Post-performance, stage managers compile a show report detailing everything from technical info to the running time – and revealing moments when things have not gone so smoothly. Here are some of the year’s best bloopers…
Audience members do the funniest things
A German gentleman who visited during the matinee complained about having to stand in the sunshine, telling the duty managers it was irresponsible of us not to “put the roof on”. He was convinced there was a retractable roof.
A couple of minutes before clearance was due, stage management had to escort a lady off the stage. She’d gone on to take photos of her friends and then decided to go and explore the set.
One Love: The Bob Marley Musical , Birmingham Rep
A woman asked at the box office if Bob Marley was actually in the show.
One Love: The Bob Marley Musical, Birmingham Rep
Man found dangling child over seating bank trying to retrieve item of clothing. Usher kindly asked the gentleman to refrain from using his offspring as an extension of his arm. Jacket was successfully retrieved by usher.
An audience member left a bag full of processed cheese in the middle of the onstage seating section. The stage manager very kindly put the cheese into the fridge during the show.
Life of Galileo , Young Vic
A pregnant lady walked into the onstage toilet. Ushers tried to stop her going in but she continued and locked the door. Usher then went on to frantically knock on the door. Luckily she opened the door prior to using the non-working facilities.
Customer became unwell and vomited during the performance, she was taken to balcony where first aider attended. Front of house are extremely grateful to Mr Lenny Henry, who graciously held the sick bowl throughout the performance.
The line “Sirrah, what news?” woke up Siri on a member of the audience’s smartphone. Siri politely asked what exactly had been said.
Julius Caesar , Bristol Old Vic
Great post-show audience response: One elderly lady commented that she’ll look at her neighbours in a new light; another said there’s hope for humanity; a third said she needed a glass of wine.
The House They Grew Up In , Chichester Festival Theatre
Show start was delayed and front-of-house calls suspended pre-show as most of the audience were outside waiting for the Queen to leave the Minerva. As soon as she left, everyone was seated as quickly as possible.
Driving Miss Daisy, Chichester Festival Theatre
Nice audience. One gentleman even started harmonising during Adele.
This Beautiful Future , the Yard
A lady on the front row got her white jeans blood-stained during part two of Titus Andronicus. She was undeterred and, like us, confident it will wash out.
Titus Andronicus , Royal Shakespeare Company
During cinema broadcast of Titus Andronicus, a winged assailant was determined to make its way on to the big screen. Silent hysteria broke out in the auditorium among cameramen and front of house, thinking it was a bat, but it turned out to be an escapee from Butterfly World, our neighbours across the Avon. It escaped into the foyer eventually, and flew off.
Titus Andronicus, Royal Shakespeare Company
A patron came to watch the matinee holding a sickly seagull they’d found outside by the River Thames. Front of house kindly asked them to leave the seagull outside the theatre while they watched the show. Box office came to the rescue and looked after it in a cardboard box, then post-show the patron came and picked it up to drive it to the RSPB.
Last performance with this batch of chicks. Quite quiet throughout the performance with the occasional cheep. When brought out on stage they were running around. Ron and Hermione were flapping their wings and running towards each other, as Harry quietly looked on.
This Beautiful Future, the Yard
A guide dog in the audience kept replying to the dog-barking sound effects with exceptional comic timing, and became very excited and animated. He attracted the attention of the audience and then the company on stage, who loved him.
The fish finger saga
October 9: The fish fingers only cooked for nine mins so Sam didn’t eat them.
October 10: Fish fingers cooked for 11 minutes tonight but were still cold. Tomorrow we will experiment with chilled not frozen fish fingers.
October 19: Mr Troughton put his hand down on the fish-finger sandwich during the undressing and had to wipe his hand on the carpet.
October 20: The fish fingers were in the oven for nine minutes and were still cold. Tomorrow we will experiment with pre-cooking the fish fingers so they heat all the way through.
October 21: The fish-finger experiment worked well and they were fully hot today.
November 1: Sam managed to step on to his fish-finger sandwich during undressing section.
November 2: The fish-finger sandwich by the beanbag got a bit squashed during the undressing.
Beginning , National Theatre
It’ll be alright on the night
One actor was spotted exiting early from Act III. When queried, he said he was following the other actors, but when fixed with a more quizzical stare, admitted that he wanted to get the kettle on for the interval.
Everton played Lyon in the Europa League this evening. At 6.15pm, a group of Lyon fans made its way past the theatre, and a loud and prolonged chant of “Lyon, Lyon, Lyon” was heard in the foyer, but luckily not in the auditorium. The performance at the Playhouse was far better than Everton’s at Goodison Park.
One actor’s urine bag has developed severe bladder weakness, so rather than send him on stage with a damp trouser leg, it was decided to cut the liquid from the effect until a new bag has been sourced for tomorrow’s performance.
The new type of stage blood on the fake pork joint is not transferring to one actor’s face as well as the blood used previously. It was changed to avoid staining the collar. Could the pork joint itself be made more absorbent?