So…. Funny Girl – Ken

Published: 20th May 2017

So…. Sorry I did say in a previous blog that I hate it when people start a statement with ‘So’ but there is a point to this as it is the first word in a question I overheard at the beginning of Funny Girl at the Theatre Royal Newcastle last night from a woman sitting just behind me as the overture ended and the show began. She’d been chatting to her friend all the way through the music but as soon as Sheridan Smith appeared on stage as Fanny Brice instead of settling back to watch a superb performance she turned to her friend and in a loud ‘stage whisper’ said, “So what’s this about?”  Despite being in the upper circle the tickets cost £45.  Two people in front of me, though I couldn’t hear what they were saying because most of the audience were laughing at the witty dialogue, also had their heads together in animated conversation complete with distracting hand gestures!

So…. Why do these people think they are on some kind of live theatre Gogglebox show?  Is it just ignorance or inexperience?  Perhaps they would also like some kind of ‘theatre control’ so they can press ‘pause’ and then wander off to the loo before topping up their wine.  One couple sitting next to us, (‘us’ being me and Val – we were there on a company fact finding mission to see if Sheridan was good enough to act in one of our productions – she is but I doubt she’d do it for Equity Rates) anyway this couple went out for the interval and came back with bags of boiled sweets which they tried to open and unwrap slowly and quietly for the next half hour – why couldn’t they have brought silent ice cream tubs? I think there is a good argument for Theatre’s to have signs and an announcement before the shows like the cinemas have about mobile phones. I suggest a voice over by Ray Winstone saying ‘Remember!  Keep your gob shut and suck sweets in the interval or I’ll punch you in the ‘froat’ mate!’

Faux hypocrisy alert !  Canny Craic like audiences that join in during our shows. Well in the appropriate places.  Our historical educational pieces such as The Suffragettes, Freeborn John Lilburn and Bede: Out of the Darkness all had times where the characters asked the audience questions and invited interaction.  It’s the same in our staff development sessions where the actors stay in character and engage with small groups of delegates to solve problems.

If you look at the comments from our customers elsewhere on the website you’ll see how much they enjoy and the benefits they gain from training sessions with Canny Craic. Going back to last night’s show Canny Craic are ‘people who need people’ – see what I did there? I don’t know how I do it!!