The Oddsocks cart or "pageant wagon' was a trademark of Oddsocks Productions since 1993 it was built by Director Andy Barrow in a neighbour’s driveway in Walthamstow, East London until the company’s twenty fifth anniversary year in 2015.
An exact replica of the type of movable stage which roamed England from the 10th to the 16th century, the Oddsocks wagon was used for twenty productions, over a thousand performances, watched by two hundred and fifty thousand audience members. It travelled over 150,000 miles (roughly 6 times around the world).
The wagon served an important purpose: It made Oddsocks’ productions unique amongst many other professional touring productions of Shakespeare in the UK and Channel Islands, audiences attended as much to see how Oddsocks used the cart (described by the critics as “The seventh member of the cast” or “A swiss army knife of a stage”) as to see the performances. After twenty five years of use though, it was time to get bigger and more impressive and so a huge, high-tech, aluminium stage has taken it’s place and the pageant wagon has been retired to Shropshire at the residence of yet another theatre company, Hotbuckle Productions!
Adrian and Gemma first met while working for Oddsocks! And as well as finding eachother have formed firm friendships with Andy and Elli (their old bosses.... although Elli isn't THAT old)
They moved to Mill House Farm in June 2013 as the first step in their realisation of "the Good Life". Where Barbara and Tom chose Surbiton, Gemma and Adrian decided to make a totally clean break from the area they had spent their early married life in (Walton on Thames, ironically just a mile or two from Surbiton) and head for what they both consider to be, the real countryside. Both have family connections here and so it seemed the perfect choice...... Together they formed Hotbuckle Productions Theatre Company in 2006 and while Adrian continues to run this, Gemma moved into arts administartion as first of all an Artistic director of an arts centre (www.riverhousebarn.co.uk) and latterly as the events organiser and venue manager at Ironbridge Gorge Museums
Phase 2 of "the Good Life" is just beginning. 4 chickens now reside on the farm and 2 goats are expected soon!
Andy and Elli formed Oddsocks in 1990 and have toured, performing on the Oddsocks cart ever since!
Andy built the living quarters for the cart in Derby. But eventually there came a time when he could proceed no further without actually putting it on the cart. A day was put aside. Andy and Adrian brought the cart and living quarters over from Derby to Mill House Farm and here's what happened...