Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Sock Dramaturgy: Kev F Sutherland @ Edfringe 2015

The Fringe 

What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?
Kev F Sutherland: Mine is a comedy show, with a double act of two puppets, both performed by me. My starting point was finding, some years ago, I had this comedy act. Then, every year, I write a new script for them. This year, as with most of our shows, has begun with a theme.

This year's theme is crime, hence the name Minging Detectives.

Previously we've done sci-fi (Socks In Space), movies (Socks Go To Hollywood) and horror (Boo Lingerie).

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?
I started bringing a sketch show format (The Sitcom Trials) to Edinburgh in 2001 and found it suited me to perform the show 25 times to capturable audiences. We broke even, and most subsequent years have made money. This is the only place, apart from the Adelaide Festival, where I have found myself able to play that many shows in one place.

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
It's a comedy show, so they come to laugh.

The Dramaturgy Questions
How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?

I have never consciously given thought to dramaturgy, and indeed had to look it up before answering this question. We employ an array of tricks and effects to suspend disbelief and bring the viewer into our world, mostly through costume changes and props. We use no backdrops on stage, the two puppets perform in their own set against the black backdrop behind.

We have another level of suspension of disbelief in that the Socks will refer to the fact that there is a man sat in the chair operating them. Though, we have discovered, some people believe there are two people performing. Still they seem to laugh at lines like "there's a bloke down there with (x prop) on his head".

What particular traditions and influences would you acknowledge on your work - have any particular artists, or genres inspired you and do you see yourself within their tradition?
Comedy double acts inc Abbot and Costello, The National Theatre Of Brent, Reeves and Mortimer, and The Mighty Boosh.

Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe - where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process?
There's no collaboration, though we do parody other peoples' songs, and my wife makes some of the props. I sit and write sketches, the Socks perform some as videos and some only as stage routines. And it is by testing them out in front of an audience that we find what "works". The best of these are then strung together by me.

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work? 
They tell us if we're funny.

Are there any questions that you feel I have missed out that would help me to understand how dramaturgy works for you?
I have to go back and look up dramaturgy again. It's really not a word I've ever used.

Edinburgh Fringe
10.30pm Aug 5 - 30 at The Gilded Ballloon
Twitter @falsettosocks
Facebook ScottishFalsettoSocks
Videos: http://tinyurl.com/Sockvids

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