Tag Archives: Rehearsal

Taking comedy very seriously

We take our comedy very seriously at BaCStage. You have to play comedy absolutely straight or it just isn’t funny.

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‘Allo ‘Allo presents some interesting new challenges, not least of which is to portray a group of characters who are well known and much loved from off the telly (explainer for our young reader: “the telly” is “YouTube for old people”). We can’t just impersonate the originals; we must find the characters for ourselves.

Ron
Ron, yesterday

Some of the cast are going to great lengths to find their characters. Chairman Ron, for example, has already been on three holidays this year.  Historical accounts of World War II don’t give much detail on how long the occupying German forces in France spent topping up their suntans, but Ron generally knows what he’s doing so far be it from me to question his methods.

Peaky Blinder
There has been ein mistake…

Our Herr Flick, meanwhile, has been all the way to Berlin in search of inspiration (good luck claiming that on expenses – Ed).  We’re not sure he’s read the stage directions, or even the script at all for that matter, but on the other hand should the Peaky Blinders ever decamp to Germany he’ll be in with a good shout of getting a part.

Back at the Old Day School rehearsals have been progressing, but not always in the right direction.  One of us thought we were putting on Das Boot, while some others decided to enact Brexit through the medium of interpretive dance.

Das Boot

However, Herr Direktor Gordon is on the case.  When the actors step out of line he gets off the case, gets onto the stage and directs with ruthless efficiency.

Listen very carefully
Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once…

BaCStage presents ‘Allo ‘Allo ~ April 2019

This amateur production of ‘Allo ‘Allo is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH LTD.

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‘Allo ‘Allo, what’s going on ‘ere then?

Welcome to 2019, dear reader. Don’t be deceived by a lack of blog activity lately; we have been busy rehearsing ‘Allo ‘Allo. There is at least one thing in this country related to Europe that is going well…

It’s hard work, being an actor, but someone has to do it!

Sound Men

These two are two sound men.

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).

A load of old toot

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).

Sound effects with menacesWe 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!

Sound.

It’s a Wonderful Life
~ October 18th – 20th 2018 ~
Bluntisham Village Hall

18 and counting…

18

18 dead deceased murdered copses?  That would be going some with a cast of only 10 characters.  Many secondary causes of death there…

18 days till opening night?  As it happens, at the time of writing there are, but we’re not having a balloon countdown every day.

An 18th birthday?  Could be – but who?  Is it Cardew, with the dagger?  (Don’t start that again – Ed)

It was in fact Captain Henrietta with the cake.  After three everyone:

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday Captainhenriettawoolmercardington,
Happy birthday to you.

Now stop that and get back to rehearsals. We’ve got a show to put on in… how many days?

Don’t mention the War

What’s going on here then?

Count Puchlik

Does this actor have dodgy knees?  Possibly.

Are his trousers overly starchy?  Perhaps.

Or is there something altogether more sinister going on?

Come along to BaCStage’s next show Secondary Cause of Death and find out!  Tickets on sale now.

You can buy your tickets online at TicketSource

Book now
or in person at Bluntisham Service Station

Tickets are £8 in advance, or £8.50 on the door.

SecondaryCOD-18- Leaflet

I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.


SECONDARY CAUSE OF DEATH
(the sequel to Murdered to Death)
by Peter Gordon
April 19th, 20th & 21st 2018 ~ Bluntisham Village Hall
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with
Josef Weinberger Limited

Somebody’s body

This week we took delivery of the Bagshot House sofa.  Our green sofa has done an excellent job as understudy through rehearsals so far, but now we have the real thing.  We’d like to say a big thank you to the good people of Emmaus Cambridge for lending us the sofa, and also a bookcase; after all, a library isn’t a library without a bookcase.

So here it is, for the first time ever – Colonel Craddock’s new old sofa.

BagshotHouseSofa

Very nice!  But what is that on the sofa, hidden beneath Inspector Pratt’s trademark overcoat?

Has Inspector Pratt fallen asleep?  Never!  He never falls asleep on the job, although he has been known to rest his frontal cranial lobotomy area after a hard day’s detection.

Perhaps it is somebody’s body.  Maybe it’s nobody’s body.

There’s only one way to find out – book yourself in for a stay at Bagshot House Hotel and join us for an evening of murder, mystery, mayhem, double agents, double crossing, double entendres, and Pratt.  Tickets on sale now!

You can buy your tickets online at TicketSource

Book now
or in person at Bluntisham Service Station

Tickets are £8 in advance, or £8.50 on the door.

Secondary Cause of Death

 SECONDARY CAUSE OF DEATH
(the sequel to Murdered to Death)
by Peter Gordon
April 19th, 20th & 21st 2018 ~ Bluntisham Village Hall
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with
Josef Weinberger Limited

You leave them alone for 5 minutes…

Ron thought it would be a good idea to have a whiteboard and calendar in the ODS, to convey useful information such as “what we’re rehearsing this week” or “when actors will be missing rehearsals” or…

Wot no dog?

Indeed.  Give a bunch of overgrown children a marker pen and whiteboard and you’ve only got yourself to blame really, Ron.

In the interests of open-ness and accurate finger-pointing it should be noted that this was not the work of an actor but of a member of the stage crew, who shall remain nameless.  Gordon does have a point though – it’s been a while since a dog featured in a post on this blog.

I'll be back

Eventually we did get some useful information.

Abstinence

With that much “abstinence” coming up we may need a bigger whiteboard.  Fear not though, loyal punter, none of us have anything planned for production week.  Not a thing, nada, zilch, zip, nothing at all.

Apart from putting on a show, of course – Ed.

Oh yes, that.  I knew there was something…

SECONDARY CAUSE OF DEATH
(the sequel to Murdered to Death)
by Peter Gordon
April 19th, 20th & 21st 2018 ~ Bluntisham Village Hall
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with
Josef Weinberger Limited

 

If you build it, they will orally articulate

Bagshot House is starting to take shape.

Bagshot House

Looks like Colonel Craddock could do with getting the decorators in though.  Not to mention some doors.  Bonus point if you can spot part of the set from Virtue Triumphant there.

Like moths to a flame, actors are inexorably drawn to a stage set.  They just can’t stop themselves from getting up and performing (it’s called “rehearsing” – Ed).

Actors, acting

Just as well, really.  If they only did this sort of thing at home then the rest of us would never get to see it (what actors actually do get up to at home is their own business, of course, although we could probably sell tickets for that too).

We’ll find out what they’re up to when Secondary Cause of Death takes to the stage.  Whether Inspector Pratt manages to figure it out is another matter entirely!

SECONDARY CAUSE OF DEATH
(the sequel to Murdered to Death)
by Peter Gordon
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with
Josef Weinberger Limited
April 19th, 20th & 21st 2018 ~ Bluntisham Village Hall

Jigging about a bit

I don’t want to alarm anyone of a sensitive disposition, but I think it only fair to warn you that in our next production, Virtue Triumphant, some characters will be dancing a hornpipe.

One of the cast at least does know what she’s doing.

Hornpipe

Unfortunately it’s the other three who will be performing the dance onstage.

Will they get it right on the night?  They better had do, or they’ll have to deal with the wrath of a truly scary character.  No, not the Squire – the director!

Keep on shaking those thangs, fellas.

Virtue Triumphant, April 14th to 16th at Bluntisham Village Hall.  Tickets on sale soon.