Tag Archives: theatre

The Wisdom of Actors

“He scuffs, he pouts, he leans against walls, he rolls his eyes, he swallows his words.” – New York Times on James Dean

“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” – Clint Eastwood

“She was as conspicuous as a fresh carnation on a shabby suit.” – theatre critic Milton Shulman on seeing Audrey Hepburn

“Say your lines, don’t bump into the furniture, don’t get involved and go home to your family.” – Spencer Tracy

“I was so young and making movies, going to the studio at dawn every morning, was magic.” – Natalie Wood

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Rent

“In honour of the death of Bohemia, an impromptu salon will commence immediately following dinner.”

The original Broadway production of Rent opened in April 1996 and in that same year won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Book & Score as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The show ran for 5,123 performances.

The New Year’s Eve sequence in the film turned into a real party.

Idina Menzel sang Over The Moon live during filming rather than pre-recording the track and miming. Chris Columbus (the director) has said she sang the song at least 7 times while shooting the scene.

Mimi’s line at the end of Light My Candle, “They call me, they call me Mimi…” is actually a line from Puccini’s opera La Boheme translated from the original Italian.


Movie Theatre Etiquette Manifesto

I’ve always believed that cinemas and theatres should have a rule that if you can’t get there for curtain-up, you should wait until the interval to take your seat so that you don’t disturb everyone else by squeezing along the row of seats, wriggling out of your coat, arranging your belongings around your feet and then getting a phone call in the middle of the next scene because you forgot to turn off your mobile.

In line with this, I bring you the Movie Theatre Etiquette Manifesto from IFC.com.

“If you need someone to tell you not to pour coke on the floor of a movie theatre, maybe movie theatre etiquette isn’t your biggest problem.”


Spring Awakening

Spring Awakening was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2007 and won 8 of them. This is a musical based on a play written in 1891. That’s 120 years ago. Somehow this story is still powerful enough to make a huge impact on everyone who hears it.

That’s the kind of impact I want to make. I want to create something that will carry on when I’m gone, that will make people cry, that will make people think about their lives, that will make people remember me.


deus ex machina

I didn’t so much learn this as remember it. It means “God from the machine”. I love this. This is what keeps me going when I’d rather jump into the harbour than spend another day in the office.

It’s a phrase from the theatre that literally refers to “God” being lowered down to the stage to wave a magic wand and give everyone a happy ending.  (I know God doesn’t have a magic wand, it’s poetic license.) In a more contemporary sense it’s those clichéd plot twists in sit-coms and rom-coms that do pretty much the same thing, that corny last scene in the movie when the characters magically get their scholarship or find their missing family pet or pair off and stroll away into the sunset despite having spent the last 2 hours bickering like old women.

It’s usually considered a pretty poor story telling technique as it’s an easy get-out that’ll keep the audience happy. However, from the point of view of a “character” I think it’s what everyone wishes for every so often, deep down under all the independence and self reliance. It’s an instant, effortless solution to the frustrating job, the boring social life, the painful love life, whatever it is that keeps you up at night. It’s the secret fantasy that you’ll be spotted in the high street and whisked away to Hollywood to be famous.

It’s not like I rely on this, I’m fully on board with seizing the day and taking responsibility, but every so often it’s nice to think that the universe is ready to step in with a sign. A really obvious sign. Maybe delivered by Paul Bettany…sorry, sidetracked.

It’s that pinpoint light at the end of the tunnel. And sure it could be an on-coming train but that’s part of the build up, the anticipation. Waiting in the dark will only make it that much better when your rescuer appears with a packed lunch, a fantastic job offer and maybe a puppy to lighten the mood.