Attempting to discover once and for all whether Southerners really are softer than their northern counterparts, John Shuttleworth (aka Graham Fellows) returned to the Fringe for one night only to present the world premiere of his aptly titled new film, Southern Softies.
Sheffield’s favourite son follows up his 2006 trip to Shetland – It’s Nice Up North, in which he tried to discover whether people get nicer the further north you travel – by relocating to Guernsey and nearby islands to interview the locals and find out just how soft they are.
Joined behind the camera by the unseen Ken Worthington, Shuttleworth encounters the weird and the wonderful in his search. Running out of funds during production, he then tries to beg and borrow favours from airlines and tourist boards, all the while providing a wry commentary on the world.
As with every new Shuttleworth piece this is firmly rooted in the everyday and the routine, the character’s slightly shambolic efforts to play investigative reporter never a serious threat to the Watchdog team.
Admitting partway through that the whole endeavour is probably flawed does nothing to detract from the enjoyment of the film, the very fact that there’s not much point exactly the point of Fellow’s creation.
Though the film won’t win any Oscars, it will win the admiration of his loyal fanbase, the planned DVD release a must-buy for the faithful.
John Shuttleworth: Southern Softies, Pleasance Upstairs, 18 August
First published on pinkpaper.com