Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Thought for the Day • THEATRENOW.COM TAKES THE PISS • 2003

logoroguesA patronising, piss-taking generalization pops up in today’s theatrenow newsletter. We expect it in most publications, obsessed as they are with the idea that all performers are egotistical ‘luvvies’. Coming from a web site specifically geared to celebrating and promoting theatre, we find this particularly crass. One day soon, even the most desperate for publicity will avoid giving interviews to these publications.

‘In case you didn’t know,’ runs the newsletter, ‘actors are a funny bunch with more than their fair share of superstitions’.

Perhaps the acting profession does have more than its fair share but so what!

The newsletter continues: ‘An inherent need for attention coupled with a rampant ego is cearly [sic] fertile ground for all sorts of nonsensical beliefs’.

Here we go — every single actor is a raving egomaniac blah blah blah. Some are, some aren’t, just as are some journalists and some members of the human race. And, in any case, not all actors take note of these superstitions. Of those that do, many are merely maintaining a theatrical tradition, rather than being superstitious. Do journalists have no superstitions or traditions that might appear ludicrous to others?

The newsletter goes on to talk about Macbeth: ‘I hope you didn’t read that aloud or all manner of misfortune is bound to come your way. Yeah, right’.

Actually, no — you’d have to be working in a theatre for that superstition to apply.

There’s more: ‘Next time some theatrical type lets slip the name of the ‘Scottish play’, remind them the only way to beat the curse, according to Cassell’s Companion To Theatre, is to “immediately leave the room, turn around three times, break wind or spit, knock on the door and ask permission to re-enter”. Refuse to grant it.’

Isn’t that pleasant? Now, how can we take the piss out of this type of journalist?

And talking of The Scottish Play, ‘why is Macbeth considered an ‘unlucky’ play?’ asks Peter Mottley elsewhere on our site. ‘Forget all the fables and so-called legends of people dying on stage, or scenery collapsing, or performances being cancelled. The reality is far more mundane. The play has always been a sure-fire crowd-puller. Deservedly so: it’s a great play. Unfortunately, the 18th Century had virtually no great plays of its own (The Beaux Stratagem (1707), The Beggar’s Opera (1728), then nothing until Sheridan and Goldsmith in the late 1770s). Consequently, theatre producers took a chance on all sorts of second-rate plays — and frequently bombed out. If they had too many turkeys in a row, they would frequently try to cut their losses by putting on a production of Macbeth. Gradually, the word went round: if you’re putting on Macbeth, you must be in trouble. Hence the play’s association with failure — and bad luck.’

Sarah Vernon © 2003
NB To be perfectly frank, I’m not sure if this was written by me or not! It sounds like me and I do get on my high horse when someone takes the piss out of my profession, but I can’t be sure. I published no byline on the original. Incidentally, the only TheatreNow that seems to exist these days is about theatre in Sydney.

Originally posted on R&V 26-06-03


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


illustration, colour, fashion + lifestyle blog UK


theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Improbability Archivist

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams, Doctor Who,

WCH On This Day

Working Class History anniversaries every day


Yoga classes and aromatherapy products in Andalusia, Spain.

LOIS BRYAN Photography and Digital Art

History And Other Thoughts

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...


theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Catherine Meyrick

Historical Fiction with a touch of Romance

Secret Diary Of PorterGirl

The everyday adventures of the staff & students of Old College


Subject to change.

The Müscleheaded Blog

"Nothing Exceeds Like Superfluous Jejunity "

Women of History

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Jon Danzig's World

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

The pallet Junkie

Hand crafted furniture

Dreaming Reality

If Existence is a dream, let us dream perfection....


Exploring best practice and research in sexual violence. A loud voice in the fight against victim blaming. Written and Managed by Jessica Eaton, Doctoral Researcher in Forensic Psychology

Teagan's Books

Now available: "Murder at the Bijou - Three Ingredients I"

Padre Steve's World...Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland

Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland

The History Woman's Blog

Just another weblog

Art by Jess Miller

sculpture and artwork


by Jack Monroe, bestselling author of 'A Girl Called Jack'

surprise saffron

relishing in life's surprises, delighting in food, travel, art

Wish I Were Here

Journeys Through Place and Time

Doron Art

A journey into my world of Painting

Taylor Revert

An anything-and-everything blog from life's number one fan

Random Facts in History

History is complex, massive, and full of strange events and coincidences. Learn with me as I hunt those out and bring them into the light.

Life with an Illness

Sharing my chronic illness journey, while helping others. I spread awareness, love, and positivity along the way!♡

The poor side of life

Exposing the unfair treatment of jobseekers, the horrors of Universal Credit, unfair sanctions and heinous treatment of claimants at Ashton under Lyne Jobcentre.

Art by Vicky Paton

Canadian Abstract Artist

Politics and Insights

Public interest issues, policy, equality, human rights, social science and analysis


Supporting the rich amateur theatre scene on the Isle of Wight

Robin Hoskyns Nature Photography - Blog

Images and stories of nature, science and conservation.

Sarah Ditum

Writing, etc.

Jots from a Small Apt.

Largely @ Liberty

Rethinking Life

Art and the philosophy of life

Croatia, the War, and the Future

Ina Vukic - Croatia: people, politics, history, economy, transition from communism to democracy

lynz real cooking

lynz real life

Pride's Purge

an irreverent look at UK politics

Pride's Purge

an irreverent look at UK politics

Tropical Affair

Observations of the illusion through the eyes of wonder...

The home of writer Barney Hoskyns' books, poems, photos and more.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

%d bloggers like this: