The Nogs Go Forth … South, East and West.

Dear Reader … the Nogs are on the road again! We started off at Forest Forge in Ringwood (where we also rehearsed; more about that later) and then onto The Rose Theatre, Kingston where we had a lovely time … and so did the audiences if the following couple of reviews are anything to go by.

“I haven’t laughed so regularly and with such uncomplicated pleasure for a long time.” Culture Vulture

“The show is a winning mix of puppetry, projections and a sharp script. It is particularly commendable that both the projections and the puppets resonate with the original series with fragments of the original cartoon seemingly woven into the show, but it’s the Pynthonesque nature of the production that adds a new, delicious dimension to the play, creating a whole new fan base for the Nogs.” Curious Mum

I’ll put links to these two lovely reviews at the end of this post as I know you fliberty-jibbets will be flitting about without reading the rest of this post!

Forest Forge Theatre Company were amazing (there is a link to their website at the end of this post). We arrived at their wonderful building (studio, workshop, offices, green room and loads of equipment) at the start of our short re-rehearsal period … spent a bit of time worrying about our broken down van … then got down to the serious business of drinking tea and eating iced fancies. Once this preliminary activity was done and dusted we got onto the real reason we were there … trying to remember a script and what we did on stage. The long and the short of it is that we, over a wet week in the New Forest, put together The Sagas of Noggin the Nog for a new tour.

Forest Forge, Ringwood

John Wright, our Director who helped us to make the piece in the first place, turned up and threw some new and exciting spanners in the works, giving us new games and provocations to take the play to a new level … much fun was had! We then decamped to The Rose Theatre, Kingston where we unpacked the now not broken down van and spent a happy few hours carrying heavy things, building the set and playing with technology and lighting. We had a rehearsal and then performed seven shows in four days to some really lovely audiences.

We are now about to head of west … Bridport and Taunton and the … well … east, south and north. To see where we are going follow this link to find the where and when.

Hopefully we’ll see you at a venue in the near future … keep popping back here to find out what we’ve been up to!

http://curiousmum.co.uk/reviews/noggin-the-nog-3

https://mediastarsite.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/review-noggin/?utm_source=noggin+review&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=noggin+review

http://www.forestforgetheatre.co.uk/

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Zooming to Brighton … Slowly! Part 2

We left the indomitable Nogs at the “Edinburgh Festival Stage Stage” at the end of the last post … which is down there 🔽 … or just scroll! Did I mention the rain in Edinburgh? Oh, did it rain, Dear Reader! However, despite the rain, the Nogs performed every day (almost, we had a day off per week) for a month and audiences flocked in … which was fortunate as we definitely needed to recoup some of the “Plastic Money” that we had spent on getting there in the first place. We had a fabulous festival not only as a company but also as individuals … I saw theatre great, theatre poor, theatre exciting, theatre weird, theatre absurd, theatre beautiful, theatre intellectual and theatre downright awful but that is the way of festivals! I met a great many amazing people. I listened to incredible musicians. I walked by the canal. I drank beer and ate incredibly well. I handed out Noggin flyers (in the rain, of course … it was sometimes quite difficult handing people who were clutching bags, children and umbrellas a flyer that had the consistency of papier mache). I even had an evening at the whisky society … I was very careful … I counted the steps on the way in so I knew how many I could fall down at the end. Did I mention the rain?

There were a lot of these in Edinburgh!

There were a lot of these in Edinburgh!

The main reasons for us taking “The Sagas of Noggin the Nog” to the Edinburgh Festival was to give the play a longer life, to introduce new audiences to Noggin, to bring the original films and books to the attention of the general public and to create a bit of a buzz around the wonderful and charming stories of Firmin and Postgate. Our audiences literally ranged from babes in arms to Methuselah and his mother. We had Grandparents with their Grandchildren, Grandparents without their Grandchildren, young families, whole generations of families, young people on their own, groups of young adults, middle aged Noggin groupies and a great number of bookers, venue directors, producers and many other theatre and arts professionals … and occasionally drips of rain that crept in through the canvas roof and threatened to soak our projectors and us. We also had a number of reviewers that came in to see the play … and fortunately, they enjoyed it. We had some fabulous reviews, ★★★★ and ★★★★★ and, more important in a way, lots of people who had seen the show wanting to talk to us about it … and where can we buy the books, DVDs, and so on … the answer is at the bottom of this post, Dear Reader.

Nogs enjoy the Edinburgh Summer!

Nogs enjoy the Edinburgh Summer!

Our exciting and tiring sojourn in the land of whisky, theatre and rain eventually came to an end. We loaded up the Nogbulance and headed south and … home! This we called the “What Do We Do Now Stage”. It is hard trying to readapt to home life after a month of fun and nonsense (oh, and hard work). We debriefed … see a previous post . We rested. We moved on to other projects … and we started to create a National tour for the Autumn of 2015. We were incredibly fortunate to meet someone who wanted to support the play financially … and so we began to plot. In our heads, which are often slightly fuzzy at the best of times it has to be said, we were working towards an Autumn tour … then … the Brighton Festival came along and asked us if we would perform over the May Bank Holiday in the Theatre Royal Brighton. This we called the “Oh Blimey, May Stage” May didn’t quite fit into our plans but … the whole point of Edinburgh was to create a Noggin buzz and work for the Noggin team and here it was being offered to us on a plate … the “Plastic Money” investment was beginning to pay off. So, we cranked up the producers (Me and Tony) and tried to get the team back together again …. which we almost did except that Nick had prior engagements and so we asked another fine performer and all round good egg; Kevin James if he would like to become a Nog … and he said yes!

We had new costumes made. We had a new set built and painted (it was still wet during the final rehearsal). We had the Ice Dragon rebuilt (to make him taller and give him wings). We had a new Ronf, the little fellow from the Hot Water Valley, built. We re-imagined and re-rehearsed the whole of the second half of the play. We added a new song. We bought a new brighter (and therefore more expensive) Video Projector. We wanted two but that was too much for the bank to bear. We all turned up for a week in a rehearsal studio in North London and set to work. This we called the “Brighton Festival Stage”.

A naked prototype humanet of Ronf, the little man from the Hot Water Valley.

A naked prototype humanet of Ronf, the little man from the Hot Water Valley.

And now a note of sadness … (violins play) … THE NOGBULANCE IS NO MORE! Our trusty old ambulance that has transported the Nogs and all of their kit, has gone to the scrapyard in the sky! It wasn’t dramatic it just wound to a halt and made a strange strangled noise … which proved to be terminal. We managed to hire a van from Proteus Theatre in Basingstoke and transferred the set and props and said goodbye to a trusty old friend.

Nogbulance 2

The Nogbulances Final Resting Place … by the railway lines in Battle!

These things are sent to try us … and they did, try us, I mean. Losing your Nogbulance when you need to move all of your kit to Theatre Royal Brighton is very trying indeed … crikey, we said, and stamped our feet. But … we made it to Brighton. There will be another post shortly that will give more details of the last few days of rehearsal and our weekend by the sea in Brighton.

In the meantime … if you would like to purchase a book or a DVD, then follow the link.

http://www.dragons-friendly-society.co.uk/main.htm