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Sick bowls and Siri does Shakespeare – stage reports unveil theatre’s funniest moments of 2017

Ross O'Donnellan in Julius Caesar at the Bristol Old Vic. The line "Sirrah, what news?" prompted a response from Siri on an audience member's phone. Photo: Simon Purse Ross O'Donnellan in Julius Caesar at the Bristol Old Vic. The line "Sirrah, what news?" prompted a response from Siri on an audience member's phone. Photo: Simon Purse
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Shakespeare setting off Siri and a guide dog in an audience responding to sound effects are among the hilarious bloopers revealed in theatres’ show reports from 2017.

Show reports are compiled by stage managers after every performance, detailing everything from technical information and running time, to things that did not go quite right.

The Stage has sourced the funniest moments from 2017 from theatres including Shakespeare’s Globe, Hull Truck and London’s Young Vic.

One report, on Julius Caesar at the Bristol Old Vic, revealed that the line “Sirrah, what news” woke up voice recognition programme Siri on an audience member’s iPhone, causing Siri politely to ask what exactly had been said.

Another, from Hull Truck, read: “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 the company on stage, who loved him.”

Other moments revealed by stage managers include a man visiting Shakespeare’s Globe from Germany telling managers it was irresponsible not to “put the roof on” to shield audience members from the sunshine, convinced the open-air venue had a retractable roof.

At Birmingham Rep, a lady asked the box office whether Bob Marley, who died in 1981, would himself be performing in a musical about his life, while at London’s Young Vic, Lenny Henry held a sick bowl during a performance for an audience member who became unwell.

Read the full feature on the best moments from show reports of 2017 here. 

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