Hilarious homage to radio's heyday of 'dodgy' sound effects and silly hats
Sarah Colston finds out about Oddsocks' new theatrical production – R.O.G.E.R Radio.
FOR one day only, Oddsocks Productions will perform another R.O.G.E.R Radio show in Derby, bringing with it a new take on theatre.
The show's producer, Elli Mackenzie says: "We are constantly reinventing ourselves and, in this show, we perform original radio plays on stage and have created all of the sound effects ourselves.
"Last year the fictitious R.O.G.E.R Radio Company wrote and performed a piece called The Mighty Beast, which was so well received that this year they plan to perform two adaptations in one night."
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The Journey To The Centre Of The Earth and The Lair Of The White Worm, chosen partly for their quirky names, will be featured and Oddsocks hope they will create an evening of hilarious homage to the heyday of British radio. Elli says: "We appear as an old-fashioned 1950s radio company and the style is fun, interactive and very silly. What we hope is to bring lots of excitement, drama and adventure, but in an original way.
"It's a spoof radio play and it's all a bit bonkers, which anyone familiar with The Goons' surreal comedy will recognise."
The show uses lots of unusual objects, such as celery and quavers, and pre-prepared sound effects.
Elli says: "We devised lots of dodgy sound effects to create dinosaurs, explosions, earthquakes, running water and the noise of people trying to dig to the centre of the Earth. We have created a landscape through sound and the rest is the audience's imagination."
The three-person cast comprises Oddsocks company director Andy Barrow, Joseph Maudsley and Susie Riddell, who plays all the female roles in the show. Susie began her career in Radio 4's The Archers as the very young Kate Aldridge from 1989 to 1994 and, in October, 2011 she rejoined as boozy Tracy Horrobin. She has also played a range of roles on stage with Oddsocks.
The Journey To The Centre Of The Earth is based on a classic 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne, about a German professor who believes there are volcanic tubes which lead to the centre of the Earth, which he proceeds to follow, encountering many adventures and prehistoric animals along the way. It has been filmed several times, most recently in 2008.
Less well-known is The Lair Of The White Worm, a Derbyshire-based horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, who also wrote Dracula. It is partly based on the legend of the Lambton Worm and is about a worm which fed on humans. It was turned into a film by Ken Russell in 1988.
"I chose the two for their unusual titles but also for the epic challenge of turning these books into a stage show, and in the form of a radio show," says Elli.
She believes the show's humour universal and accessible to all and says: "Children and teenagers can certainly enjoy it, there are lots of gags and funny voices, crazy hats and unusual objects used, and an evil South African Worm threatens to wreak havoc in Derby, with grand stately homes under threat."
The audience is warned to prepare for mishaps and clangers – Oddsocks are best known for their skilful slapstick and for their funny, feel-good performances.
Elli says: "We are touring at the moment and in Derby for one night only, providing a thrilling evening of fun."
WHAT: R.O.G.E.R Radio.
WHERE: Derby Theatre.
WHEN: Friday, March 8, 7.30pm.
TICKETS: Call Derby 593939 or visit www.derbytheatre.co.uk.