Posts Tagged ‘Fourth Wall’

Mark: 4. Fourth Wall: 0

Friday afternoon

Me:  We’re going to a play tonight, Mark.  I need you to remember, it’s a play.  They have lines.  You can’t be shouting advice at the characters.  The people in the audience don’t like it.  You just can’t.

Mark (scoffing):  I’m in middle school now, Mom.  I know.


Friday evening

Eliza Doolittle (paraphrased):  You are a jerk and I can get along without you.

Henry Higgins (paraphrased):  Ha, ha.  Good one.  Great joke.  Now come home.

Eliza (paraphrased, singing):  The world gets along without you.  Stuff happens without you making it happen.  Even important stuff.  So sod off, Henry Higgins.

Henry:  (paraphrased):  Ha!  Hahaha!  I am a professor and I can argue this turn of events so I still look good!  You’re acting like a forceful independent person and it’s all thanks to ME.

Eliza stalks over to Henry.  Stands before him.  Tense moment of silence.

Mark:  SLAP HIM!

Guffaws in the audience around us, craning heads in the audience across the theater as people try to work out what was funny.

Sorry, Olney Theatre. We’re working it, I swear.

What Fourth Wall?

So we went to see a one-man performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’.

Despite the unfortunate description that makes you think it’s doomed to failure, remembering the hilarious, dreadful one-man Hamlet that Kevin Kline is obsessed with staging in Soapdish (yes, I AM old), it was awesome.

The actor starts by explaining that Dickens did these sorts of performances, and invited the audience to feel comfortable responding if something moved them.

Me (in my head):  Uh-oh.

Because Mark doesn’t exactly need encouragement in this area…

But all went well (enough) until the very end.  Mark quailed at the ghosts, hissed when Scrooge said that the poor ought to  die and reduce the surplus population (along with everyone else–the actor was particularly excellent at this moment, shockingly matter of fact and calm), and mourned Tiny Tim.

And then there was the end.  Bob Cratchit comes in 15 minutes late, Scrooge starts chastising him, and Mark can’t tell he’s teasing.

Bob:  “I’m sorry, Mr. Scrooge. It’s only once a year.”

Scrooge:  “I’m not going to put up with this any longer.”


Scrooge:  “So I’m going to double your salary.”

Mark:  “OH!  Oh.  That’s okay then.”

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