Do you get the title? Boo Lingerie – boulangerie – get it? I think it’s brilliant because it sort of embodies what the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre (now there’s a mouthful) is about: the title has absolutely nothing to do with the show, and the show has nothing to do with the show. Explain? Well the sock puppets are supposed to be putting on a show where they re-enact horror stories – a socky horror show in fact. Why? Probably because the pun is convenient, but it doesn’t really matter why, because the sock puppet on the right (depending on which side of the puppets you are I suppose) absolutely ruins the show that the sock puppet on the left is trying to put on and it’s absolutely hilarious. It’s even funnier when you remember that behind the domestics is a man with two socks on his hands, having something of a bi-polar argument with himself in falsetto for an hour. How on earth this comedy act came to be is beyond me, but thank the sheep that beget the wool that beget the socks it did, because I haven’t laughed this hard is ages.
Therefore, I consider this puppeteer (who prefers to remain anonymous) to be something of a comedy genius. I have wasted countless hours on SFSPT’s YouTube channel, where they re-enact popular programmes like Doctor Who and Sherlock, or generally mess about and sing silly songs – but they are infinitely better live. The SFSPT’s propensity for improvisation is incredible. It’s rather ironic that a show about a show that’s going wrong is even funnier when the show is going wrong because the resulting ad libs are hilarious. Boo Lingerie on the right course explores the genre of horror beginning with the classics Dracula and Jekyll on the Hyde, but the sock puppet on the right prefers horror movies and zombies [insert several puns on horror movies here]. It takes almost a full hour for the sock puppet on the left to then explain to the sock puppet on the right that Halloween is not a day when everyone says “hello” to “Ian” Beale, “Ian” Duncan-Smith etc. or dresses up as an Ian (because it would be ridiculous to dress up as Ian dressed as Ian).
By this point you’ve probably peed yourself laughing as everything gets crazier and crazier and the SFSPT are on the verge of splitting up… if it’s possible for two hands attached to the same body to do that. So it breaks up the show a bit to have a song from the puppets on a guitar called Audrey the Technician. These songs show off the full extent of SFSPT’s skill with words, and end the show on the right note, so to speak, if not at the right time because the puppets have improvised miles away from the script and their ad-libbing has overrun. I wasn’t complaining.
Boo Lingerie is a show that will have you smiling from beginning to end: an original idea from the puppeteer, with adorable stars that are very punny indeed. Punny – funny – get it? Best leave it to the experts I guess. Can two socks really be that much funnier than me?
***** – 5/5 stars
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre: Boo Lingerie plays at the Gilded Balloon Teviot until 26th August as a part of the Edinburgh Festival. For more information and tickets, see the Edinburgh Fringe website.