Archives For fantasy play

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 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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FAB poster for the Rugby School production

FAB poster for the Rugby School production

Can’t wait to see this. That’s all really. For the first time EVER I’m not directing the first performance of a show I’ve written/adapted. I’ll be reporting back after the event on Monday 29th June.

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Ghosts on Stage

Barbara —  February 28, 2014 — Leave a comment
One of my favourite ghosts from 'Gorgeous Gerald and the Ghost'. You can probably tell which one is the ghost (if you can't my costume design has failed)

One of my favourite ghosts from ‘Gorgeous Gerald and the Ghost’. You can probably tell which one is the ghost (if you can’t my costume design has failed)

What is it about ghosts? Why are they so fascinating on stage? Personally, I just love the murky, shady world of the unknowable land of the dead. Putting them on stage is a challenge I relish. They crop up rather a lot in my plays as well, so that’s just as well really. Ghosts, it could be said, are neither in the land of the living nor the dead. The apparition/ghost/shade hovers between two worlds. When conditions are right we can see from one place to another – a glimpse into the land of the dead from the land of the living. It’s what All Hallow’s Eve is all about – the veil is thin .. the dead can arise and be seen. In could also be said that that’s a load of twaddle, but each to their own fantasy I say. I have no idea what ghosts are, if indeed they are anything at all. But I love to play with the idea of a ghost, the idea of a place that does not comply with the rules of our living reality. What makes ghosts and the ghostly realms they inhabit so fascinating is the fact that once upon a time these ghosts were living people. So, unlike the land of faery (another favourite) we have a strong connection to ghosts – they used to be one of us. Continue Reading…

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Dreaming is something that happens when your mind is left open and your thoughts slip out in the wrong order when you’re asleep.

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Phoebe’s take on ‘dreaming’ in Beauty & the Beast

Wishing is a pointless and desperate attempt to obtain the life you can’t be bothered to make for yourself.

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Sissy’s take on ‘wishing’ in Beauty & the Beast

Stand clear it could be a trap … (shouts to the letter) Come out with your hands on your address panel and speak slowly … what do you want?

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A spot of madness in Perilous Tales ….

Your story clearly needs to have a sound basis in proven scientific therogs and all action must be derived from mathematical computagrams

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On writing a story in ‘Fantastic Figments’

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)