Oddsocks Productions lifeline CRF grant from Arts Council England

Oddsocks Productions lifeline CRF grant from Arts Council England

Oddsocks Productions receive a lifeline grant and are on the road with “A Christmas Carol”

At a time of uncertainty for theatres companies and venues, with live performances few and far between, it is exciting to be able to announce that Oddsocks Productions is about to tour to a selection of venues across the UK who are under Tier 2 Covid-19 restrictions.

The company, who were facing closure in October due to the current pandemic were given a last-minute reprieve in the form of a lifeline grant from Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund and are therefore currently in rehearsal with a breand new adaptation of Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol”.

Creative Producer, Elli Mackenzie tells us “Due to Covid we had to cancel two tours and a series of other projects this year, but thanks to our lifeline funding, which provides us an income until March 2021, and the support of our colleagues who run venues across the UK, we are relieved to be able to create a new production just in time for Christmas. It means that we can provide work for freelance creatives and provide an opportunity for audiences to get to see some live theatre in their region. We are working hard with our venues and to ensure that audiences, venue staff, crew and cast can be safely distanced and enjoy an hour of live performance this December and January”.

Unfortunately as the company’s home base of Derby is currently in Tier3 there are no immediate plans for a live performance on its own doorstep, and other venues across the country and the Chanel Islands will miss out too due to restrictions, but Artistic Director Andy Barrow, who is appearing as Scrooge in the production, says “We are planning to record a live performance of the hour long play to stream to our audiences across the world after the live tour ends, so there will be a chance for everyone to enjoy the usual Oddsocks approach to a Dicken’s classic”.

When the family run company performed a comedy version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth live from their home during the first lockdown, the airing attracted a live audience of over three thousand, “It would be great to think we could achieve that with ‘A Christmas Carol’ says Elli”.

“Rehearsal has brought about unusual challenges and new ways of working” says Elli. “During the recent lockdown we were meeting online to rehearse. Andy and I in from our home in Derbyshire, two actors based in Berkhamsted and a third in Bristol. We have had to work around dodgy wifi connections and one cast member’s family bath and bedtimes, but we are together in our rehearsal room next week and we are working onstage in three bubbles, making sure that no props or costumes are shared between us. It’s going to be challenging logistically, but safe, which is the most important thing”.

The company’s new adaptation will involve the company’s usual irreverent humour and storytelling and also features magical puppets performed by Josh Elwell (CBeebies, Disney and The Jim Henson Company) and original music composed by folk singer/songwriter Felix M-B whose debut album Chunk is gathering critical success.

Familiar Oddsocks actor Joseph Maudsley (Ratty from “The Wind In The Willows”) plays Bob Cratchit and Harrie Dobby, who is new to the company will be appearing as Mrs Cratchit. Oddsocks Artistic Director Andy Barrow will be donning his bedcap and perfecting his scowl to play Scrooge himself in this hour long, socially distanced, unique production.

Experience the ghostly tale of greed and comeuppance in a socially distanced, safe environment.

Has Scrooge had his last humbug?
Will he join the festive carollers and get some figgy pudding?
Will Tiny Tim warm his stone-cold heart?

Find out when Oddsocks, serve up a Victorian feast of a family show with comedy trimmings.

- Suitable for all from 7+
- Performance runs 60 minutes without interval.
- Tour schedule is as follows:

- Saturday 12th December 3pm & 7pm - The Joseph Rowntree Theatre, Yorkwww.josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk
- Sunday 20th December 1pm & 7pm – Kidderminster Town Hallwww.kidderminstertownhall.org.uk

More venues will be added as soon as they have been confirmed and details can be found by going to www.oddsocks.co.uk.


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