Wednesday, 16 May 2012


GOOD MORNING LONDON! And welcome to a day where the rain may corrode your face and the wind may flash your knickers. On a morning such as this, where yes I am still in my pyjamas and no I have not scrubbed my teeth yet (SCREW YOU DENTIST!), I have decided to write about corpsing.

Delicious, wonderful, wee-inducing corpsing. Now for those of you who do not practice Fancy Dress for a living, i.e. acting, you may be wondering what indeed corpsing is. And no before you ask it is not a pre-show ritual we actors partake in with various dead bodies… although sometimes it has come close, it is in fact merely hi-jinks.

Corpsing; to corpse a British theatrical slang term used to describe when an actor unintentionally breaks character during a scene by laughing or by causing another cast member to laugh.
Thank you Wikipedia; it is in simpler terms: pissing about on stage.

This is not to detract from the seriousness of conveying the playwright’s words accurately or their intentions truthfully; it is just a fact that after a six month stint doing the same show every night, an actor needs an outlet for his/her cheeky side that isn’t either the pub or another actor. (Not to confirm or deny the stereotype but let’s face it we are an incestuous bunch).

Now I have been known to be a bit of a corpser, both in the attack and in the defence; the sight of another actor trying to keep their facial muscles under control is almost as delectable as trying to suppress your own unstoppable mirth when you are on the receiving end. I have known actresses actually wee themselves on stage from corpsing (they shall remain nameless for fear for my life, although they could probably make good money from Tena Lady Sponsorship) and on occasion I have been the cause.
A few things that may or may not be true (If you are a director reading this then they are definitely NOT true): 

1. I may or may not have pulled down my trousers and stood with a traffic cone on my head in the wings.

2. I may or may not have blacked out all my teeth during an end of show jig.

3. I may or may not have done a whole scene with a bar of soap stuffed down my corset.

4. I may or may not have done a curtain call with a toy dinosaur called David held behind my back.

5. I may or may not have tried to fit in as many Lion King references as possible throughout a performance of Romeo and Juliet.

6. I may or may not have drawn a detailed phallic diagram on a letter to be given to another actor.

7. And finally, I may or may not have deliberately sidled up to another actress and broken wind.

So be warned.


Never impart to your parental figures your actual opinion of a play that you are in.

A while ago I was in a beautiful play, which again shall remain nameless; however, for reasons down to simple, personal opinion I thought it could do with a slight cut and edit to make it a bit shorter. This opinion I expressed to my father. There was my first fail. A few weeks into the run Dad naturally came to support me, sat and watched the play and came to meet me in the bar afterwards. Unbeknownst to me the writer was also in the bar, and after a period of mingling our paths crossed. There was my second fail. Dad enjoying the theatrical banter and atmosphere decided it was time to voice his own opinion. Third fail coming right atcha. “Laura said the play was way too long but I thought it whipped by!” Silence. Cue ground swallowing moment. More silence. “Daaaaaaaad! DAD JOKES!”, I cried, “Look at my Dad making a JOKE!” Even more silence. Someone else changes the subject. 

Your next stop on the embarrassment train is Mortification Station.

Till next time!

1 comment:

  1. Fail 2: ouch! I felt your pain. Parents really can't be taken anywhere.