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Between the 40th and 50th anniversaries of Doctor Who, a troupe of actors swapped wigs and costumes to play various incarnations, companions, monsters and villains in front of hundreds of fans. Why did they get laughed at? Because, fortunately, it was intentional…
Members of the OFFSTAGE Theatre Group include Ian Kubiak (as the Seventh Doctor), Gareth Ricketts (the Tenth Doctor), David Ratty (the Ninth Doctor), Joy-Amy Wigman (Donna Noble), Barnaby Eaton-Jones (the War Doctor), Gareth Jones (Captain Jack Harkness), Nathan Drake (the Eleventh Doctor) and Lara Hall (Clara Oswald).

Of you weren’t attending Doctor Who events from 2003 to 2013, you probably won’t have heard of the semiprofessional OFFSTAGE Theatre Group.

The group’s initial plunge into the timey-wimey vortex of Gallifreyan comedy came about in 2003, when Les Hollis and Paul R Jones of Vortex Events asked them to provide some form of comedy entertainment for Invasion III, a convention to be held in Barking in May of that year. Thus was born a fulllength play called Déjà vu of the Doctors, in which a rogue Time Lord tampered with each Doctor incarnation, turning the Third Doctor, for example, into a scarecrow not unlike Worzel Gummidge, the Fifth Doctor into a vet not unlike the one in All Creatures Great and Small, and so on.

Because this venture involved entering into copyright territory, the decision was taken early on that this would be a non-profit production. The only expenses asked for would be accommodation and a very modest (indeed, inadequate) budget for costumes and props.

While the company was rehearsing Déjà vu of the Doctors, another convention – Destiny, held in Northampton – asked them to provide a sketch show. So the company wrote and performed Arrant Nonsense for Tenth Planet Events, which took inspiration from the sketches that actor and Doctor Who scribe Mark Gatiss had written and performed for BBC 2’s Doctor Who Night back in 1999.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Highlights of DWM 547 include: • Exclusive previews of episodes 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Series 12 • Part two of an in-depth interview with showrunner Chris Chibnall • Bradley Walsh answers questions from the TARDIS tin • The greatest Master reveals of all time • Secrets of the first four episodes of the epic 1960s story The Daleks' Master Plan are revealed in The Fact of Fiction • The story of Tom Baker and Dennis Allan Print, featuring previously unseen images of the Fourth Doctor in the 1970s • A look at the OFFSTAGE Theatre Group, providers of Doctor Who-themed comedy on stage from 2002-2013 • Comic strip action for the Thirteenth Doctor in Mistress of Chaos