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Laughs, silliness & lots of fun - Peter Hoggart on performing with Oddsocks

Posted on 30 November -0001

Four young lovers will run away from home to party at a summer music festival this June when Oddsocks Productions rework A Midsummer Night’s Dream with their signature blend of music, magic, mischief and mayhem.

Known for their bold, interactive approach to staging Shakespeare, the company this year celebrate their 30th anniversary with a riotous reimagining of one of the Bard’s most wild and wacky plays.

Ahead of the show’s arrival at the Belgrade Theatre 18-20 June, Peter Hoggart, who plays Lysander, Mustardseed and Snug, told us a bit about working with Oddsocks.

Oddsocks A Midsummer Night's Dream

It’s Oddsocks Productions 30th Anniversary this year, when did you last work for the company and how did you first come across them?

I first discovered Oddsocks as a punter watching The Taming of the Shrew many years ago at Warwick Castle. Then I saw a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Mary Arden’s Farm in 2008 and absolutely loved it. I was on my way to drama school at the time so made a promise to myself that I’d write to them when I graduated as it was exactly the kind of work that I wanted to do and looked like great fun.

The last time I worked with them was a couple of years ago doing a 3-hander Romeo & Juliet for a tour of libraries in the Midlands and a festival on the Isle of Wight. It’s always as fun as it looks.

Oddsocks A Midsummer Night's Dream

How does working with Oddsocks compare to working with other companies?

The lovely thing about working with Oddsocks (compared to other companies) is that it’s a family business and as a company member you are made to feel like part of the family. Also, it’s very collaborative and you’re much more involved in the creative process. We all pitch in with ideas in the rehearsal room and try different things. I love comedy, and it’s great feeling when a gag that you suggested gets a huge laugh.

What are the challenges and benefits of working with Oddsocks?

The biggest challenge as an actor is learning and adapting to a whole new style of performing! It really is very unique and loads of fun once you get your head around it. Also the job can be very physically demanding but one of the benefits of being in such a tight-knit group is that we all pitch in and support each other. We also have loads of fun and we laugh a lot.

Oddsocks A Midsummer Night's Dream

How many times have you worked for Oddsocks and which plays and/or characters were involved?

I’ve done two big tours and a number of smaller ones. The first time I auditioned I didn’t actually get the job…not even a recall! Then Andy and Elli made a grave error in judgement and I managed to make my way into the cast to play Feste and Sebastian in Twelfth Night and Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing in 2015. After that, I was invited back for the winter tour to play the title role in King Arthur before playing Romeo in the aforementioned tour of Romeo & Juliet.

What are you most looking forward to for the summer tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and what characters are you playing?

Apart from the general fun of playing comedy Shakespeare, I love playing all the instruments and rocking out a bit. I rarely get the chance! I’ll be playing Lysander who is one of the lovers. Also I’ll be playing Snug the joiner and Mustardseed who is a fairy. I’ve never played a fairy before so that’ll be a new challenge!

Oddsocks A Midsummer Night's Dream

What would you tell audiences to expect from an Oddsocks production?

Most Oddsocks audiences will know what to expect but if it’s your first time and you’ve been dragged here thinking that is isn’t really for you, then trust me, it is. Expect laughs, silliness and lots of fun.