GIlded Balloon Teviot – Billiard Room
Wilkommen, bienvenue and welcome (as the saying goes) to the Eurovision Sock Contest 2022, with your hosey hosts the amazing Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre!
I admit, I was a little overexcited going to this show. Two years ago, as lockdown set in and the fringe was called off, I watched these fabric funhouses perform an online production of Socks in Space, which got a fabulous four star review. Since then I have been itching to see them in the wool, so to speak. And I was not disappointed!
The glamour! The thrills! The excitement of the competition! The unashamed crapness of the wobbly set and dodgy presentation: this is the essence of Fringe performance. This time our heroes return with their inimitable version of Eurovision, complete with a dazzling wardrobe(?), multiple quick costume changes (not always successful!), and some superb Europop pastiches, which in my opinion were often better than actual Eurovision entries.
Grey, woolly and haphazard as ever, they are superbly silly. They play to a devoted audience, who are all swiftly crying with laughter. It’s clear from the start this is not a kids show: there’s a running gag about a certain Scottish translation app that really can’t leave the room, where it had the audience open-mouthed. It is nevertheless brilliant fun.
Incorporating some nifty dance routines, the socks take us on a whirlwind tour of many nations, from France – with some very questionable national stereotypes by Johnny Foreigner – through shades of Scandi Noir, to the dynamic Deep C Diva singing on behalf of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that the song is not important. I think we recognise that theme. Yes, some of it might be considered a bit dodgy, but the socks put their hands up to that (small plastic ones on pipe cleaners). To add to the authenticity, there’s even a special guest appearance from a Graham Norton look-a-like, who also shabbily represents Ireland in the competition.
Tonight we’re indulged with a bit of improv; in this case a song from a country new to the competition – China(?), about pandas and to the tune of ‘Chopsticks’. Questionable indeed, but exceedingly funny nonetheless.
Between entries, our two favourite foot-coverings offer enough cheesy banter to coat a pizza. It’s been said before, but they really do deliver a veritable Eric and Ernie routine, with dreadful puns and wordplays that are sure to bring laughs. Whilst a few astute digs at the Fringe organisers had the room cheering loudly.
Ultimately, it’s the British entry that wins the day, as we’re united in the sentiment that Brexit should be shoved somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine. Nul points for that!
The Falsettos have definitely hit a high with this show. They are even better in person than in their already brilliant streamed performances, bantering balmily with the audience and between themselves, and bringing the room wildly alive. This is a show well worth waiting for, and for me it’s the winner of the competition tonight!
Written by: Kev Sutherland
Produced by: Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
Review: Eurovision Sock Contest has completed its run at EdFringe 2022. Check the company’s website for further information on this and other shows here.