Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Diary: No Brucie bonus – just a great balls-up of fire

Bruce Forsyth – Jac Yarrow's good luck charm. Photo: Robert Workman Bruce Forsyth – Jac Yarrow's good luck charm. Photo: Robert Workman
by -

Tabard has spent the past few days wondering whether Theatreland has been struck by a mischievous, havoc-wreaking poltergeist.

First, the Lyric Hammersmith’s revival of Noises Off – a play so dripping with catastrophic mishaps it makes The Play That Goes Wrong look positively plain sailing – suffered the most meta gaffe possible on press night when the lighting equipment failed mid-scene.

Ironic, given that in order to execute the increasingly outlandish string of fuck-ups that Michael Frayn’s farce requires, Noises Off is arguably the most meticulously planned production out there, so much so that Tabard hears audiences were left wondering whether this was all just a plan to zhuzh up the second half.

Meet the team behind the ‘Rubik’s cube’ set for classic farce Noises Off

And then the following evening, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat producer Michael Harrison and director Laurence Connor were forced on stage for an impromptu double act at the Palladium when the mixing desk spontaneously burst into flames midway through the first act. Sound designer Gareth Owen praised the pair’s stand-up skills, which kept punters entertained just long enough for him to put out the blaze and get the show back up in time for Go, Go, Go Joseph.

But if a poltergeist is too far-fetched for you, try this. Joseph star Jac Yarrow tells The Stage he superstitiously kisses Bruce Forsyth’s ashes – interred at the Palladium – every night before he performs. Maybe last week he forgot. Sorry, Brucie.


Joseph star Jac Yarrow: ‘If the audience is looking at my loincloth, I’m not doing my job’

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.