Noggin is on the road again …

Oh no, not again ... I get van sick!

Oh no, not again … I get van sick!

So, the intrepid Nogs once again take to the road. It is just a short tour this time but we do pack quite a few shows in. From Wimbledon to Buxton to Hull to Peterborough and then next year (if we aren’t too old by then) we head to who knows where! So if you are anywhere near any of the places mentioned above (or even if you are not, it is well worth travelling for) come and say hello!

It has been a long time since we Nogs got together to perform at the Brighton Festival: which was, by the way, absolutely fabulous fun and with a real festival feel to it.

We will be starting this new excursion into the vast interior of the United Kingdom in the wonderful Polka Theatre (For dates and times follow the link at the bottom of the page)and then we travel North, then norther and then a tad southerly, all to bring the wonderful stories of Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate (They of The Clangers, Bagpuss and Ivor the Engine fame to name but a few) to a wider audience of families, children, adults who haven’t yet grown up, nostalgia groupies and those interested and excited by a “pythonesque” play about a bunch of Vikings! In other words; more or less everybody. Even if you weren’t raised on the slightly bizarre stories and the wonderfully hypnotic voice of Oliver Postgate I promise you will enjoy the show.

We had huge audiences, a number of 5 and 4 ★ reviews from the National press and some wonderful conversations with whole generations of families last year at the Edinburgh Festival. The Sagas of Noggin the Nog is a genuine family show, so bring the children, bring grandma and grandpa and great grandma and grandpa and great, great grandma and grandpa and … you get the idea.

The play is based on the first two stories that were first shown on the BBC in 1959 and 1960; How Noggin became King of the Nogs and The Ice Dragon. We use live action, live music, puppets, video projection and a great deal of humour to tell these wonderful tales and although Oliver Postgate is not still with us, Peter Firmin, the artist who created the visuals is, and he and Daniel Postgate (Oliver’s son) are great supporters of the show and both laughed “like drains” at the performances at the Theatre Royal Brighton.

So, see you there!

Follow this link to take you to the Nog Log.

 

 

 

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Edinburgh Diary … number 5

★★★★★ Three Weeks

★★★★ The Independent

★★★★ The Stage

★★★★ The List

★★★★ Broadway Baby

Nogbad Spies

Nogbad the Bad searches for more 5★ reviews.

Below are links to various reviews:

http://www.threeweeks.co.uk/article/ed2014-childrens-show-review-the-sagas-of-noggin-the-nog-third-party-productions/

http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/63205-the-sagas-of-noggin-the-nog/

http://www.thestage.co.uk/edinburgh-reviews/72826/the-sagas-of-noggin-the-nog/

http://www.broadwaybaby.com/shows/the-sagas-of-noggin-the-nog/701276

Can’t find a link to the independent review … so here’s a photo of it …

Independent Review

Alright, trumpet blowing complete.

What have we been up to since last we met?

Well, we have all, of course, been battling against the Edinburgh summer … and at times losing. I got trench foot from wearing damp socks, and snuffles and sniffles have been appearing due to the ridiculous summer clothing we brought into the arctic bluster of Edinburgh in August. Despite all that we have had a lovely time. We have seen theatre good and appalling, comedy funny and otherwise, dance of beauty and downright poor and we have all so far got a favourite. I’m not telling yet, it isn’t really fair!

I’ve had a few disappointments … waiting at Summerhall twenty five minutes for a ticket only to be told that that particular show is sold out … surely not difficult to write on a blackboard which shows are sold out so as not to force people to wait twenty-five minutes for a show that is sold out! I’ve listened to some great music; much of it free in the streets and there is, of course, a fabulous atmosphere in the city. I have seen unicyclists, jugglers, nurses, mimes, clowns, zombies, tarts and vicars, aliens and voca people … and that is whilst just popping for a coffee. I’ve walked a few hundred yards and been given a few hundred flyers … I’m always nice, I always take a flyer and usually have a chat with the flyerers … it is a fairly dispiriting task when no-one takes a flyer and so many people are just downright rude. The funniest ones though are the ones that pretend you are not there … they walk up to you, they can’t not have seen you and then just ignore you totally when you try to engage with them … they make I laugh!

I went to the circus last night … the NoFitState circus … unbelievable … incredible … do go and see it, it is a masterpiece of energy, skill, inventiveness and sheer brilliance in its design and conception … well worth a few of your coins of the realm! It is mesmerising!

Snogging the Snog: Noggin and Nooka of the Nooks.

Snogging the Snog: Noggin and Nooka of the Nooks.

The Sagas of Noggin the Nog is going from strength to strength … we have a great routine in setting up … we can do it in about twelve minutes … set/costumes/projectors/puppets, the lot. Not bad really and the getting out is even quicker!

For those people who have seen the show and are looking to book it into their venue or for their event … the play here in Edinburgh is slightly truncated … we had to fit it into an hour slot. The full length show is about 70 to 75 minutes and we play it with an interval of 15 to 20 minutes, so it is a full length play for families. 90 minutes in all.

I have read a lot of tosh about how Edinburgh is ruining touring theatre … of course it isn’t sillies! Every professional theatre company that tours regularly understands how theatre works … we know what venues want and we know what audiences want. To suggest that theatre companies aren’t clever enough to make a piece of theatre that plays at the Edinburgh Fringe and can then play to arts centres, theatres and other venues around the country, is very demeaning to those professional companies that have made their livings from touring … we know how it works … that is what we do, so please don’t be so condescending and superior to professional touring theatre. The very idea that Edinburgh is forcing companies to create shows that can only be performed at Edinburgh is quite, quite pathetic and could only have been suggested by someone who (excuse me for this) has their head up their own arses!

Anyway, mild rant over … we have a few more days left here in “sunny” Edinburgh, so don’t wait too long to book your ticket. See you in George Square Gardens at 12.50 every day!

The Sagas of Noggin the Nog Heads to Edinburgh … Part 1

We’re on our way to Edinburgh … by way of Theatre Royal Margate! 

In the lands of the North, where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long, the Men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale … and the tale they tell is of Noggin the Nog, strong and fair and brave as the men of the Northlands are. So begins the tales of Noggin the Nog.

Our tale is about a group of performers, musicians, directors, puppet makers, designers and a team of dedicated people who all want The Sagas of Noggin the Nog to go beyond the one successful tour of 2013. To this end we are starting again.

Monday 30th June 2014 …

After three or four days of putting together a project for Kickstarter (of which more later) and checking costumes, props, set and sending e mails by the score, Monday arrives! We have almost two weeks to re-write and re-rehearse the play. Why? Well, we are taking The Sagas of Noggin the Nog to Edinburgh and we have to shorten the show to fit in with the festival schedule; currently the play lasts seventy-five minutes and we have to cut it so that it fits into an hour slot. We also have to lose some of our equipment because there is nowhere to store it at the venue. We also want to rework the second half of the play which has a slightly different feel to the first half and we would like to make it more consistent. So, Monday … thanks to an association with the Theatre Royal Margate, we have a rehearsal space at The Winter Gardens … up lots of stairs, I might add … still it keeps us fit. And then on Friday 11th July 2014 we are previewing our new slimline version of the show at the Theatre Royal Margate (there is a link at the end of this post).

 

Caroline titivates the Hot Water Valley Ambassador, Ronf

Caroline titivates the Hot Water Valley Ambassador, Ronf

Why?

During the tour of “Noggin” last year we made an important discovery … this play is genuinely a piece of family theatre. Yes, it works for children, yes, it works for adults but it works particularly well for family audiences. Why is that important? I have noticed over many years of touring theatre that there are fewer and fewer family shows being produced. There are lots of “kids” or worse “kidz” shows and many shows for adults but few that attempt to entertain, intrigue and engage the whole family. In Britain we have the Pantomime but the majority of those have long since stopped trying to engage all of the audience. It is rare that as a family we sit in a large room filled with other families and share an event, an experience, and it is this shared experience that makes it special. We get home and talk about what we experienced collectively; something that happens less frequently in this “solo world”. We see parents sitting with their mobile phones or tablets whilst their children sit on their mobile phones or tablets and no matter how brilliant and engaging they are, they are not sharing an event. The Sagas of Noggin the Nog is an event, an experience to be shared. Last year at the Lighthouse, Poole whilst talking to the audience afterwards, we met four generations of one family who had watched the show together: there was something quite magical about that … four generations talking about a shared experience.

So?

So, we want to take the play to more venues, to be seen by more people. For this, we are taking the show to Edinburgh. The festival is the biggest showcase for performance in the world. If we are going to take The Sagas of Noggin the Nog to a wider audience, move it onto another level, we have to be there. There will be thousands of theatre professionals, venue bookers, producers and so on at the festival; we have to let them see our show, meet them, talk to them; we have to create an interest in the play in order for it to go further.

Sunday 6th July

As I sit here on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon I am aware of all of the thousands of things we have to achieve in the next few weeks. Most imminently is the next week of rehearsal and the preview at Theatre Royal Margate; we are doing two performances, one in the afternoon for schools (which is free) and one in the evening for the general public. Follow the link for more information.

We then have to prepare everything for the Edinburgh Festival. Not least of which is raising a little more money to make it viable. We have set up a Kickstarter project to this end … if you can help us by backing the show we would be most appreciative. Again, follow the link.

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1884588791/the-sagas-of-noggin-the-nog-goes-to-edinburgh-and

http://www.assemblyfestival.com/event.php?id=153 

http://theatreroyalmargate.com/event/the-sagas-of-noggin-the-nog-edinburgh-preview/