Archives For family show

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.

This is the opening scene of Beauty and the Beast. We started with the backstory (the bit about the Prince being turned into a Beast) – I hate it when you get to the end of a show and there’s a long explanation of how everything came to be, how awful it’s all been and how glad they all are that the spell has been broken etc …..

One of the most entertaining and original productions I have seen anywhere for quite some considerable time

Comment by Nic Walentowicz on Beauty and the Beast

The Beast allows Beauty to return home after she sees (in the magic mirror) that her Father is ill. But .. she must return in one week. But her sisters, Phoebe and Sissy, have other ideas. Here they convince her that to return after only one week would be selfish, they need her and so does her Father… They do, of course, have a much darker plan underneath the jolly sounding song!

This is an old post from another blog – but one I thought worth repeating from my soapbox!!

6a00e54fcf73858834017d3e197c7a970c-800wiNot so much an order as a strong suggestion borne out of a great love for ‘children’s stories’ and much less love for the dumbing down of children’s stories….

What am I talking about? Well, time for me to explain exactly where I’m coming from in terms of children’s stories on stage. I have always loved children’s stories, myths, legends, fairy tales – you name it, they’re great! Why? Because they teach us about life in a way that is magical, beautiful, sometimes dark, sometimes quite scary, but always fair with an ending that usually uplifting (there are exceptions, but B&theB isn’t one of them). Bit like life really… Tales differ for ages of course, but there is ALWAYS a message underpinning the tale. Always something to learn, something that teaches us about how to act, how to love and how to live. This is why we should NOT dumb stories down to mere sugary, weak entertainment that does not engage a person (however old) at any level. Children may not sit around in discussion groups afterwards discussing the inner workings of the tale, but they get the message. We all do. Continue Reading…

Beauty – photo by Tom Flathers

Barbara —  February 20, 2013 — 2 Comments


Our lovely Beauty from the Offfbeat play ‘Beauty and the Beast’

This is a magical, wonderful family show, the children were enthralled throughout!

Beauty & the Beast – audience feedback

Beauty and the Beast

Barbara —  February 20, 2013 — Leave a comment


My version of Beauty and the Beast has now been tried and tested!
We’re into our second week here in lovely Herefordshire at our local theatre in Bromyard and the reviews are fantastic!! I had faith in the notion that children (and adults) actually like stories and that you didn’t have to dumb down a story with slapstick panto-type routines and sugar-coated pop songs in order to make it acceptable and enjoyable. I had a few critics early on who said ‘it’s very good, but will children like it…’ Answer – YES! They love it. Even the small thumb-sucking children in the front row were glued to the story, soaking up all the magic.

Interested in this show for your own group? Please get in touch! A sample will be available just as soon as my feet are back on the ground.

Photo by Tom Flathers