Hoopla is a theatre company specialising in music theatre for young people. We are Philip Monks (writer), Jenny Stephens (Director) and Paul Herbert (Musical Director).
As well as several projects with young people and schools, one of our flagship productions was Three Witches, which we produced in association with the Belgrade Theatre Coventry.
Always being moved on, brother and sister Roy and Betharrive at the castle where Macbeth was once King. There they meet the fearsome Laird, the canny Crow and the wily Hagwitch, the Castle Keeper.
Hagwitch challenges them to spend the night in the castle. If they do that, they will lift the ancient curse. And perhaps then they will become King or Queen. But things are not as they seem. There are strange goings-on in the night. And the Three Witches are up to their old tricks.
What is Puckle's interest in potions all about? Why is Firestone so keen to help? And is Crow a friend or foe?
Will Roy and Beth survive the night or will the witches and ghosts, or their own rivalry get the better of them?
|Naomi Lee Schulke (Nez) and Oliver Evans (Ollie) work on 'Middle Of The Road', one of the songs in the play that is sung by their characters Beth and Roy. Looks like Ollie's surprised at something!||Simon Spencer-Hyde puppeteers 'Crow', one of the castle's strange inhabitants, as he talks to Hagwitch, played by Kathy Toy, the most powerful of the Three Witches. They are old friends, but that doesn't mean they trust each other!|
There are, of course, the eponymous witches, coming back together again to cause more mischief. But there are also a brother and sister, deadly rivals in many ways. The Witches challenge them to spend a night in the Haunted Castle. Whoever succeeds will gain the title of King or Queen of the Castle. And both want to win...
|Download a pdf of our schools offer for the Belgrade show|
The development project Encounters With Witches & Ghosts (the forerunner of 3 Witches) took place in Summer 2012. It was in association with The Belgrade Theatre, and included script development (with young people), music and songs, and exploration of the use of digital technology.
|The Witches gather round the cauldron - here we are experimenting with projection, uplighting, smoke and other effects.||The Witches summon the images of the brother and sister and wonder - will they take the challenge? Sound effects and lightning flashes add to the wildness.|
We worked with a group of 19 Year 6 pupils (10 & 11 years old) to generate ideas about the characters and the story.
They wrote stories, poems and playscripts which they shared with other pupils in the school and family and friends at a sharing event at the school.
Leading up to the sharing event at the school, the children worked with several different members of the creative team: writer Philip Monks, director Jenny Stephens, Musical Director Paul Herbert and the 3 actors: Kathy Toy, Dan Willis and Naomi Lee Schulke. We were also joined by Chris Ash, the composer.
The following week they came to the Belgrade Theatre to see a further staging of the play and to rehearse and perform the song they created - Despair & Doom!
Summer 2011 and then toured to:
the egg, Bath,
More details at www.thenightqueen.net
See video clips on Vimeo
Hoopla is grateful for project support from the Arts Council, the Sir Barry Jackson Trust and The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.