Bears and foxes and sockses, oh my!

Yes, there’ll be bears and a fox and a pair of socks at the Fringe this year, yay! After a year off Goodbear are back with Dougal, no, not the dog, it’s the name of their new show. Oo, I might even make that a first night show, it’s always good to start well and I’m sure Mr Barnes and Mr Perryment will not disappoint me.

The Abbott and Costello of the sock world, the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are back with Roll Up! I’ve been following their show development throughout the year on Facebook, bits have come and gone, and there’s plenty of video footage. I expect it honed to perfection by August!

And the Fox? Why, it’s my childhood hero Basil Brush! Apparently he sounds slightly different these days, but it was forty plus years ago when I was watching him on the telly. If only he’d come to the Fringe in 2015 – he could have met up with his old pal Rodney Bewes (this tablet wants to make him Rodney Beers! No, tablet demon, it’s Bewes). Mr Rodney was Basil’s side-kick in 1968, he’s the first one I can remember. After that there was Mr Derek, he stayed around a few years and was very good, but my favourite side-kick/straightman was Mr Roy, I loved it when he would grab Basil’s snout in exasperation to shut him up (while trying not to laugh).

Turns out Basil first appeared on telly as a support act to a magician before getting his big break with his own tv show. He was very influenced by Terry Thomas, he liked the charm and droll wit, and was always seen wearing a cravat (and comparing his clothes to now, he definitely had a better tailor back then, probably Saville Row). The stars were all queuing up to be on his show, Lulu, Cilla Black, Demis Roussos, to name a few, all eager to duet with him. Yes, Basil was so popular he even made a cameo appearance in The Goodies Rule-OK? 

Indeed, I shall have to go see the Fox, why, I learnt all my wit, humour and sarcasm from him (and Dougal, yes, the dog, and Brian). I wonder, will he still talk about Dirty Gertie from Number Thirty?! Does he still have that laugh? He must still use his catchphrase. Until next time, my friends,

Boom! Boom!

 

Who?

Yes, I am referring to the new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker (just had to check that – one t or two, it’s one of those awkward names like Paterson), a Yorkshire lass and a fine actress. I do wonder if she can conjure up that otherworldly quirk of the Doctor, but so far since the Doc’s revival the choices have all been great, unlike some of the later reincarnations in the first run! And changing the Master into Missy was worked so well, Michelle Gomez was magnificent, so it’s not like the Doctor is the first timelord to change sex.

So, I got to wondering last night whether, in years gone by, did a young aspiring Jodie ever appear in a Fringe production? No, I don’t know, but I like the thought that maybe I saw the future Dr Who in a Fringe production. Maybe there’s a future Doctor performing this year, who knows?! Ok, so if you’re not a Who fan you may not be so tickled by this idea, but imagine if watching a Bond movie it dawned on you that you once saw Daniel Craig in a tiny fringe venue in a production of Bouncers? All famous actors began somewhere so why not at the Fringe?

The Fringe also has plenty of old luvvies at the other end of their careers. Well, when I say end I don’t mean, erm, oops, just not spring chickens anymore?! Rodney Bewes is back yet again, can’t keep him away! Twenty years ago he turned up with a little boat he’d built himself to do Three Men in a Boat (afterwards he was signing copies of the paperback, I still have mine!) and I don’t think he’s missed a year since. Some years later he left the boat at home and put on Diary of a Nobody, the last few years he’s been regaling his audiences with his own life story, forever a Likely Lad, a lovely gent.

And back into the Who-verse, Sylvester McCoy is popping up this year to do a new comedy play – you can’t keep an old dogter down (sorry), or their companions, 2014 saw Katie Manning at the Fringe. She and Susan Penhaligon played two aging actresses in a retirement home, a charming bittersweet play. Katie Manning played Jo Grant the first companion I really remember and I suspect I wasn’t the only one there because of old memories!

Oo, and if all the brouha over the latest Doctor has amused you, check out Jodie Whittaker is Doctor Who by the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre on YouTube, it may just tickle you.