magic trick (not to be spoilt before you see it) and even Michael Jackson’s Thriller, The Scottish Falsetto Sock Theatre wows, entertains, and has you in stitches. Fresh and vibrant, and something completely and utterly unique, The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre is a complete must-see.
For more information on The Sitcom Trials including upcoming shows and how to take part, visit the website at http://www.sitcomtrials.co.uk/. The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre continues it’s tour with dates available via their Twitter @FalsettoSocks