It’s No Laughing Matter…

Friday 19th April 2019

My partner, Lorna, has the soul of a saint.

I am quite sure that every time she hears the starting phrase, “Do you fancy going to…” that her heart sinks a little.

In the last few years we have seen some cracking theatre. We have also seen some things that have been a bit “out there”. There have been a few duds. For Lorna. They did not float any of her boats…

One of her bug bears happens to be solo shows. I think, given her brave ability to accompany me to some highly challenging work whilst there have been brief and pithy reviews given in the car, there has never been anything less than truthful and very to the point; some would not have got the Lorna approval rating…

Patiently she will listen to my explanation as to why something may have validity, may be worthy, may even be entertaining but she knows what she likes; and is pretty good at telling me what that is – not….

And so, one performance in the recent past we went to see a show.

It was physical and it was challenging, and we sat through the whole performance – there was no interval.

Mid way something happened.

Our solo performer got into a song. It was not lyrical, not particularly rhythmic or would make the top 10 but it was part of the whole experience. Lorna though, was not “in the zone”.

The giggles began and when she looked at me and, apparently, I made it worse. It was the way I looked allegedly; the corpsing began.

Now on stage the idea of corpsing is for many a cardinal sin. Laughing as an actor when you are not supposed to is not good. Mind you panto and others have broken that taboo and the fourth wall to get a laugh and make a point. Audiences love it like an early release and people tend to be not only forgiving of the actors but find it adds to the theatrical experience.


What about in the audience? What about when the picture onstage is funny – unexpectedly and without intention?

Is it OK to be inappropriate from the stalls?