Behind the scenes with Oddsocks Productions

Mon 6 Jun 2016

Our friends at Markeaton Park are excited to host the popular theatre group Oddsocks Productions with their outdoor theatre season performances. The companys' alternative renditions of Macbeth (Wed 15 – Sat 18 Jun) and Much Ado About Nothing (Tue 26 – Thu 28 Jul) will take place in the beautiful surroundings of Markeaton Park Craft Village.

We asked Hope Ward-Brown, assistant producer of Oddsocks productions to speak about her experiences with the company in creating their hilarious productions.  

“Oddsocks have produced Much Ado and Macbeth 7 times over the last 27 years – all vastly different, ranging from the witches as teletubbies, life-size puppets to Macbeth as Iron-Man and everything in between.

Last years production of Much Ado About Nothing was a huge success: a modern day rom-com full of well-known music to get your toes tapping and to warm (sometimes literally) the cockles of your heart. It’s a poetic story of gossip and love set in beautiful surroundings as we transport you to the picturesque Italian countryside. Macbeth is brand new production for us this year: also highly musical, with some real anthems to get you dancing in the aisles!

As with all Oddsocks productions it’s going to be very funny! Macbeth? Funny? You heard us right! We’ll be twisting Shakespeare’s fantastical story of greed, ambition, war, blood, jealousy and witchcraft on it’s head to produce a highly comic version of one of Shakespeare’s darkest dramas. Macbeth will be set in a steam-punk world and technology inspired Victoriana. Why steam-punk? Well, first and foremost it looks really awesome onstage. It’s bold and gothic and from a design point of view it intertwines with our industrial staging to help create a world of fantasy where anything can happen. This is a massive help to Macbeth, as one of the biggest challenges retelling the story today is the supernatural elements: convincing an audience of ghosts and witches makes a lot more sense when we create a world where it feels possible. Not only this, but it acts as a huge contrast to Much Ado About Nothing meaning that audience members can come and see both shows and have an entirely different experience! Much Ado About Nothing is light and fluffy, full of pastel colours and sun hats and equally as full of laughs! Whereas Macbeth steams onstage demanding dramatic lighting, massive boots and a top hat!

We’ve aimed to bring both productions bang up to date – Oddsocks style is about turning Shakespeare on it’s head, plus there’s such a degree of interaction with the audience that each performance is unique for each audience! We don’t try and replicate the same show every night, for us at Oddsocks it’s about keeping the action alive and responding to whatever is thrown at us (sometimes literally.. well, only once) It doesn’t matter if you’ve never seen the stories told before or think Shakespeare isn’t for you: we “guarantee a night of good fun” (Derby Telegraph) and you can experience Shakespeare alive and kicking in the open-air as (we think) the Bard was intended to be!”

Tickets are still available for Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing, with a variety of food available to pre-order before the show.

For an additional fee, you can enjoy a selection of treats from the kitchen, with a variety of platters, pizzas and cream teas available to pre-order for the show. You can pick from:

Country Platter - pork OR homity pie, salad, crusty bread, a wedge of Derbyshire cheese and a hot OR soft drink.

Meat Platter - BBQ ribs, chicken dippers, duck spring rolls, curly fries with 3 dips (bbq, sweet chilli, garlic mayo) and a hot OR soft drink.

Veggie Platter - onion bhaji, vegetable samosa, spicy corn fritter, spring roll with 3 dips (mango, yogurt, sweet & sour) and a hot OR soft drink.

11.5” thin crust Margherita or Pepperoni pizza, freshly baked on the premises.

Afternoon Tea - A meat or vegetarian snadwich, a slice of Victoria sponge and tea or coffee.

Cream Tea - A tea or coffee and a scone with cream and jam.

You can add these items after buying tickets to Macbeth or Much Ado About Nothing.