Last Minute Theatre.
A light at the end of a tunnel?
We, as live theatre, may be glimpsing a tiny light at the end of a very long tunnel. We hope it won’t be long before we’re able to start preparations for ‘treading the boards’ again! In the meantime, just a few recollections of some unintended humorous Last Minute Theatre moments of the past 21 years.
Our first production, a Victorian music hall, found the four female chorus members designing their own Pearly King and Queen costumes. My waistcoat pearl button design was of the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral. The following week, one of our other ladies had obviously been inspired and proudly presented hers showing The Millennium Dome.
A duet rendition of ‘Ah yes, I remember it well’ was going beautifully until ‘That brilliant sky, We had some rain, Those Russian songs, From sunny Spain’, became ‘That brilliant sky’, (performer’s blank) ‘It rained a bit.’I can’t recall the male response but it certainly didn’t rhyme with bit.Giggles ensued as they chorused, ‘Ah yes, I remember it well!’
I’m no dummy!
The ventriloquist’s dummy sketch started with me, the dummy, (no comments please) being pushed on stage in a large sealed box. The ventriloquist then had to unpack the dummy by lugging it from said box and pulling it onto his knee. Unfortunately, the enthusiastic exertion applied that night resulted in two cracked ribs. Believe me, the eyes on stalks, open mouth and fake tears were not acted that evening.
A lady member of LMT had hurriedly eaten some fish, chips and mushy peas, just before a dress rehearsal. She had a beautifully choreographed singing duet to perform and, as her partner rolled her in close to him, a loud emission of wind was heard! Her chivalrous partner stepped aside from her and proclaimed, “Well, it wasn’t me!”
During a skit of ‘Les Miserables’ one of our young members sang ‘There is a Castle on a Cloud’, usually a poignant song. Humour was added by an adult, kneeling directly behind her, replacing the young girl’s arms with hers, as per the ‘Little Yellow Idol’ poem. All was going to plan until the Velcro fastening on the adult’s skirt suddenly gave way. Knowing the total embarrassment this would cause when she stood up, a third lady shot on to hold the skirt. We now had a three tier act, all of which, at the end of the song, became seamlessly disentangled, sort of!
Finally, this is just an amusing observation.When we performed our murder mystery ‘A Shotgun Wedding’, it involved a pregnant bride.Perfect timings LMT used a founder member, Helen, as the bride.She wore her own wedding gown from two years earlier, and was, by then noticeably pregnant.Easy jib for our wardrobe department!
Mary J Orton ( on behalf of the Last Minute Theatre.