O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep!
Front L to R: Marianna Caldwell (Stage Hand) Jason O’Connell (Clown 1), Wesley Mann (Clown 2), Jack Mack (Stage Hand) Backrow L to R: Gabra Zackman (Woman), Richard Ercole (Richard Hannay)
Photo: William Marsh
Special shout-out to the two apprentices, Marianna Caldwell and Jack Mackie, who moved stuff around, did sound effects, played rivers and cars and human armchairs (“Mein Kampfychair” the German spy cries), and who charmingly warmed-up the audience with song and tricks. Caldwell had the first funny line:
“Anything that makes a noise – like husbands – please turn off.”
She’s being followed – Wesley Mann and Jason O’Connell in trench-coats, Jack Mackie with the lamppost. They and it keep appearing each time Hannay checks the imaginary drapes, sometimes they run in thinking he will and exasperated have to leave when he turns back to Schmidt.
Running off the train, Hannay and the cop, run through one aisle of the audience, Ercole / Hannay grabbing a water bottle from a surprised audience member and taking a swig.
It gets meta: Jason O’Connell playing two characters in dialogue (turning from one side to another with a different costume) goes haywire and the other characters have to stop him. As the German spy, O’Connell is shot multiple times and still gets up. “Don’t shoot!” he says, “I’m a different character!”
“Wuthering Heights, Gosford Park, Brideshead, Brideshead Revisited, Downton Abbey …”
Just then a paunchy character turns up from the darkness outside with a cardboard box on their head. There’s a paper cut-out of Hitchock’s face on the box – the director notorious for cameo walk-ons in each of his movies.