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“It was amazing. ” - Oliver Bilous (Les Miserables)

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  • What do you get the friend that’s got everything? Oddsocks Friend Membership!

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy

    In time for Christmas we have rebranded the Oddsocks membership to make it an ideal gift for the Oddsocks lover in your life! We have three levels of membership – Silver, Gold and Platinum to choose from and each lasts a year from the date they’re purchased!


    SILVER - £20

    - Certificate of membership and thank-you letter
    - Postal copy of our quarterly ‘Oddsocks Herald’
    - Name printed in the tour programme
    - Oddsocks pen – all in a fancy Oddsocks folder!


    GOLD - £50

    - Certificate of membership and thank-you letter
    - Postal copy of our quarterly ‘Oddsocks Herald’
    - Name printed in the tour programme
    - Oddsocks pen – all in a fancy Oddsocks folder
    - Signed programme posted to you at the start of the tour
    - Opportunity to meet the cast at your chosen venue

    PLATINUM - £100

    - Certificate of membership and thank-you letter
    -Postal copy of our quarterly ‘Oddsocks Herald’
    - Name printed in the programme
    - Oddsocks pen, an Oddsocks mug and £10 merchandise voucher - all packaged in a fancy Oddsocks folder
    - Signed programme posted to you at the start of the tour
    - Opportunity to meet the cast and have a tour of the stage before the show at your chosen venue (up to 4 guests)

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    All of it’s packaged in a fancy Oddsocks folder which we can send to you or directly to our new Friend!

    If you’d like to find out more, or purchase a membership then get in touch with hope@oddsocks.co.uk or tel: 01332 258328

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    The Backstage Experience

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy

    Hello! On work experience I had the amazing opportunity to sit backstage and watch the play from there. Having already seen Oddsock’s performance of Twelfth Night the day before, I already knew it was brilliant. But seeing it from a completely different point of view was fascinating…
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    The first thing I noticed was the varied ways the actors approached the performance. Some seemed to focus themselves with repeated warm up exercises and tongue twisters while others were very laid back and seemed completely at ease. Whatever their technique, they all knew exactly what they were doing. Seeing it from this perspective, the professionalism of everyone was extremely apparent.
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    I was informed by many to brace myself for the hectic world of backstage chaos. However, this was, in my opinion, only partly the truth. While there was a lot of running to a fro by all, I was at once struck by the efficiency of the whole operation. Through the hurried costume changes and quick sprints for props, the word ‘chaos’ couldn’t have been further from my mind. It was incredible. Everyone knew where everyone and everything was and where it needed to be next. The backstage area ran like a machine: efficient, methodical and precise. This wasn’t just with the props and costume! The organisation of the lighting was also impressive; the lighting changes were sorted by the person off stage at the time. As soon as a member of the cast left the stage, they knew exactly what there next job was – whether this was a lighting change, a quick costume swap or helping someone else with a prop. In short, the on stage performance is only half the story. While the cast have blocked precisely what happens on stage, they have also blocked what happens backstage with the same levels of professionalism, accuracy and confidence.
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    I also noticed the way the audience was considered. How the audience reacted to certain parts of the play was observed by the cast and helped to shape other parts of the play to best suit the audience they had that evening. Some parts of the play received a different reaction to the one expected so other small details were altered accordingly. I hadn’t even thought of analysing the audience’s response but as soon as I saw it, it seemed an obvious and brilliant idea.
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    Last but certainly not least is something I had expected and was delighted to witness. That is the brilliant camaraderie backstage. Having worked together to create this excellent piece of theatre, it is at once clear that all the cast had a great esprit de corps, commenting on each other’s performances and discussing audience reactions – it was clear to see that each member of the cast, although working very hard and very quickly, truly enjoyed what they were doing.
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    Sitting down backstage at the beginning, I expected to learn about how the lighting and sound is arranged and how props are organised. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by how much I learned about everything performance related. I learned about pre-show preparations, audience analysis, backstage organisation and much more. It is truly incredible how much you can learn about performance when you can’t even see the stage.

    Work Experience with Oddsocks!

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy

    Hello! I’m Lydia and I’m doing work experience this week at Oddsocks. It has been brilliant so far! I’ve seen the whole stage go up for the performances at Nottingham Castle and, while it took a lot of hard work from everyone, it looks amazing. I even got to help put up the red tent where the merchandise and programmes are sold – a true honour. After watching the amazing performance last night of Twelfth Night, I was inspired to write a review…
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    Typical British weather threatened to dampen the evening but, much to everyone’s delight, the weather stayed clear for the wonderfully wacky, excellently exciting performance of Twelfth Night. The outdoor staging and the picnic-laden audience gave a great community atmosphere to the evening. Oddsocks delighted the audience with a fresh, modern twist on this beloved classic by intertwining Shakespearian prose with brilliantly chosen modern music - Oddsocks made this a performance Shakespeare would have been proud of. One of the best things about all Oddsocks performances is the genius improvisation and this one was no exception. In outdoor theatre, distractions and things going wrong are inevitable.
    However, instead of letting this harm the show, the cast were true masters of the situation and turned even a rather noisy plane overhead into flecks of comedy gold that gave a glorious shine to the piece. The beautiful silliness and the astounding musical talent of the cast created an amazing energy on stage, which truly lifted the audience.
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    The cleverly comical use of props added to this, from Sir Toby Belch’s terrific traffic cone hat to Malvolio’s gripping battle with Viola’s stepladders. The audience also had a go with some props as children rushed to the stage to throw wet sponges at the unfortunate Malvolio. It is a mark of brilliance for a show to encourage the younger children to love the piece and follow the story so enthusiastically – Oddsocks really do make Shakespeare accessible to all. Every part of the show was bursting with comedic witticisms and sheer joy that spread to all around and it showed when the audience left at the end with huge grins. This performance was true genius, performed incredibly and made for a brilliant evening for all.

    Mia Stubbings: Day Five

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy

    I’m currently sat eating Lucy’s biscuits and watching the cast block through Twelfth Night. The boys are wearing funny hats, and now I want one. I must invest.
    Today has been all about the blocking. We’re powering through and so far, it’s going really well. There has been a lot of laughter and a lot of giggling; I think this is mainly to do with the fact that when you block it through, so many gag opportunities pop up, and adlibs; it’s hilarious to see where they will go and what will happen. You just never know. It’s also interesting to watch the directing process, and learn how important it is to understand why exactly a character is doing what they’re doing, and how you can interpret that in your acting. I will be stealing some tips from Andy if (when. Must think positively at all times) I ever direct a play in the future.
    Today has also involved an expedition into town, for some props and some fabric conditioner. I definitely did not get lost. Not one bit. Nope. I was however, misled into thinking it was freezing outside by the sub-zero temperature of the rehearsal rooms; I stepped outside and realised that my coat, jumper and scarf really weren’t necessary. May is finally here. Welcome back, May.
    I then spent the afternoon washing wigs and brushing them with a fork, which was the closest brush substitute we had available.
    ‘Is that wig water?’ became the strangest sentence ever to be said in the entire history of strange sentences. The wigs are now currently drying on a tea towel in the kitchen, looking like dead animals. Dead, mullet-shaped animals.
    At least I can add that to my CV- ‘Capable Wig Washer’.

    Mia Stubbings: Day Four

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy

    Today was a very busy and very exciting day. I finished off the leaflets (all 369 of them) while the stage was unloaded out of the van. ‘Bits of stage’ is probably more accurate; there’s not a van big enough in the world to transport it whole, it’s huge.
    Rather than stick around, get in the way and probably injure myself on a rogue piece of stage, me and Ellie went on a costume mission to Anchor Supplies, and Hope went costume shopping in town.

    We returned victorious with khaki trousers, khaki jackets, blue berets and exactly 75 brass buttons. No more, no less. And all very shiny. We then headed over to the storage unit; it was like walking into a giant fancy dress box. It was incredible. I think if you carried on walking through the rails and rails of costumes, you’d probably end up in Narnia. The Lion, The Witch and The Storage Unit. From here we picked up lots of shoes, some trousers, a few hats and other bits and bobs that might come in useful.

    We then left Fancy Dress Land and returned to rehearsals, where everyone was wandering around in hard hats with mallets, building the stage. Hope, Ellie and I (or The Three Costume Musketeers, as we shall hereby be known) had a costume show and tell over the din of many a mallet bashing the stage. I think I only heard every third word but I got the gist. Now the stage is almost up, it’s easier to imagine what the end result is going to look like, and it’s really exciting. It’s slowly starting to come to life. I can’t wait to see it up at Thoresby in all its glory.
    I then popped out to the charity shop to buy some matching khaki shorts that someone had conveniently thrown out, and made an abundance of teas, coffees and fancy fruit teas.

    The day came to an end with more music practice; you appreciate it even more when you realise that many of the cast are playing some of the instruments for the first time. Anything can happen in the Oddsocks rehearsal room.

    Mia Stubbings: Day Three

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy

    Today was primarily an admin day; or, as I like to call it, ‘writing until your hand no longer looks like a hand’ day.

    My job was to write little messages on post-it notes, stick them on a flyer, pop them in an envelope and stick the addresses on. So if you receive one in the near distant future, I just want you to know that I meant every word. There are now 300+ envelopes waiting to be signed, sealed, delivered (resist the temptation to sing that sentence), and a good few more to get through tomorrow. I steam-rolled that job, if I do say so myself.
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    Whilst I was in an envelope related trance, two familiar faces in the shapes of Joseph and Dom appeared to lend some helping hands (and voices) re: the music. I found that the songs proved to be a very motivational montage for my post-it note sticking. I also challenge any of you to not get goose bumps when you hear the cast sing ‘Shine’ during the show; it sounds awesome. It was really great to hear the songs come along so much, they sound fab and it makes me laugh to see them sing as their characters rather than themselves. It’s a hoot.

    Other than that, I had some intense hot drink making to do and I had to put on my Mug Fairy wings again; ran out of milk; bought some raspberries and ate most of Gavin’s Maltesers. Sssh.

    Mia Stubbings: Day Two

    Filed under: News — Andy

    Mia Stubbings joins the Oddsocks rehearsal this week, she gives you a peak into what happened of Day 2 of rehearsals.


    I think I should probably start by saying that today, we did not get locked out of the rehearsal room, and so it has been a successful day by all accounts.


    Today was dedicated to music and costumes. The music sounds awesome already and it’s only day two. Imagine what it will sound like 4 weeks from now. Hint: Fantastic.

    I spent most of the morning resisting the temptation to start dancing around the room, and instead resigned myself to the occasional bobbing of the head and tapping of the foot.

    Teas and coffees were, of course, obligatory. I am the Mug Fairy. ‘The Mairy’, if you will. I’ll whisk away the empty mugs and wash them without anyone realising they’re gone, until someone pipes up, ‘Has anyone seen my mug?’ Too late, the Mug Fairy beat you to it. She’s on it.


    I then had to take off my Mug Fairy wings and replace them with an explorer hat, because I was sent on an errand to the bank. Geography isn’t my strong point and I was worried that a search party would be necessary once the sun had set and I had still not returned. But never fear, with directions scribbled on my hand and a spring in my step, I managed to find my destination.

    It was literally just down the road. I don’t think I’ll need directions next time. I did walk straight past the bank at first because I was too busy looking at my hand, but I managed to complete my task and arrive back safely. Phew.


    The afternoon was primarily costume and Yum Yum based. Vanessa came in to measure and stick safety pins into people, and then took some costumes away to work her magic on.

    Peter brought the Yum Yums.


    Many a list and spreadsheet were made to document what we have and what we need. It was all very exciting and very efficient. A lot of work and planning goes into what you see on stage. And a lot of lists. A plethora of lists.


    I enjoyed seeing ideas and gags blossoming right in front of my eyes. Some might work, some might not, but it’s great to see everyone bouncing off each other to come up with brilliant ways to make the audience laugh. Obviously I can’t tell you about them; it would ruin the surprise.


    I also love how everyone’s brains work, and it’s such a fabulous feeling to be around people who are just as creative and passionate about theatre as I am. It’s like being in an Oddsocks bubble. Maybe if I stay long enough, some of their brilliance (and confidence) will rub off on me. *crosses every crossable body part*

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    Mia Stubbings: A View from a Rehearsal Room: Day One

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy

    This week, young theatre-maker Mia Stubbings sits in on the Oddsocks rehearsal room to understand the ins and outs of the first week of rehearsals. She’ll be writing a blog post every day to give and insight into what goes on.. read Day One!

    .

    Oddsocks rehearsals are upon us once more; where did the last six months go? It only feels like yesterday that I was sitting in my hat, scarf and jumpers, sewing weasels into suits for Wind in the Willows.
    But now Shakespeare Season is here, and although the rehearsal rooms are as cold as ever, there are lots of new and different challenges ahead. A few particular challenges for me that have already arisen, are:

    1. Trying to pull open a door with four mugs of tea in my hands (note: I definitely did not try and use my foot…)
    2. Trying to understand the script- let’s face it, Shakespeare is no picnic, and the part of my brain that can usually process it is a little rust
    3. Trying to stay warm. Luckily I packed my entire collection of jumpers in my suitcase before I left for Derby. I’m no fool.

    As you can see, today has been quite productive. I met the cast, some familiar faces and some new, but all lovely, and then started with a read through of Twelfth Night; I found this particularly interesting, as I have only ever been present at the end of rehearsals, after the lines have been learnt. I loved seeing the script come alive, all thanks to a fabulous new cast. It was great to see the start of this process, and I did, of course, spend most of it laughing. You cannot avoid laughter when working with Oddsocks. I suggest putting the entire population of sad people in a room with Oddsocks and let them work their magic. They should probably put that on the NHS.

    After this, a well deserved coffee break. And so begins a weeklong attempt of trying to remember who wants tea and who wants coffee; who wants milk and who wants fruit tea. We’ve stuck preferences up on the wall, lest I turn Coffee Break into a disaster. I must say, my hot drink making skills have vastly improved since working with Oddsocks.

    Music Corner was then set up, and we feasted on posh chocolates that Kevin brought. He can stay. Anyone who opts for chocolate rather than fruit is someone I can get along with.

    I then sat and watched the beginnings of the music rehearsals, which sounded fantastic and included drums, guitar, bass, keyboard and, of course, the keytar. I never got to see Twelfth Night last Summer, so hearing the songs that will be used in the tour has made me all the more excited to see it on stage. Plus I will be seeing them at Thoresby, and the outdoor performances are always my favourites (nothing to do with the picnics). I love how the voices echo over the grounds, and I think Twelfth Night will be fantastic there.

    We then had lunch and bonded round the kitchen table. All was well until we realised that we had locked ourselves out of the rehearsal room. I spent half an hour watching Andy and Peter prize their way in with a selection of knives and membership cards, while Kevin googled useful ‘How To Pick A Lock’ videos. Turns out the old ‘credit card in the crack’ trick works in real life. Who knew?

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    Oddsocks are back with a double-bill of Brit-Pop Bard!

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy

    Oddsocks are delighted to announce that touring the length of the UK and Channel Islands is a cast of firm Oddsocks favorites.

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    Oddsocks royalty Kevin Kemp, seen with Oddsocks in Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and countless more is returning to play the brash and big-mouthed Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. In Twelfth Night, Kevin will be ‘Belch-ing’ as the drunkard Sir Toby Belch.

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    As the feisty and fantastic Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing will be actress Rebecca Little. Fresh from working with her company ‘Little Pixie Productions’ and touring the UK in the critically acclaimed ‘Forever Young’, Rebecca returns to Oddsocks as the versatile Viola and as the meddling Maria in Twelfth Night.

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    Paul O’Neill, last seen with Oddsocks as Mr Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor and just home after an international tour as Basil Fawlty in ‘The Fawlty Towers Dining Experience’ is back as the love-struck Claudio and keeping us all entertained as Feste the clown and Sebastian in Twelfth Night.

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    Gavin Harrison is back with Oddsocks after his last adventure in The Comedy of Errors tour. Gavin is an acclaimed writer and director and will be giving us his rendition of the swaggering Andrew Aguecheek and dashing Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night. In Much Ado, Gavin will be tackling both the brothers: the delightful Don Pedro and the dark Don John.

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    Derby based actress Lucy Varney will be making her debut with Oddsocks as our charming Hero in Much Ado About Nothing and the moody and melancholy Olivia in Twelfth Night.

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    Luckily for Lucy, Oddsocks Co-founder, Director and favourite Andy Barrow is back as the prudish and proper Malvolio in Twelfth Night and as Hero’s difficult Dad in Much Ado. With Andy’s 26 years of touring experience, what could possibly go wrong? We’ll let you decide.

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    Tickets are now onsale for a summer of Shakespearean Brit-Pop Party Performances!
    BOOK NOW!

    Let us know if you’re joining us on Twitter #BritpopBard and Facebook

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    Oddsocks announces partnership opportunities!

    Filed under: Uncategorized — admin

    We are delighted to announce the launch of our corporate partnership opportunities!

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    There are 3 levels of Partnership, the first reaching out to our Open Doors scheme and allows families and communities who may not be ordinarily access theatre, the opportunity for a unique experience with Oddsocks.

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    The second level - Sponsor a performance - is aimed at local businesses who wish to harness our unique word-of-mouth audience and have their local business in front of their community alongside Oddsocks at a venue of their choice.

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    The third - Sponsor a tour - widens the opportunities for exposure and offers unique rewards, entertainment and training on a national level.

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    If you’d like any more information about how our partnerships can work for your business. Click here or speak to Andy (andy@oddsocks.co.uk) or Elli (elli@oddsocks.co.uk) about how we can create a package to suit you.

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