Thursday, October 7, 2010
The man from the telephone company
As the story goes, an actor is on stage as the curtain rises and the drama is to begin with a telephone ringing. But as will happen in theatre, someone has not done their job. The telephone is not on stage. Hence, no ringing. The actor looks at an empty end table, looks at the audience and then offstage at a stagehand.
The stagehand, realizing what is amiss, picks up the nearby telephone prop and walks onstage. “Hello” he says to the actor “I’m from the telephone company -- where should I install the phone?" The actor gestures. The stagehand places the phone on the end table, sticks a wire somewhere below and departs. Once he is offstage, the telephone rings. The play begins.
Retold from Theatrical Disasters by Gyles Bandreth.