Last Minute Theatre
Sorry, no panto..
Well, at this time of year we would normally be rehearsing for Pantomime, bringing cheer and amusement to all. As we can’t do that at present I thought the following amusing world of amateur drama would lighten our way towards Christmas.
…but something to make you smile.
- John and Nigel were playing the part of the horse in the local panto. When they agreed to take the part on they had forgotten about the Saturday matinee. On Saturday afternoons they always went to see the local football team they supported. So they met up with other friends in a nearby pub to discuss the match they had just missed owing to the matinee. The drinks flowed freely after a convincing victory when Nigel suddenly realised they were due on stage. He stumbled back to the theatre to be greeted by the stage manager who yelled, “You’re due on in a minute and you’re ruddy well paralytic!” “You think I’m paralytic”, replied Nigel. “Wait till you see the back end of the horse. He thinks he’s got lines and he’s trying to remember them!”
- An amdram group were putting on Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves at Christmas. As it was only a small group, the principal boy on making her first entrance would utter the scene-setting line, “You two thieves come with me – the other thirty-eight wait outside.”
- Another amdram group was putting on a panto and playing to a very rowdy house. Even the experienced dame who had a strong voice was not being heard. Suddenly a man on the front row stood up and yelled, “Why don’t you all shut up and give the old cow a chance?” His shout quietened the audience and the dame immediately stepped forward and said, “Thank you, sir. It’s nice to know there’s at least one gentleman in the house.”
- One night an actor dried and started ad-libbing while waiting for the prompt which did not come. He walked over to the prompt who looked up and with a snarl simply said, “Wrong!”
- The local group had just done a dreadful production of Dial M For Murder. When the review came out the critic wrote, “I saw the play at a great disadvantage – the curtain was up.”
- A young man came into his house and said to his parents, “I’ve got a part in the local group’s play.” “What part is it?” asked his mother. “I’m going to play a man who has been married for twenty years.” “Well, don’t worry, son,” said his father, “Perhaps next time you’ll get a speaking part.”
- A local actress met her priest in the street and gushed, “Oh Father O’Reilly, I got the part of the Queen in Snow White and, having looked at myself in the mirror, thought how beautiful I am. Will I have to do penance?” “Not at all, my child,” replied the priest. “You only do penance for a sin not a mistake.”
- A reviewer of a local show went home and his wife asked him if it had a happy ending. “Certainly did,” replied the critic. “Everyone was delighted when it was over.”
- It was a death-bed scene but the director was dissatisfied with the acting. “Come on,” he cried. “Put more life into your dying.”
- The amdram society had just finished the first performance of a new show. The cast, as they stood to the applause of their friends and relatives, felt pleased with the effort. As the curtain closed the hall was quickly cleared except for one man who sat sobbing in the back row. The director was rather impressed by this and approached the man. “It was a rather touching performance,” said the director. “Are you a relative of a cast member?” “No,” sobbed the man. “I’m the author.”
- In one infamous amdram episode, the production was dragging and near the end of the second act, the villain clobbered the hero from behind and left. The heroine promptly came on stage and discovered her lover on the floor. “Oh dear. He must have fainted. What shall I do? What shall I do?” A bored voice from the hall answered her, “Try tickling his balls!”
- It’s quite common for amateur actors to mangle lines a little. The secret of success is to continue without breaking the flow, quite difficult when the line you’ve mixed up is “Oh dear, John has just shot himself!” or “You know, there’s art in farce.”
With warmest wishes.