A bloke off the telly getting his knob out: the gimmicks keeping theatre alive

BRITONS aren’t natural theatregoers, but promise celebrity penis or make a shit film into a musical and we lap it up. And these gimmicks: 

A bloke off the telly getting his knob out

Daniel Radcliffe was 17 when he starred in Equus, yet audiences came in droves to see Harry Potter’s magical sack. Anyone claiming they paid hundreds for a psychiatrist delving into the madness that makes us human is lying. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof had Jack O’Connell from Skins nude in a production that was a triumph for gender equality because Sienna Miller got her baps out.

Turn a film into a musical

Do you like the film? Did you never really feel that the film was marred by the cast’s not breaking repeatedly into song, but you’re willing to give it a go anyway? Whether Cruel Intentions or the Twilight saga, add a few songs and take it on tour. If you’re especially lazy, just licence famous pop songs and wait for the cash to roll in.

Cast a niche internet celebrity

What’s better than Waitress: The Musical? Obviously Waitress: The Musical starring YouTuber Joe Sugg. He can’t sing, can’t act, can’t do an American accent, and looks like a 12-year-old boy, but he’s got 3.33 million subscribers so Zoomers will flock like zombies. Their parents, dragged along, will mutter: ‘Is he the one who fainted on Bake Off?’

Make it painfully woke

If it’s socially relevant it doesn’t have to be good. Make your show about classism or sexism or homophobia or transphobia so anyone who criticises it is classist, sexist, etc. If you don’t fork out £160 for the opening night you’re a monster. Warning: works in London, but you won’t be touring it to Stoke-on-Trent.

Shakespeare in tracksuits

Hamlet, but set on a council estate in Slough. Though oddly, it’s not drawing its audience from gritty Slough estates. They can’t afford it, because it’s £200 a ticket, because KSI is in it and he’s getting his bollocks out during  the ‘to be or not to be’ soliloquy. The Guardian will call it ‘vital and necessary’.

Make it immersive

There’s only one thing better than sitting down to watch RADA graduates pretentiously monologue at you: walking around a former textile mill with an out-of-date asbestos certificate while RADA graduates jump out of shadows to monologue at you. Afterwards, puzzled, you discover you missed a crucial plot twist because you were in the wrong room.

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How bad your friend's break-up was, measured by her new haircut

THEY split last week. You’re meeting her for lunch after she’s visited the hairdressers. The haircut she gets determines how much of a bastard you need to say he was: 

Slight trim: an amicable split

This woman did the dumping and is absolutely fine about it. She’s about as committed to her image change as she was to the relationship. She’s sipping iced lattes and scrolling Tinder while her ex is getting hopelessly hammered and shaving his head, including eyebrows.

Highlights and layers: parting is such sweet sorrow

There’s optimism in this break-up, perhaps because she’s already sexting someone way hotter, so it’s a change for the better. In both the mirror and the relationship she’s able to see the highlights, toss her locks while pouting, and move on. Your role as friend is to take a load of shots for the Instagram she knows he still looks at daily.

Cut short: it hurts

Gone from long to shoulder-length? Order two bottles of the Grigio and cancel your evening plans, because this one f**king hurt. Her hair, her dreams, her love and her future have been cut short and she is getting through Kleenex quicker than a teenage boy. As her friend, you must support her, even though she looks like Lord Farquhar from Shrek.

Dramatic colour change: out for blood

Gone from blonde to black? Or fiery red? Or cobalt blue? This bitch is out for blood. The relationship is over and the revenge is on. It is your duty to work up a towering hatred for her ex, even though he seemed quite nice and you know full well she cheated on him. She has at least 100 screenshots. You must stop her using them.

Pixie cut: she is done with all men

The pixie cut, which works on around five per cent of women, means that she never wants to see a penis again. The words scumbag, wanker, dickhead, prick, arsehole, bastard and petulant f**king child are on a constant cycle. A print-out of his face was attached to a dartboard and the dartboard was set on fire. Will go home with a waiter.

Shaved: she’s killed him

Eerily calm, sipping water, claiming to be totally over it while bald as 2007-era Britney, suggesting you two ‘go and do something fun together outdoors’? His body is in the boot of her Yaris. Make your excuses and leave, or help her dispose of it if you’re up for a real bonding experience.