These two are two sound men.
You might be looking at that picture and thinking that they look decidedly unsound. You may also be wondering why they are manning a bric-a-brac stall at a church fete (other denominations, including the absence thereof, are available).
This though, is the sound effects table for our next production, It’s a Wonderful Life. While the actors are doing their thing on one half of the stage these two gentlemen will be creating most of the sound effects live on the other half of the stage, using a varied assortment of items, and that is what makes them “sound men”.
They won’t be creating all of the sound effects. We are not, for example, allowed to park an actual 1940’s taxi in the village hall, nor are we allowed to break a couple of actual windows per performance. It is also not possible to authentically recreate the sound of a man hurling himself off a bridge into the raging torrent below, in the midst of a howling gale, without contravening more Health and Safety regulations than you could shake a stick at, the shaking of said stick adding an extra H & S violation. Tricky.
Among the sounds they will be creating, live and without a safety net, are: family dinner time, shop door bell, a variety of doors opening, closing, locked and being bolted, an old-fashioned type-writer, a mynah bird shaking its feathers, ice cracking, walking through snow and a naked woman in a hydrangea bush (these are sound effects only, remember).
We are told that the baseball bat is also needed purely for the creation of sound effects, but one can’t help wondering whether it is a desperate ploy on the part of the director to corral the acting talent into learning their lines and not larking about during rehearsals. Only time will tell.
Back to our “sound men”; how will they be creating all of these sound effects live on stage? We don’t have to wait long to find out. They will be performing these audible marvels in less than two months, when It’s a Wonderful Life takes to the stage. There will also be some acting, and some singing too – fear not though, our “sound men” will not be attempting to harmonize at any point during the show!
It’s a Wonderful Life
~ October 18th – 20th 2018 ~
Bluntisham Village Hall