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This book contains 250 anecdotes about the theater, including these: 1) British actor Pete Postlethwaite has a rugged face. When he was studying at the Bristol Old Vic, he ran out of money to pay for the completion of his course of study. However, the head of the school knew that the young man had real talent, so he told him, “Listen, I have a hunch you’re going to do all right in this business, so I’m going to put down the outstanding amount as a debt and then, in a few years’ time, I'll write it off as a bad debt.” Of course, this comment made Mr. Postlethwaite happy, although the next comment did not. The head of the school unfortunately added, “Of course, when you’ve got a face like a f**king stone archway, you can’t go wrong.” Mr. Postlethwaite once acted in a play by Restoration playwright William Congreve, and co-star Prunella Scales sent him a telegram praising his performance. According to Mr. Postlethwaite, she wrote that “I was the best Restoration truck driver she’d ever worked with.” 2) During a theatrical presentation of “Bulldog Drummond,” the villain was supposed to gain possession of a gun, then fire it at Bulldog—but no shot was supposed to fire. Bulldog was supposed to then say, “My good man, I would scarcely have let you amuse yourself with that toy had I not known it was unloaded.” However, one night the villain grabbed the wrong gun, which was loaded with blanks, then shot twice at Bulldog. Real bullets were not used, of course, but the gun sprayed powder onto Bulldog’s chest. The actor playing Bulldog couldn’t say his line about the gun’s being unloaded, and since Bulldog was the hero of the play, he couldn’t “die,” so he looked at the villain and said, “My good man, you’re a d*mned bad shot.” 3) At Stratford, Connecticut, the American Shakespeare Festival participants decided to give previews to high school students. Unfortunately, its staging of “Romeo and Juliet” still had a few kinks to be worked out. For example, when Romeo poisoned himself, he was standing over Juliet, who was lying on a narrow raised bier, and so when Romeo died, he fell over directly on top of Juliet because there was nowhere else to fall. Of course, the audience laughed when Juliet woke up and asked, “Where is my Romeo?”

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