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News from the lovely Offbeat Folks!

A Moody Shot

Barbara —  February 14, 2017 — Leave a comment

Just looking through a few photos for steampunk costume pics and I found this fantastically moody shot from our Beauty and the Beast production a few years back. We did use steampunk costumes in that show, but not for the Beast (Joshua Herriott on the right with cool dreadlocks) or Mr Richman (Mark Cox cringing on the left with a stolen rose) .. so I’ll keep looking then…
Photo by Tom Flathers.

Beauty and the Beast script Offbeat Theatre

One of the things we do at Offbeat HQ is make costumes and props. We usually start with a production of our own and then, if there’s a demand, we hire them out! After a production of Alice’s Adventures last year, we decided to make some of the costumes available. Tigerlily, Violet and Rose are 3 of the Talking Flowers in the ‘Looking Glass’ part of Alice and these are the ‘mark II’ costumes (yes I did airbrush the mannequin’s arms out). A production, featuring these and other Offbeat costumes, will be taking place at Retford Little Theatre in a couple of weeks… (can’t wait for production photos).

We recently helped to costume a production of Romeo and Juliet for Bourne End Academy in Bucks. This looks like a suitably sombre, atmospheric shot of the final scene to me. The 20s style is so elegant and instantly associated with parties (of the rich) and gangsters. Good choice for Romeo and Juliet – we also do a ‘Punk Elizabethan’ there’s a thought!

Offbeat Theatre costumes for Romeo and Juliet

Some photos you never tire of. This is one of my favourites taken by Jim Rolt during a rehearsal by Conquest Youth Theatre for Darkness in the Night, one of Rob Hockley’s most popular plays. Performed all over the place, home and abroad, with success in One Act Competitions in the UK (Sodbury Players Youth Section – we still love you for that!), it just oozes daftness, darkness, Rob’s trademark witty, sharp humour and astute observations regarding teenage relationships. Four characters, an empty house, a cupboard, an egg whisk, many personal issues, romance, a few snacks … and the darkness of the underworld.

Darkness in the Night

Showcasing THE DREAM MAKERS this week!
This is a glorious dream-based adventure in a ‘Dream Palace’ – a place where dreams are created and acted out for your benefit (or not) during sleep. Large cast (age 9-14 ish), music (create your own dream soundscapes), heaps of costumes and props if desired, optional messiness (we like messy stuff) and a plot to rival any mission that may (or may not) be possible. See more on the Dream Makers page!
The lovely pic shows a heated moment between members of the ‘Grounders’ (the ‘clean up’ team – told you it could be messy), and features the Conquest Youth Theatre in Bromyard.

The Dream Makers

SPY SCHOOL is a one act musical – runs 50-60 minutes. Just right for the end of year production for your 10 – 13 year olds (ok, I know a few bigger kids who would love spy school as well!). It was written for a Year 6 Leaver’s Gala originally, but don’t let that stop you performing it whenever you wish!
Our favourite comment from a teacher? “Wow! Our big problem now is how to follow it!”
It’s funny, clever, silly, amazingly good fun, has many wonderful parts – mostly with silly names and the music is fantastic (even if we say so ourselves). From the big Bondesque opening number ‘Spies’, to the heartbreakingly beautiful ‘In Too Deep’ it just rocks. We supply backing tracks and practise tracks with guide vocals.
You can read more about it, listen to demos of the songs, download a preview of the first part and get more info on the SPY SCHOOL PAGE!

Which is just as well as it’s booked out in February!
A sneak preview of some of the costumes that made it onto the stage last year in a lovely production by St Richard’s School, Bredenbury.

Alice and the Red Queen

You can see more wonderfulness on the Offbeat Wonderland page

Yep .. we’re expanding.
Currently Offbeat Theatre produces plays with the adult company, publishes plays by Barbara & Rob, hires out costumes, that sort of thing. We’re pretty busy doing all that, but NOT BUSY ENOUGH. Nope, sometimes I have free time. I’d like to spend some of that time running Arts Awards, maybe preparing folk for LAMDA examinations and definitely directing with a Youth Group. All of this sounds like a great way to spend time to me. After years of directing and writing for schools and youth theatre, I find I need more.

A project from long ago - more of this please ..

A project from long ago – more of this please ..

So .. what are Arts Awards?
This is from the Arts Award site, where you can explore everything you could possibly wish to know (about Arts Award, not much else to be honest):

Supporting young people to develop as artists and arts leaders
Our mission is to support young people who want to deepen their engagement with the arts, build creative and leadership skills, and to achieve a national qualification.
Through Arts Award’s five levels, children and young people aged up to 25 can explore any art form including performing arts, visual arts, literature, media and multimedia. The award builds confidence, helps young people to enjoy cultural activities, and prepares them for further education or employment.

OFFBEAT THEATRE is an Arts Award centre and Barbara, as an Arts Award Adviser, can deliver and assess Arts Awards up to, and including, Silver (Gold soon). We are planning the offer sessions and programmes that will support this exciting development. What we offer will not just limited to theatre, we’ll be including other arts professionals in the team as well. Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England. Interested? Continue Reading…

Last night SPYS (Sodbury Players Youth Section) won the Best Youth award for their production of Rob Hockley’s “Darkness in the night” at the Bristol One-act drama festival!!!!
Congratulations from all at OffbeatTheatre – especially a delighted playwright. We’re proud and delighted to have been a part of what must have been a fab production!
Roll on the next round ….



The Killing of Poe

Barbara —  January 16, 2016 — Leave a comment

The latest Offbeat show – in Bromyard & Bredenbury (Herefordshire) in Feb.
It’s been a long time in the pipeline (as has a blog post), but everything comes to fruition eventually. The strange play that I started in the summer of last year has emerged and is almost ready to be seen.
This is a brief synopsis ..

A fading actor, reduced to bit parts in variety shows, can only relive his glory days of performing Shakespeare inside his own head, albeit aided by a troupe of talented voices from the past. But even in these private theatrical moments, he finds himself lacking, forgetting and losing interest. The Voices inside his head are losing him and the situation is getting worse. On a chance hearing of an Edgar Allan Poe story being narrated, the Actor is seduced into the gloomy, gothic, macabre and ultimately tragic world that Poe characters inhabit. If the ‘Voices of Shakespeare’ want to survive, they must get rid of Poe and his grey, gloomy, bleak horror stories . But the Narrator of Poe fights back .. and his material is good.
Plus, he has a raven.
Surreal, dark and funny (ish)

I’ll write more soon. Honest I will.
I have a lot to write and ‘Poe’ is a strange beast indeed.
But we all hear voices .. don’t we?

Embrace the darkness .. before it sneaks up on you


Saturday Feb 6th, The Falcon Hotel, Bromyard, 7.30pm
Tuesday 16th & Wednesday 17th Feb, St Richard’s School, Bredenbury, 7.30pm.

TICKETS from our POE PAGE on the website.