Archives For Spooky Stuff

Dreams, Darkness and Death

Barbara —  June 15, 2015 — 2 Comments

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Darkness and death. Possibly dreams as well.


We LOVE it all. But we’re not morbid – just curious and imaginative (I like to think). I’ve been updating various bits of info on Offbeat plays and it strikes me as at least one of these ‘Ds’ is a key element is just about everything we write or produce. And we do ‘funny death’ as well – not just ‘death death’. Darkness? Well, darkness is just dark isn’t it. Neither good nor bad, just dark. I wrote The Ghost Hunters as a tale of gothic Victorian ghost-hunting – but it turned into something quite different. It worked its way into other realms, danced around with memory (or lack of), floated around with the idea of dreams and desires and then dipped its big toe into the murky waters of ‘what happens when we die’ (no answers, just questions). It sparked debate. This is good! Not giving answers on a plate (even if I had them), is good. An audience in the bar afterwards discussing what they’ve just seen, trying to make sense of it, adding their own ideas and thoughts. All this is good.

So … I was just thinking that the next show would be Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (Dreams at least), when I had the most curious experience. I experienced a thought that completely thwarted my plans. Damn that thought! I was going to have a bit of a sabbatical – and now it seems, I’m not. The thought that arrived and rooted itself firmly was something like ‘why not do a slightly different version of the twisted, dark and humourous PERILOUS TALES (Dreams, darkness AND Death – all in one) to lighten up those dark winter evenings (I am planning ahead – it’s not imminent). So, I am. Casting is underway and so far I am including the tale of Cedric and Sybil (a rather clingy, fearful pair) and Gorgeous Gerald and the Ghost. You see – ghosts again. I can’t seem to help it. If you saw the original you’ll recall it was a series of ‘cautionary tales’ – of a sort. Expect the usual Offbeat lavish costumes and absurd plot (there’s a plot?)

Here’s one of my favourite pics from the original Gorgeous Gerald and the Ghost. Guess which is which ….
One of my favourite ghosts from 'Gorgeous Gerald and the Ghost'. You can probably tell which one is the ghost (if you can'y my costume design has failed)

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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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Groovy Stills from the Trailer

Barbara —  November 10, 2014 — 2 Comments

Creepy ghost hunting going on

Creepy ghost hunting going on

Just a quick post to share a few of the stills I’ve extracted from the trailer footage. With Jim’s camera work and the atmospheric lighting we created, plus ideas from everyone, I think we’ll have a creepy trailer coming up soon. 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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..by allowing subjective experiences such as ‘feelings’ to impose on your otherwise objective view, Mr Trump, you are in grave danger of then engaging with ‘stories’. One leads to the other. It is a dangerous path to tread.

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Lines from ‘The Ghost Hunters’

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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