The dress rehearsal of “The Art of Coarse Acting” began with one of the actors sticking out her head from behind the curtain and asking if they should start, and the director yelling from the back of the theatre that yes, it was time to start. It was unscripted, but so in theme with the play itself that I believe they decided to include it in the final production.
‘An amateur performance is not teamwork. It is a free-for-all among a dozen egos, and the ego that gets there firstest with the mostest wins.’
For fifty years, Michael Green’s dramatic manual parody ‘The Art of Coarse Acting’ has been a classic work of comic genius that is all too relatable for anyone involved in amateur theatre. Now, it is being brought into the environment it pokes fun at and lays bare – the stage.
A non-stop, breakneck hour of madcap guidance on how to be the best worst amateur dramatics society you possibly can, dealing with everything from stage deaths to stock characters, from unhelpful prompters to distraught directors to even distraughter writers, from Shakespearian jokes to collapsing scenery to making the most of a non-speaking part.
‘Have you ever seen an entire box set slowly teeter inwards and bury Lady Windermere? I have.’
(Text from Camdram)
‘Someone rang the office to say you are Lord Scroop tonight. Does that make sense?’ Is it any wonder the ensuing swordfight went like this?
Shall I put some more logs on the stove?”
A director is perfectly entitled to mangle a writer’s script as much as he likes.
‘Oh god, I hate myself!’
The director rewrote it to this…
‘Sometimes I wonder what life is all about.’
Narrator – Serena Macmillan
Askew – Katy Cross
Coarse Actor – Natalie Reeve, Jasmin Rees, Louis Morris,Isla Iago
Associate Director – Ben Martineau
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth
Producer – Gaia Fay Lambert
Stage Manager – Caitlin Walsh
Publicity Designer – Hannah Taylor
Assistant Producer – Gabrielle Brucciani
Costume Designer – Elise Hagan
Technical Designer – Peter Lotts
Publicity Distribution – Nick Harrison
Director / Adaptor – Charlotte Cromie