Koko Gorillaz, Cardiff
Mon 18 July
words: AMELIA FORSBROOK
The latest Brown Bear Comedy Night seemed like any other stand-up micro-festival. Emerging comics loitered around the bar with pints in their hands, each waiting for their slot; groups of friends huddled in groups debating whether or not to occupy the tables at the front; multicoloured lights flashed behind a slightly elevated stage. There was one thing noticeably different, though. The headlining act was nowhere to be seen.
Luckily, it wasn’t a complete no-show. The roadie for Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, Kev F Sutherland, was calmly representing the company as the audience filtered in. Although confessing that he wasn’t part of the act, he ‘just carried the props’, Sutherland seemed quite at ease with the apparent absence.
Disappearing behind a basic Punch and Judy style booth, Sutherland continued this amusing tension between playful fictionality and sheer ridiculousness, thankfully refusing to let his audience be completely drawn into the world of his two high-pitched sock characters for long. As the pair of cotton actors squabble and debate, coming as close as it is physically possible to talking over each other, the medium of performance is constantly foregrounded. At one point, the duo begin a cowboy shoot-out, which is cut short when they discover they can never travel far apart. Showcasing a similarly self-aware tone of comedy, one puppet gets down on one knee only to realise ‘that doesn’t particularly work visually’.
You may be able to gauge from their efficiently descriptive name that the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre isn’t for everyone. For this reason, those who are at all irritated by the Glaswegian accent in its organic state or would rather jump into shark-infested water than hang around for ten minutes of Punch and Judy should probably give this show a wide berth. This is high-pitched, high-speed and constantly teasing comedy which shamelessly dances on the border of irritating.
That said, on account of being puppets, the Scottish Falsettos get away with a lot of puerile humour which their ‘roadie’ would almost certainly fail to pull off. Their inherent license for playfulness paired with their meta-fictional intelligence and clever observations (a highlight being a stormingly accurate mishearing of Michael Jackson’s Earth Song) do raise a few surprising giggles and bring an unquestionable sense of variety to the line-up to Cardiff’s bold new comedy night.