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).

Our most recent production is Three Witches, in association with the Belgrade Theatre Coventry, which ran at the theatre in October 2013, before going to Telford Oakengates and Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

 

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?

 

Set on a heath and in a haunted castle, Three Witches echoes many of the elements of Macbeth but is a modern story of sibling rivalry.
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...

As well as the play itself, we are excited about all the activities around it with young people (and adults!), which are a key part of our work and which are happening right now. Aldermoor Farm School are doing a Year 5 Art Project before they come to see the show. You can see what they've been up to here.
For all general enquiries contact Philip at HooplaTheatre@aol.com
The play comes out of development work
with young people is playing to both schools and family audiences.
See a video extract from the development project
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.

 
 
 
 
3 Witches Development Project Hoopla Theatre 3 Witches Development Project Hoopla Theatre
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 were pleased to work with Richard Lee School in Coventry on this project. Their pupils cameup with some great ideas and some fantastic work to share with the the local community. Philip from Hoopla also worked with 2 classes in January 2013, helping them write and stage their own plays inspired by elements from The Night Queen. For Three Witches Hoopla areworking with a range of schools in Coventry, Birmingham, Leamington Spa and further afield, as well as with schools in Telford and Tamworth.
 
Richard Lee School

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.

Sharing Event Richard Lee School
 
 It was a packed afternoon as the school also saw a performance of the play to date. For this, they were joined by pupils from 2 other primary schools, drama students from the nearby secondary school and friends and family.

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!

Three Witches follows the successful remount of our play The Night Queen at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry and Tamworth Assembly Rooms (see 5 Star review from What's on Theatre).
 
We would like to thank all who helped make The Night Queen such a hit again, but especially our cast of Dan Willis, who reprised his role as Dad, Zorastro and, of course, the Owl (twit-twoo), Madeleine Leslay who played Pamina with such verve and commitment and Jennifer Greenwood, who was a magnificent Night Queen, as well as handling the mischievous Popinjay superbly.
 
The Night Queen is a must see for children who enjoy a good story, and those of us who still believe in magic. (British Theatre Guide)
5 Stars - Coventry Telegraph
 
 
The original production of The Night Queen premiered at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry in

Summer 2011 and then toured to:  

the egg, Bath,

Roses, Tewkesbury   

Poole Lighthouse

 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.