Archives For Greg Swinford

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

Spies and Cool Music

Barbara —  July 18, 2015 — Leave a comment

This week, among many other things, we have been going a little bit crazy about SPY SCHOOL our fab musical for 9-11 year olds. We’ve been getting songs on Soundcloud and plays on Treepress (see link below). Artwork has been pouring in from Emma and our Bugsy hire business has gone into orbit. All of this makes for a super busy week and many excellent excuses (sorry, ‘reasons’) not to finish of the end of year accounts (yuck).

Click on the Soundcloud thing and you can listen to music whilst reading…. what more could you want? Words by me and music by Greg Swinford. If you lisen to the tracks on soundcloud you’ll hear the voice of Greg pretending to be a host of 10 year old spies! More info on our Offbeat Plays site soon – or on Treepress (link below).

Spy School is a comedy musical for children. So far, so good. Orginally written for a Year 6 (age 10-11) Leavers Gala, but great for slightly younger or older groups. It has heaps of larger-than-life parts (mostly spies) and four BIG musical numbers as well as a rap number for a solo character.
The plot concerns three Rookie Spies arriving at Spy School on their first day of training. For absolutely no good reason at all, one of them spontaneously announces to the assembled Spies, and worse, Head of Spy School, that they are ready to show their worth by completing a mission on their first day. After a brief (and fairly silly) training session they are absolutely totally unprepared to discover the whereabouts of the mysterious ‘Seventh Department’ (their assigned ‘mission’) by noon. From this point on it really does get a little bonkers. The kids absolutely loved it – even the ones that had to perform the parts of ‘Agent Prowls-like-a-pigeon’, or Agent Lurks-like-a-Lizard’ from the Department of ‘Sneaking-like-a-sheep’. Actually, I know they had heaps of fun, I was there. The gadget prizes went to the Agents in the ‘Department of Geeky Gadgets’ and Agents ‘The Jelly Has Set’ and ‘The Toast Has Landed’ were a couple of my favourites (from the ‘Department of The Cookie Crumbles at Noon’). Most of the characters had names like that! If I’m honest, making up the names of the characters was almost my favourite bit of the whole process.


A screenshot of the new Treepress showing the SPY SCHOOL page!

A screenshot of the new Treepress showing the SPY SCHOOL page!

TREEPRESS is a brand new initiative and we love them. Currently they are setting up a really great website to market plays to schools and youth groups. I have been regularly searching the UK for a publisher of youth/schoolplays without luck for ages! Treepress don’t act as ‘publishers’ exactly, but they are acting as a dedicated marketplace and that’s the next best thing I reckon. So do whizz over there and have a look!
You’ll find a few Offbeat plays on there (and more to come) – including the musical for 9 – 11 year olds – SPY SCHOOL.

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.

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!