“The Bearded Lady, clearly a hit” – ITV Anglia News, covering HRH Prince Charles’ visit to SeaChange Arts Circus Training Space in Great Yarmouth.
BBC NORFOLK – Hocus Pocus Theatre, ‘Camp It Up Cabaret’. Norwich PRIDE 2009
“A truly original night for Norwich, professionally organised and a delight to attend.” - Lenore (TV Presenter, Journalist and Model). Review of ‘Camp It Up Cabaret’ @ Norwich Arts Centre. 24th July 2009http://lenore.org.uk/blog/378-punk-rock-and-camp-cabaret
EVENING NEWS, 17 April 2009
Burlesque beauties at theatre
Norwich Puppet Theatre may be more used to performances from Marionettes, but a show this week is set to get pulses racing with a fundraising night of burlesque cabaret.
The theatre will be transformed into a raunchy and retro nightclub when Burlesque and Cabaret Club comes to the city for the first time, bringing with it a troupe of top performers from London
The night is being put on by the Norwich based Hocus Pocus Theatre company and will be raising funds for the Puppet Theatre.
Last year the Evening News led a campaign to keep the theatre open after it was hit by a severe funding gap.
Audiences on Friday can expect an evening of traditional cabaret with burlesque beauties, voluptuous variety, a splash of saucy adult puppetry plus some very special guests.
EASTERN DAILY PRESS, 27 October 2008
Horror and comedy were food for thought
A delicious mix of horror, comedy and moral ambiguity was served up by the Hocus Pocus Theatre as the Nightmare Café opened for business.
Featuring the smarmy waiter Augustus and his less than charming colleague Christina, the small production was perfectly suited for the confines of the atmospheric restaurant.
The audience was certainly given food for thought as the two blood drenched protagonists told the chilling tale of cold hearted businessman Algernon Splatworth.
With the innovative use of a treasure chest and a curtain Daniel Gilmore and Lucy Enskat effortlessly switched from their ghoulish roles to play the doomed Splatworth and his spoilt daughter, Abigail. The hour-long play portrayed the efforts of Splatworth to try and buy an heir from the Nightmare Café.
However, without giving too much away, the arrival of the businessman’s daughter certainly proved the old adage that you should not count their chickens until they are hatched.
With a mix of bizarre dance routines and horrific puns the plight of Splatworth and Abigail was brilliantly bought to life by the actors, who managed to convey pity and repulsion at the same time.
A special mention should also be made of supporting actor Hannah Ashmore, who played the mysterious and exotic Ms Dolly Bird and the musical accompaniment of Miss Musique Magique.
As the play drew to its chilling end – the enduring moral that revenge is a dish best served cold – it certainly had the audience sitting on the edge of the seats.
All in all a very satisfactory and thought provoking start to the Out There Festival.
- Anthony Carroll
Quayside Plaza Bistro and Restaurant, Great Yarmouth (Out There Festival)
EASTERN DAILY PRESS, 9 April 2008
A talented young company
New talent in the arts is often best grown by loosely following the recipe and being prepared to take a few risks.
Using a café cabaret setting for a play is not that unusual. But local group Hocus Pocus are. Very.
Pushing at the boundaries of the experimental and crossing into the bizarre, Nightmare Café is like a bad dream of the Adams family meeting Carry On.
In a sense it is a morality play, “to cook and serve your ills and you eat them”. A bottle of death containing every toxin known to man is the dish served warm – just desserts.
They do it superbly well, this fresh company, never taking themselves too seriously and mixing genres, fusing styles and lampooning horror with happy abandon.
Lucy Enskat and Daniel Gilmore enact the tale, relishing the macabre, spicing in the Vaudeville music and magic. They are supported by surreal characters who appear at random like the Dolly Bird (Hannah Ashmore and the spooky Bearded Wench.
The whole is a short but sweet update of a piece first cooked up six years ago and it is a joy to support young talent at the highly enterprising NAC and to taste something that is drama, music, dance, satire and pastiche all rolled into one.
- David Porter