Edinburgh Festival: Sock Puppet (3 stars)

It takes a certain kind of person to go and see a Fringe show about a haunted sock; one who thinks nothing of buying a pint of beer a few hours after they’ve got up. The sort who knows exactly what the festivals are about – namely, odd little shows like this which you’d struggle to find anywhere else.

John-Luke Roberts’s off-the-wall one-man performance tells the story of a mediocre East London artist who becomes haunted by a red sock claiming to be the ghost of a small French boy, despite talking with a broad Yorkshire accent. It’s all deliberately lo-fi – “You’re going to have to put some effort in,” he warns at the start – but an amusing step outside what you might expect from theatre.

Roberts is an engaging storyteller and while it requires a leap of faith to buy into the concept (the sock really is just a sock), some nice observations on daily life stop things from becoming too surreal. It’s a piece that has the potential to be sharper, funnier and more profound, but as it stands it is an enjoyable and entertaining way to start the day.

Written for The Scotsman

 

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