The Fourth Wall Convention etc

Fourth Wall
A convention that there is a “fourth wall” to the area in which the action on stage is taking place – this wall normally “exists” along the front edge of the stage so that you, the audience, are effectively watching through it. More importantly (and a note to people in the Lion King in Bristol last night) the people on the brightly lit side of the wall do the talking and singing and the people on the dark side (as in illumination not Star Wars) do the listening and applauding – its a simple idea which really should be adopted.

Please turn off all mobiles
This announcement, usually given before every show, is fairly simple to interpret. It means to take your mobile phone (or cell phone if you’re a visitor to our fair country) and turn it off. Curious though it may seem, having it on vibrate is not the same (hence spoiled poignant moment at recent show) and having it on silent but continuing to text is also not the same (there’s a reason some people use their mobile screen as a torch).

Amateur Theatre
Jokingly, if the people on stage know all the people in the audience then its ‘amateur’. If the people in the audience know the people on stage its ‘professional’. A note to potential audience members; ‘amateur’ does not necessarily mean ‘bad’, it means ‘not earning a living at it’, when an amateur actor turns pro he doesn’t get better, he gets paid. A note to amateur companies; ‘amateur’ doesn’t mean ‘I only have to be adequate’, just saying, that’s all.

No photographs
This applies to you. All of you. And to cameras, video cameras, mobile phones and any other photo-taking equipment you might have about your person.

You see, theatre is really easy when you know the terminology ….

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