Celebrity 14: The Worst That Could Happen
A few last nip ‘n’ tucks have been made to the script, but I still have no idea how long our play is – sometimes it’s an hour and half, sometimes shorter, depending on whether the cast relax or go hell for leather. As it’s a comedy, I think it’s important to be slightly short – have you ever seen a comedy on film or stage that worked at two hours?
What has shocked me is how little I knew going into this and how much I’m still learning. The actors put in little bits of business that seem so perfect I wish I’d written them into the script (and maybe I will for next time). Clearly things don’t always run this smoothly, as the book at the bottom of this column outlines. The smallest show needs quite a bit of money and personnel behind it to happen at all, and there are so many unknowns that this kind of undertaking is not something which anyone should try if they’re;
a/ of a nervous disposition
b/ afraid of looking daft
c/ not prepared to improvise ideas on the spot
d/ a natural planner
e/ uncomfortable with criticism
I keep asking myself; what’s the worst that could happen? I come up with;
a/ audience turns hostile, throws stuff
b/ audience nods off, texts friends, talks among itself
c/ set falls down
d/ lighting/ music cues all go wrong
e/ tube strike/ flu/ ten days of torrential rain keep room empty
f/ Celebrity recognises self in play, sues production
g/ beer runs out.
Recommended reading; ‘Second Act Trouble’ by Steven Suskin – which shows just how many disastrous things can happen on the way to Broadway.