Rehearsal diary - Music callThis winter we are touring with a brand new version of the traditional English legend of Robin Hood. This swashbuckling, action packed, extremely entertaining version of the story was penned by our Artistic Director Andy Barrow and is currently playing to packed audiences at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham before embarking on the last month of the national tour. “One hundred and thirty five minutes of pure entertainment” is how one happy audience member described his experience of watching the production.
It is a family show with plenty to keep everyone enthralled, from swashbuckling sword fights choreographed by renowned fight director Amed Hashimi and amazing acting from a hugely experienced cast of actors - Kevin Kemp who played our Hamlet is the main man Robin, Friar Tuck is played by Oddsocks favourite Andy McGillan, Joseph Maudsley who was a fantastic Mark Anthony for Oddsocks last summer as Little John, Oddsocks Director Andy Barrow giving his worst as the baddy Sheriff and introducing the beautiful and talented Louisa Farrant as a fiesty Maid Marion.
Topping it all of is the fantastic original music created for the play by BBC folk award winner Lucy Ward.
Hello, my name is Kate and I am at Oddsocks for work experience.
This week I have been tidying cupboards and general work areas, buying milk, laminating signs, shredding paper, putting data into computers, and trying to make blogs. It’s not boring at all but is very tiring, and is certainly an experience of work (and is better than school).
my name is Yve Odell and this week I have began to explore the world of work on my work experience trip to Oddsocks productions.
I began the week fairly confident with the challenges and new experiences that lied ahead, thanks to my background with Ellie and Andy who go back many years with my parents, i knew there was nothing to worry about and began to feel comfortable and confident within just the first 15 minutes. The weeks events began with writing short personal messages on post-it notes and attaching them to leaflets for their latest production of ‘Julius Caesar’. Just seeing how a little thing goes a long way in an independent business already gave me an insight into what makes a small business as great as this one has become. In fact just before i came to start my week at Oddsocks a teacher at my school asked where i was going, after i explained i was going to Oddsocks an eager reply shot straight out of her mouth, she began to explain that she had seen one of their productions and seen their son in a play for his school last year. “They’re fantastic aren’t they” were just some of the words that just managed to leave her mouth quick enough over all the excitement. I knew from then i was going to the right place, she even assured me i would have a great time. Which has so far proven true!
The rest of my week has consisted of trips to the bank, post office, post collection, milk runs, meetings with folk singers and searches for parchment paper. All of which have made me feel very independent as most i had never done before, a trip to the bank was certainly new, never mind meeting a folk singer. Also i have been writing up a Shakespeare script ‘Taming of the shrew’ which has become something I’m continuously enjoying doing. Before coming to Oddsocks I had only heard of the play, but after scrolling down many versions of the script on the internet and looking at the copy I have been handed, I’d began to want to know more of the story. Even if I find myself confused by some Shakespeare’s famous words.
Overall my experience at Oddsocks so far has managed to be educational, sometimes challenging but more than anything enjoyable. I’ve looked forward to coming in every morning and seeing what the day will bring and it has most definitely shown me what to expect when i one day get a job of my own or maybe even set up a business. But that looks like a completely new adventure…
Well hello there…
WOW!!! Sorry about the delayed blog… These first few weeks have been crazy… So much hard work. Not only the show… But the get in’s and get out’s even the get up’s… Not to mention the travelling. It’s great tho, loving every second, and feel very lucky to be a part of this team. We arrive at a venue about 5/6 hours before the performance begins… To meet the organisers and find the perfect spot for the wagon… the very, very heavy wagon. We then unload the vehicles and begin the ‘get in’. Building up the stage… setting props, preparing costumes… Fixing anything that may have broke in the drive or the previous show… This takes approximately 2 hours… at a steady non rushed pace… Then its coffee o’clock and a bite to eat… maybe a quick wander around the town/city/village we’re in, or maybe even a nap or work out… really depends on the day and how you’re feeling. Then with an hour before the show, its focus preparation time… Individual warm ups (I’ll try and get some clips of different actors warm ups) could be interesting… also a fight call (Blocking through the fights, so we have no losses of heads during the performance.) We also block through any ideas or changes we have… Which is great. Constantly developing character and ideas… rehearsing and talking them through before the show… then trying them out in the show… It’s a constant creative process… And a fantastic way to work. After the show it’s pack down time and the get out begins… everything has it’s place, otherwise it doesn’t fit in the vans, and everyone has their own roles… (Again, I’ll try and get some clips.) This takes about an hour… Then it’s in the vans… and off the the accommodation… Hotel/B&B/Pub… Bite to eat… and chill. Before you know, it’s late o’clock and you have to sleep, to be ready for the long drive to the next town/city/village… And the process begins again. I’ve settled into this routine now, and will be able to Blog more freely from this day forth… If WiFi if present. Every location is different, as are the shows and audience response.. It’s amazing. When you make it to a show… Come introduce yourself, would be great to meet as many of you as humanly possible.
Blog you later,
Joseph ‘Mark Antony Blogs You’ Maudsley
Just a quick check in to let you know what Lawrence (Cassius) and myself (Mark Antony) have been upto on our day off from rehearsing Julius Caesar for it’s upcoming summer tour with the prodigious Oddsocks Productions…. 10am wake up, cup of tea + crumpets x 6 (Mit marmite), first act line run and character motivations, lunch (soup - Lawrence; carrot and coriander, Me; lentil and veg x 2, tiger loaf grrrrrr many slices, pepper; 7 twists.) Short musical interlude, act two line run, doughnuts x 10 (custard x 5, plain ring x 5)… Now it is now, and I am blogging… in mid discussion as to what to consume for our evening meal. Sausages are a high possibility… With a dessert of LINE LEARNING!!!
Sorry if this blog seems surreal… It has been a loooooooong day of saying many of Williams words… And Lawrence makes me feel weird.
Have a cracking Bank Holiday…
Blog you later,
So, it 2.45, and we’ve just finished blocking the entire show. A rough skeleton of the show you will be seeing. It’s crazy that in just 5 days, we have an idea of how the show will play out. At the same time it’s a scary thought that we only have 3 full days of rehearsals remaining, before travelling down to Peterborough for our first show.
Definitely a well earned lunch break, and time for a quick blog, before a run of the entire show this afternoon. Bring it on.
Take it easy,
Hellooooo good oddblog readers…
Allow me to introduce myself and my little blogging situation. My name is Joseph Maudsley, a Derby born actor. I have been employed by the wonderful Oddsocks Productions to play the role of Mark Anthony in their upcoming tour of Julius Caesar. And I cannot bloody wait.
Ok, so now onto my blogging situation. I am going to be blogging throughout the rehearsal and touring process to allow you good readers to have an insight as to what happens on and off the stage during our UK and channel island tour.
I hope you will enjoy the blogs… Cleverly and punningly named Joe Blogs (ooo… It’s a funny one.)
Also, if you have any questions for myself or the other cast members… Fire away, and we will endeavour to answer your questions.
Day 3 in the Julius Caesar house… we all arrived at the Laughter House, Derby (home to Oddsocks Productions) for a 9.30 start… for those who arrive before 9.30, a coffee and a chin wag are in order. I arrive at exactly 9.30. Rehearsals… Ready… Go!!! Previous to today, on day one and two, we read through the script, scene by scene, discussing plot meaning and character motivations… And then moved onto the blocking. It’s a great working environment, where any and every idea is thrown about freely. By the end of day 3, we’ve blocked (which means adding all the movements and staging) upto page 9 of the 36 page script. It’s hilarious working through the script with the team, bouncing ideas around, and trying out various gags. We’ve already got some corkers… and after the first performance we’ll find out whether they are actually funny… or whether the rehearsal process is sending us all a little doolally.
Right… this is all for my first blog… ever… onto line learning and sleep… ready for day 4 of rehearsals.
Thanks for reading,
Joseph (Joe Blogs) Maudsley
See regular Oddsocks actor Andy McGillan as his new role as ‘Battery Man’ for Swiss T.V. here by clicking on this blog post! Go Battery Man!
We are delighted to announce the return of Oddsocks favourites Kathryn Levell (Lady Macbeth last summer) and Lawrence Kemp from 2010’s memorable “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to Oddsocks for our upcoming production of “Julius Caesar”. Our very own Andy Barrow will be on the road again heading up the cast and we are looking forward to appearing at popular regular venues such as Harrogate International Theatre, Warwick Castle and Dilston College, Derby Theatre as well as adding some exciting new venues to the tour: Woolpit Festival, Suffolk, Rosliston Forestry Centre, Derbyshire, Riverhouse Arts Centre, Walton-on-Thames. Booking for all of these venues is now open… see you there!
Sunny days and longer evenings certainly put a spring in your step and the feeling of emerging from a winter cocoon is always pleasant. Here at Oddsocks we are preparing for a Togtastic summer of Roman fun with “Julius Caesar”. A perfect opportunity to delight audiences with classic English Outdoor Entertainment with the usual Oddsocks twist. There’ll be no stuffy, stiff upper lip, Shakespearean speeches just classic culture and comedy in the open-air venues that welcome us all around the country and after a tough long winter there’s nothing better than looking forward to balmy nights and picnics.