More Frog King Love

Barbara —  September 2, 2017 — Leave a comment

The review of The Frog King by Alfred Mann for the Bromyard Info Magazine (1st edition August 2017)

“Having seen Offbeat’s last production The Raven (“The Killing of Poe” – Ed), which was quite dark with lots of obscure literary references, I wondered just how Barbara Hockley would turn her wordsmith mastery to a show suitable for children of all ages.

I need not have worried for I still had a smile on my face as I walked and chatted to other happy members of the audience, making our way past the huge yellow skip and up the lane to the car park. Even the huge skip and the tree lined, narrow lane added themselves to the magic of Barbara’s immersive theatre, set within the walls of the soon to be converted St Richards school.

L-R: Hugh Farey, David Verrinder, Allan Flaxman and Mark Cox

Having been shown in to The Inn, marvelling at what a super job they had made of the ticket sales area and bar, we soon became willing participants in the play as the characters spun their story around us. Gold coins handed out with our tickets had to be paid to the storyteller before we were ushered through corridors transformed into a magical forest; our portal into the fertile imagination of the director and cast. Clues had been given for which we would need to be on the look out, with other fairy stories being woven together. Soon I was swept along with the fun and almost forgot that there wasn’t actually a fairy tale called the Frog King. Continue Reading…

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At the beginning of August, Offbeat Theatre had an absolute blast performing The Frog King in Bredenbury. Our unusual location required us to convert 4 rooms and a few corridors into a magical fairytale-land – which we did over the months preceding the show. The audience moved from room to room with the action – not quite ‘immersive’, but a blurring of the lines that usually separate audience from actors. A few thoughts from our lovely audience members, including notes we encouraged people to write on the walls of the ‘Frog Inn’. More posts featuring our main review and the amazing sets we created coming up soon.

The newly transformed Frog King revealed

“The Frog King – Well… I have never seen anything like it. Totally wacky and brilliantly written. The artwork is amazing and how they all remember their lines is as mysterious as the play, written by Barbara Hockley. Do go and see it. Miss it at your peril. The Cox Team and Boz are at their brilliant best.!!!” Continue Reading…

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The Wonderful Frog King!

Barbara —  August 8, 2017 — Leave a comment

Offbeat Theatre recently had a fantastic run of The Frog King – an off-the-wall, magical fairytale coming to our script shop soon! Quick photo of a few characters and a giant frog’s head! Suitable for performance by adults or youth groups. Great fun!

The Frog King Offbeat Theatre

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Splurged and Pied!

Barbara —  June 28, 2017 — Leave a comment

The Castaway Theatre Youth Group in Yeovil have just finished their fantastic run of Bugsy Malone! Some amazing photos emerged – I just LOVE this one. Bad Guys indeed! Splurged and pied…

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Castaways in Bugsyland

Barbara —  June 22, 2017 — Leave a comment

The Castaway Theatre Group in Yeovil are just starting their run of Bugsy Malone! Good luck castaways and we look forward to more of your wonderful photos! Thursday 22nd – Saturday 24th June.

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We are really pleased that our silly, funny and super cool spy musical Spy School – the Seventh Department is having a few outings around the country this July. Written as a Leavers Gala production for 10 year olds – but, honestly, I’d be happy to be in it and I’m not 10! Simple staging, great songs, large cast of spies – could it get any better? Go and have a quick browse and a listen…

Spy School Offbeat Theatre Musical for Schools

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More pics from Bugsy you don’t usually get to see! A lovely ‘waitress moment’ as Bugsy and Blousey make plans.
This from the Conquest Youth Theatre’s (Bromyard) production in 2009. Wonderful daydreaming expression – one I employ myself from time to time…

Bugsy Malone Conquest Youth Theatre

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The next Offbeat Theatre production has been a long time coming. After the darkness that was The Killing of Poe in February 2016 we had the promise of a lighter one act play courtesy of The Space in December 2016, which we cancelled for our own inexplicable reasons. But now … we have the emergence of THE FROG KING! Hooray! And here he is – the Frog King in construction! Early days for the play (and his head), but rehearsals and complex set building will commence soon.

The Frog King Offbeat Theatre

The location for the performances is a closely guarded, well kept secret that will only be revealed half an hour before the start (ok, it’s in Bredenbury). Audience numbers will be restricted as this production is even more unusual than the others we’ve performed at this particular location … More on that to come, but suffice to say it’s in more than one ‘room’. More than two even. Intrigued? We hope so.

Plot? Well, the script is being finalised (which is code for ‘written’) as I type. Or rather when I finish typing and get back to the far more important task of ‘finalising’ the script. Funny how, at times like this when you have a very important task to finish off, you suddenly realise you absolutely need to clean the windows – even though you have never noticed that your house actually has windows until the very moment when you caught yourself gazing out of one. I jest, I have no intention of cleaning windows, vacuuming carpets, washing up or anything else that might distract me from the joyous task that is finishing the script (serious face).

So, plot then? Well, have you ever noticed how the same fairy tale (The Frog Prince for example) is told in more or less the same way, with more or less the same outcome using more or less the same characters? Ever wondered what might happen if the plot was subject to quite a major change? No, I hadn’t either, until the Storyteller in my story changed something rather crucial – and you have no idea what that’s done to fairytale-land. To be honest, it’s all getting rather silly and it’s going to take something very magical to fix it. So, I can safely say, hand on heart (not the one the evil troll turned to stone, the other one), that this is a show full of magic, surreal daftness, puppets, beautiful sets, frogs and more royalty than is necessary in one castle. It’s for adults and small adults, but not tiny ones under the age of 7 (at a guess, I may be wrong). See you there?

THE FROG KING: Friday 4th, Saturday 5th (2 performances) and Sunday 6th AUGUST.

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The Frog King Cometh!

Barbara —  May 16, 2017 — Leave a comment

The new Offbeat Theatre production is based very very loosely on the Frog Prince and we’ve called it The Frog King. Immediately you see the looseness of the story! In fact if you hop over (sorry) to the blog you might find a more detailed synopsis.
This pic is the Frog King’s head in construction (you can see the scale of it by comparing to the mannequin)

Offbeat Theatre The Frog King

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A few costumes from one of our hires! We supply lots of flapper style dresses in each hire that can be dressed up (for evening / glam look) or down (day dress) as you like! Some dresses lean towards glam and a few are most definitely more useful for the showgirls’ day dresses in the scene where they’re leaving Fat Sam’s place. Lots more photos on the gallery pages.

Offbeat Theatre costumes for Bugsy Malone

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