Archives For Barbara Hockley full length play

A pic from the original  Perilous Tales to get us going visually.

A pic from the original Perilous Tales to get us going visually.

Perilous Tales was a strange, twisted, funny and rather dark series of ‘cautionary’ tales that I created for the Youth Theatre years ago. We had a lot of fun with it, as we did with just about every show we produced. So, I thought … how about revisiting Perilous Tales, creating a full length show (not just the long one act it was before) and using an adult cast to delve into deeper, darker places with loads more crazy humour? Why not indeed. So, that’s the Offbeat show I’m planning for the winter. Some ideas have started to float about in my mind. I’m trying to hang on to a few and start writing them down! There are two tales I’m keeping – but they will be slightly re-worked. Gorgeous Gerald and the Ghost is a MUST (the only one in rhyme – thank goodness) and the tale of Cedric and Sybil (or Sybil and Cedric – can never remember), in a strange 2-D (ish) sort of world.

Things they said (in the review) last time:

“a mad, silly and inventive peek into a world of twisted fairytales”
That’s true
“..the weirdly macabre ensemble twisted and played with our expectations”
Not arguing with how macabre the ensemble were – or twisted for that matter
“An unsettling and macabre show populated with quite stunning decadent weirdness throughout”
Uh -huh. That ‘M’ word again – oh, and the ‘W’ word (I like it)
“A truly wonderful and engaging performance”
Awwwwww. (Yes, I do know the completely impartial reviewer)

I think I’m going to aim for ‘wonderful, macabre, stunning, decadent, twisted weirdness’ this time.

The cast is looking pretty awesome, so it shouldn’t be a problem (grins nervously for no reason at all). The usual suspects and maybe a new face – or two? Keep watching and I’ll update as I can.
Right, well, I’m off to, errrr … do something creative. Yep, that’s it. Being creative … or watching a film .. ummmm … one of those.

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Guess What’s Next ..

Barbara —  February 27, 2015 — Leave a comment

Can't wait for the tea party bit ..

Can’t wait for the tea party bit ..


Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (to steal Lewis Carroll’s original title for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland).
Really can’t wait for this to get going, but Offbeat performances not until 2016.
The adaptation is by Barbara (me) with music (yes – it’s a musical!) by Greg Swinford. Snippets and things coming up as soon as we’re ready. The premiere will be at Rugby School (where Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, went to school from 1846 – 1849) at the end of June. Dates will appear as soon as we have confirmation. This will, of course, be a Rugby School production, not an Offbeat one. Luckily, the Musical Director will be composer Greg Swinford!
Needless to say, I’ve started designing – the Offbeat production will be staged promenade style with about 6 different locations, indoor and outside. Heaps to do to make this really magical and I’ll be enlisting the help of many creative and wonderful people before we even start to rehearse.
Interested? Local to Bromyard? Do let me know!

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Ghost Hunters .. The Final Week

Barbara —  December 15, 2014 — 2 Comments

Mr Quill .. and a friend

Mr Quill .. and a friend

The final week is upon us and I can honestly say, I’m a tiny bit worn out. What with the demands of life (extra ones at present, but that’s by the way), and everything that a show demands if you really want to go the extra mile, it takes its toll. Not that I’m complaining, I love the extra mile. In fact, I don’t consider it extra at all, which means that there’s another one after the one I don’t count as extra. There really is no stopping. If you want to get the best result you can possibly get you just keep going until the first night. And then a bit more …. Anyway, Jim Rolt popped along and took some pics of Act I yesterday. We had only just got to a point where the ‘venue’ (which is a lovely old school) had emptied itself of children so we could get on with the important set building tasks. One of my favourite moments. The pics here are some of the best. Above is a seriously creepy moment where Mr Quill (played by Mark Cox) appears completely unaware he is being watched ….

Some people make quite a big deal about trying to communicate

Some people make quite a big deal about trying to communicate

Others prefer to actively court communication with the ‘others’. Miss Divine is played by Ness Thomas and, according to her, she is a ‘sensitive’. Or is she? The problem with ‘Ghost Hunters’ is it isn’t always easy to tell who is doing what, when and how (don’t even think about ‘why’). But we are talking other dimensions here, so I see no reason why it should be. Continue Reading…

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A rare event - the whole cast present at a rehearsal! YAY!

A rare event – the whole cast present at a rehearsal! YAY!

This week we rehearsed (and it was GOOD) and we filmed the trailer. This is very exciting. Very very exciting. I hope the low level spooky lighting comes out well. I haven’t uploaded anything from the camera yet, so I have no idea what I’ll see. Well, that’s not true, I was there at the time watching Jim film and actually I have a very good idea of what I will see on film. You see! I just can’t tell a lie (for long). Meanwhile Alex (helping with direction & operating lights) took a jolly nice pic of the whole cast rehearsing a scene. Yes, you heard … the WHOLE cast, together in one room on the same night. Crumbs.

Anyway, after last week’s tantalising post revealing key lines from the play, I imagine you’ll be wanting more. I also imagine that I imagine that because I like to imagine things, rather than the fact that you actually do want more. But, I’m doing it anyway because I like to live in a fantasy world….

MORE KEY LINES:
(These are lines that I recorded the cast speaking this week to go on the trailer – have I mentioned the trailer?)

I like a solo piano. A poignant moment in which to reflect on the loneliness that exists within each one of us.
I just thought you should realise that this is not a comedy … deep eh?
Come on, let us dance …
But there is dancing (sort of)
Why is there only ever one chair?
And some bits are funny – ish (ok, it’s visual) Just realised you had this one last week – it must be important! Contemplate this one …
There is so much that we simply do not understand
You’re telling me! Key phrase for the whole play!
We are not alone
Eeeeeek!

Anyway, on that scary note I shall retreat into the world of film footage and see if I have enough from the half hour available to make a 2 minute trailer.

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There really is no hope for me ...

There really is no hope for me …

Last night we had a good rehearsal and I took a few pics with my phone. Trouble is .. well, let’s be honest .. I’m rubbish at taking photos, I was using my phone and the lighting was dim (we were going for ‘creepy’). Result = grainy pics of uninteresting moments. Enter my new app for editing photos. I can’t stop playing. So, this week I discovered the ‘vintage’ button and the graininess suddenly seems irrelevant. Ok, they’re not brilliant photos, but at least you have something to look at.. that should count for something. This pic (above) is of Mark Cox, taken in virtually no light at all (apart from the beam of light on his face). I can’t tell you what he was doing. Mainly because I can’t remember which ‘creepy – looking worried/bothered – surprised’ moment it is. Even if I could, I still wouldn’t tell you. It’s all top secret. But, I can tell you that his character is one of the Ghost Hunters. The question is .. do they actually experience any ghosts? When you hunt, you expect to catch something. Continue Reading…

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This is what the set will NOT look like for Act II of Ghost Hunters. Great isn't it?

This is what the set will NOT look like for Act II of Ghost Hunters. Great isn’t it?

Usually when I write a play I have it finished before we start rehearsing (well, ok .. not ALWAYS, but usually). At the very least I know what should be happening. The ending is reasonably clear; so are the characters, the plot, the place etc … I usually know what is going on. Enter The Ghost Hunters. Ummmmmm. We started looking at this in June. Ages ago. We looked at the first three pages, played around with it and discovered what a few of the characters sounded like. We carried on the following week with a few more pages. Enter more characters. Who are they? What are they doing here? Changing characters and lines as things moved forward. What do they all know – who do they know – how do they … etc. Every week we have worked out the plot, the characters and the lines. As soon as we gather for rehearsal my first item is ‘Please throw away pages 12 – 15 – these are the new pages’. Like a TV or film script that is subject to many changes on a daily basis, we’ve allowed our script to evolve … and now (I hope!) it is ready…. Continue Reading…

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Week 3 - setting up some rehearsal sound. Spot the poser ...

Week 3 – setting up some rehearsal sound. Spot the background poser …

Yes, I know it’s week 3 but I just haven’t got round to blogging. I abandoned my blog a while ago – we’d been spending far too much time together and I needed a break. It happens. But now we’re back together and things are good. So .. Ghost Hunters? What, who, when and how? Ghost Hunters marks the first play that I’ve written and/or directed for years that won’t take place on a stage. Me and the stage, well .. we’d just been spending too much time together. It happens. Years ago I was part of a theatre company that never performed on stage. We performed in many strange and exciting spaces, but (almost – if I’m honest) never on a stage. I want to go back to that form of theatre. The strange, the unusual, the creative and challenging – both the material and the process. Something very different. Continue Reading…

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Dream Makers in The USA!

Barbara —  November 1, 2013 — Leave a comment
The Dream Makers US premiere in Richmond, Virgina.

The Dream Makers US premiere in Richmond, Virgina.

BREAK A LEG and DREAM WONDERFUL DREAMS
The HATTBox Players in Richmond, Virginia are performing The Dream Makers (a favourite and popular Offbeat Show) tonight NOVEMBER 1st. Which I believe is the US premiere! I would LOVE to pop over and watch them, but, alas, time, distance, available dosh etc … all makes it a rather unlikely event. But I really do wish them all the best and I hope the cast enjoy the crazy creativeness of it all. It is a show I love and I had a fantastic time writing and directing it back in 2008. Would be fun to revisit it come to think of it ……

This is a taste of the show & the pic is from my own production of it in 2008. Continue Reading…

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I may be a little crazy. I may dream – I even sleepwalk, but I’ve never experienced a ‘badly behaved plastic cup’ before.

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From ‘The Dream Makers’ (don’t ask)

My favourite dream - flying! So beautiful to recreate on stage

My favourite dream – flying! So beautiful to recreate on stage

You know when you wake up and you’ve just had the most amazing dream. You’ll never forget it! Until, of course, a few minutes later when it’s completely slipped away and no matter how hard you try you can’t get it back. So you try to keep a dream diary, but half the time you don’t write your dream down (the pen doesn’t work/isn’t there at the right time and/or a cup of tea/coffee/more sleep beckons….) When you do write your dream down you’re really not sure where to go with it next? One of those generic online/in-book interpretations maybe? Then what? Analyse it, understand the message (there’s a message?), use it as material for your next piece of creative writing (ummm, maybe). Dreams are strange and slippery things, maybe we should wake up and bask in them before they leave us, just absorb some of the dreamy fabric of the night and not try to hold on too tightly. And maybe, whilst basking, you could use this strange dreamworld to inspire a stage production? I did, it was fantastic fun – let me share a bit of the journey. Continue Reading…

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