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Hail, Mr Producer!
on 1 March 2014
This is a big book. Big in scope, big in information, big on detail and most of all, big in personality. Quite possibly the most important book about theatre since “Cats, The Book of the Musical” (West End Edition). If you want to work on the London stage, in film, television or even advertising haemorrhoid creams, it’s compulsory reading.
From impressing the casting director at audition, to finding that “G Spot” on stage and surviving a national tour, the hugely experienced and effusively inebriated West End Producer shares years of wisdom as he guides the performer with unsteady hand.
Most importantly he reminds all actors, whatever their experience, that there are both right and wrong ways to do absolutely everything. The importance of sharing gifts, stage space, talent (and, on occasion, fluids) are stressed. The vital importance of not sharing too much information, personal cash or the casting director’s lifestyle even more so.
So comprehensive is this book, it even provides actors with a complete “how to plan your day” guide, both when in a regular run on stage or during rehearsal. In particular, the advice on preparation (laying out your script to leap across the pages at the start of the day) makes anything Stanislavsky has written look positively old-fashioned, if not totally redundant.
The casual non-performer is also rewarded with a rare insight into how producers view them, and indeed a moving final page pays tribute to those in the audience and has wise words on how ticket prices must be set to encourage them in future. Even better, vouchers allowing theatregoers to interact at close quarters with actors and even try a role for themselves are included at the back of the book – and can be redeemed when the Producer gets his scheme is up and running.
In summary, any reader can follow these simple instructions to enjoy a long and successful career in the business he calls “show,” just so long as they remember to bring their own hobnobs.