Archives For one act play

Yet more Darkness

Barbara —  April 27, 2017 — Leave a comment

The winner of the talking sandwich prize for the most performed play from the Offbeat vaults has to be Rob Hockley’s Darkness in the Night, which is no surprise really. This moody and dark shot (shades of ‘Queen’), is from the students of Hereford 6th Form College, performing on Friday 28th April. Good luck! See you there…

Darkness in the Night

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

May Contain Nuts!

Barbara —  April 25, 2016 — Leave a comment


The very very silly ‘May Contain Nuts!’ gets another outing on Saturday 30th April (see poster)
This is what it says about Nuts on our Offbeat Plays site

Involves: An awful lot of silliness, dressing up as pirates, mysterious old ladies, a few characters from Romeo & Juliet, sword fighting, walking the plank, vampires, talking statues …. and on ….. Originally written for outdoor festival performances, but can be performed anywhere you like. Requires lots of crazy imagination to add to the innate daftness of the story.
Plot: What plot? Oh, ok … our hero, Henry, is trying to write a story. Actually, he has a rather fertile mind. It’s just that despite his best efforts to stay with safe, mundane story-lines, where he can save reasonably attractive girls from domestic crises, he has absolutely no control over it at all. In fact Henry’s imagination runs away with him. Together, and in the company of a few friendly pirates, they go on a perilous mission to find treasure. And then there is Jane, who refuses to be enslaved in the kitchen of Henry’s mind any longer, and Doris, eager to be chased by more runaway wheelie bins. As I said, what plot?
Set: Anything really. Needs to be versatile. Lots of props, hats, big noses & fake facial hair is good.

We had so much fun when we originally created this piece. In fact we had so much fun we did it all over again with a new cast a few years back. Pirates, poets with big noses, sword fights, spiffing adventures, vampires, creepy forests, mysterious old ladies, moving statues … but mostly pirates. So .. much .. fun.


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 ….



Spy School is Here!

Barbara —  June 3, 2014 — 2 Comments

Spy School is a new one act BIG musical show for 9 – 12 year olds that has been penned by myself with music composed by Greg Swinford. I’ve just started rehearsing it with a group of Year 6 children for their Leavers Gala in July. We’re having fun ….
So, characters?
Ok, you asked.
It tells the story of the rather exciting first morning a group of new recruits experience on their first day at ‘Spy School. They meet the boss, (Code Name ‘Father Christmas’), Number 2, (Code Name ‘Easter Bunny’), the mysterious tea & snacks person ‘Snax’ and the 6 departments and their agents;
Department of Geeky Gadgets: Agents Gizmo, Gubbins and Gimmick
Department of Cool Posing: Agents Prairie Dog, Penguin and Peacock
Department of Sneaking-like-a-Sheep: Agents Prowls-like-a-Pigeon, Creeps-like-a-Crab, and Lurks-like-a-Lizard
Department of Cunning Disguises: Agents Garbo, Wiglet and Fancy
Department for the Prevention of Alien Species Taking of the World: Agents Eeep, Burrp and Zigzig
Department of The Cookie Crumbles at Noon: Agents The Jelly has Set, The Toast has Landed and The Teapot is in the Nest

So .. you can probably see just how very serious this show is.

Spy School is AVAILABLE for everyone and comes with backing tracks so you don’t need to worry about creating the music. We’ll post some music soon so you can have a listen and enjoy the silly lyrics with the fabulous music.
The plot is based on the overexcited Rookies (Code Names Bogbean, Foxglove and Milkweed – you’ll see why) who offer to go on any mission at all to prove just how good they are. They are challenged to find the ‘Seventh Department’ by noon.

Songs include ‘SPIES’ the Bondesque opening/closing number
PIE IN THE SKY – training exercise song for the Rookies to totally fail to get the hang of
IN TOO DEEP – The Rookies lowest moment when they realise they overstepped the mark
SNAX RAP – the enigmatic Snax tries to give the Rookies a few clues
GUARDING THE CLUES – The Agents attempt to make the mission even more difficult by not letting the Rookies get to the clues

Contact us if you’re interested. Details will be available on the Offbeat Main site soon!

Sometime last year we decided to film a couple of scenes from Rob Hockley’s play Darkness in the Night as a marketing resource. Then (after we had finished filming of course) we thought .. why not make a movie style trailer instead. So .. after a script, a narrator, a soundtrack and many hours of trying to piece it together from the shots we actually had available, this is the result. I think it’s fair to say that after watching you will probably have no idea what the play is actually about … but it is fun.

Dave … Sam Collins
Lily … Flora Harvey
Bob … Liam Stobart
Kate … Alice Gaston
Narrator … Boz Farey

Filmed by Jim Rolt
Lighting by Boz Farey
Directed & edited by Barbara Hockley
Trailer script by Rob Hockley
Music by Corin Harper & Rotting Tramp
Photos by Tom Flathers

Filmed at the Conquest Theatre, Bromyard. 2013.

You can read the play on the Offbeat site should you wish…

And here we are filming … well, watching telly. Note the all important clipboard.

And here we are filming … well, watching telly. Note the all important clipboard.

I must modulate my Bunsen burner

Favourite lines from War and Cake by Rob Hockley

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?

A spot of madness in Perilous Tales ….

Expect ghosts AND vampires in Perilous Tales

Expect ghosts AND vampires in Perilous Tales – and a spot of dancing

Shortly – well, as soon as I figure out the technicalities involved – I’m going to publish my series of ‘completely mad cautionary tales’ on Kindle. Perilous Tales (as they are collectively known) will be coming to your kindle soon, illustrated by a really good, as yet secret, illustrator and tugging relentlessly away at your sleeve wanting to be performed (they do like to be performed). They are being performed in Canada this month and I was delighted when the director phoned me (having carefully checked that it wasn’t the middle of the night here) to say that he’d been looking for something a little ‘different’ (not sure that was the word he used … moving on) and was so glad he’d come across the Offbeat plays. I was so pleased! If anyone ever phones and says ‘I’m glad I found your plays they’re so middle of the road‘ I shall stop immediately and get help. Or just stop. Maybe have a small drink.

I’m quite excited about this. I just need to get through the ‘getting your book ready to be published on Kindle section’ and after I’ve spent days on that bit it will only take 5 minutes to do (or so it says in the ‘How to publish your book on Kindle’ section). So … let me tell you about the perils in Perilous Tales …. Continue Reading…

This is our ticket to the underworld, the land of the dead okay? I know this stuff. I am versed in the dark arts, steeped in the ancient lore of forgotten masters of arcane knowing. I’ve listened to every track on every album that Death Trash and Rotting Tramp ever made! Seven times. Backwards!

Dave in ‘Darkness in the Night’ by Rob Hockley