Archives For youth play

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 ….



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.


A new one act comedy for teenagers by Rob Hockley ‘War and Cake’ has just been awarded HIGHLY COMMENDED in the Trinity College International Playwriting Competition.

Well done Rob! A richly deserved award and we look forward to seeing many performances of this wonderfully funny comedy. More info to come!

Snippets from the Competition Report:
“..this play is hilarious and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every sentence. Genuinely laugh out loud funny.”
“This is a quick, imaginative and at times surreal comedy”
“The dialogue is quick, witty and often fantastically unexpected”
“A fantastic play which has had me laughing each time I read”

We’ll let you know exactly where you can buy the play when Trinity have published it.

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…

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

Dream Makers in The USA!

Barbara —  November 1, 2013 — Leave a comment
The Dream Makers US premiere in Richmond, Virgina.

The Dream Makers US premiere in Richmond, Virgina.

The HATTBox Players in Richmond, Virginia are performing The Dream Makers (a favourite and popular Offbeat Show) tonight NOVEMBER 1st. Which I believe is the US premiere! I would LOVE to pop over and watch them, but, alas, time, distance, available dosh etc … all makes it a rather unlikely event. But I really do wish them all the best and I hope the cast enjoy the crazy creativeness of it all. It is a show I love and I had a fantastic time writing and directing it back in 2008. Would be fun to revisit it come to think of it ……

This is a taste of the show & the pic is from my own production of it in 2008. Continue Reading…


Things coming up soon:
More directing posts
More games
A new series of posts starting in the next few days on my new show, Terry Pratchett’s ‘Maskerade’, which is about to go to audition. Really looking forward to this and delighted to be working with the local youth theatre again.