the domestiC AcTresS

Stay at home with the cats... or act on stage. My lifelong dilemma.

Sunday, April 30, 2006


Yesterday, the hubby and I went to watch 'Two' at St James Cavalier. What a great performance from the Pea and Edward Mercieca! Of course they were lucky to have a brilliant script to work with but still, they really, really did it justice. For those of you who don't know, the play, by Jim Cartwright, is a series of vignettes set in a pub in the northern part of the UK. The characters are made up of the owners of the pub and their clients... but the twist is that all the characters are played by just two actors, hence the name. It's on tonight and next weekend so, go and watch it.

Years ago I had played one of the characters, Maudie, at St James during a performance which stemmed from a workshop by Masquerade - what a hoot it was! I muttered all the lines under my breath as the Pea said them (completely silently of course!) But my favourite sketch by far was the one where Pea and Edward played a married couple watching TV in the pub. I laughed so much - it was just so cute and well-written and acted!

But the evening was marred somewhat by the following incident: while Edward was playing a particularly poignant character (a man whose wife had died), a mobile phone went off. Silently. So you might think that was ok. But the a**hole owner of said mobile actually answered his phone. Can you believe that?!! One of the most unforgettable, sad, quiet bits of the play and someone upstairs answers his bloody phone with 'Yes?!' and 'I'll talk to you later' and bla bla bla.

I swear, I had to grip the sides of my chair to stop myself going upstairs, hurling this idiot's mobile phone downstairs and watching it smash to pieces. I do believe that if I had, I would have gotten a huge round of applause too! Honestly, it's bad enough that people answer their phones at the cinema, but during a live performance? For crying out loud.

It reminded me of another incident that I experienced first-hand a couple of years ago when I took part in the play 'Five Kinds of Silence', also at St James. Now, this play is about a father raping his two daughters systematically during their lives so, as you can imagine, it was not exactly a barrel of laughs. As for me (I played one of the daughters, Susan) it was one of the most challenging, satisfying roles I have ever played. It really was a difficult character to play and after every performance I would be drained and exhausted. And so would most of the audience, as it was very emotional.

So you can imagine how I (and the rest of the cast) felt when, just before one performance, a woman walked in, sat down and started talking to her handbag. Yes, her handbag. Then she had a (one-way) chat with some of the people around her. Them she talked a bit to her programme.

We were terrified that she would do something equally as strange, or worse, during the performance itself. All through the play, all the cast was very tense, almost upset, because we knew that if she interrupted even one minute of the play, the magic would be lost. In fact, I remember the director, tony bezzina, standing next to her throughout the performance, ready to yank her out of the theatre if anything happened. Thank goodness, she seemed riveted throughout the performance and didn't make a sound. But I know exactly how Edward must have felt yesterday, which is perhaps why I was/am so livid.

I hope Adrian Buckle, the producer, got a good look at this man and will ban him from all future Unifaun performances! In fact, if Chris Gatt or anyone from St James is reading this, perhaps you might consider banning this individual from St James altogether. Grrrr!


  • At 12:27 PM, Blogger wwwitchie said…

    I think that what should have been done but wasn't is that the ushers who are hanging around outside at St James should have been inside the theatre and carted off the pest without waiting for any explanations whatsoever. He should have been chucked out IMMEDIATELY.

  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger princess reesabuttercup said…

    To be honest, there was a flurry of activity by someone next to the door (I presume, an usher) as the guy was answering his phone. I don't know what happened next but I don't think they threw him out.

    In any case, throwing him out would have interrupted Edward's performance even further as the guy would probably have kicked up a fuss... and you know how small the St James theatre is! It would have been different in the manoel as they would have been able to get rid of him with the minimum of fuss. Just ban the bastard say I!

  • At 9:38 AM, Blogger MaltaGirl said…

    While we were waiting for "Two" to start last week, I asked Michael if he wanted to bet on how many phones would ring during the performance... he won because he said he didn't think any would go off, but afterwards he explained that his reasoning was that reception in St. James should be bad since the theatre is in an old well! But isn't is sad that we even come to expect such things to happen?

    I agree, chuck out and, if possible, ban these people. I'm so sorry that he ruined that scene - it was one of the three that made me cry :-)

    Mike and I also loved the old married couple, HOW SWEET! And we were most impressed by the Lesley and Roy scene.

    PS I understand about the handbag lady - I was in a similar position once where I was translating a performance (live from the front) and the person in question (sitting in the front row) had a history of disrupting translators, sometimes with violence... Michael sat nearby and kept a look-out for me *grin* Of course even if she had interrupted it wouldn't have mattered much, unlike for Five Kinds of Silence - how nerve-wracking!

  • At 11:54 AM, Anonymous mal said…

    When the Dingle and I had the first show of Snubbed Actors Inc. at St James, we decided to deliberately interrupt our own play by sticky-taping a mobile phone under one of the seats before the show, and getting one of the backstage crew to ring it just after intermission. It was great to see a random audience member squirm in embarrassed confusion as the rest of the audience (including his girlfriend) gave him evil looks.

    However we dropped the gag after the first night as it was just too cruel.

  • At 6:28 PM, Blogger Paul Cacciottolo said…

    I hate it when that happens. Funny thing is that as soon as one phone goes off, the rest of the audience realise what a berk the offender must feel like, and all reach into their pockets/handbags to switch off their own devices. Does it really take such a blatant reminder for people to switch their phones off? Perhaps just as the lights go down at the beginning of the show (before anything actually starts) there should be a planted phone, like mal suggests. That would learn 'em

    Ah well... Brilliant show, Two. Loved every minute of it. Funny, yet poignant in places. Three thumbs up.

  • At 8:23 AM, Blogger Hsejjes said…

    Just for those people I would introduce the capital punishment!

  • At 4:28 PM, Blogger princess reesabuttercup said…

    Hee hee hee malc - how cruel! Capital punishment may be a leeeetle extreme... but I;m all for naming and shaming. Perhaps we should take photos of all the offenders and hang them outside establishments such as St James and the Manoel so that they won't be allowed in!

  • At 12:21 AM, Blogger MaltaGirl said…

    We went to see "An Evening With Gary Lineker" at the Manoel tonight and I'm pretty sure that someone's mobile went off at one point - it was a very toe-tapping tune but still maddening... and this after the usual voice-over asking for mobiles and pagers to be turned off. *sigh*

    The play is hilarious, by the way, I recommend it... plenty of humour, toilet and otherwise, and lots of fun to watch :-)

  • At 12:03 PM, Blogger Toni Sant said…

    21st century vices have no place in pre-20th century events. Or is it other way round?


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