All the world’s a stage

I used to be rather keen on amateur dramatics – or amdram as it is sometimes known (or hamdram, which is a bit more accurate). Strutting around on the stage in a poncey outfit declaring, “Methinks thou art a devious shithead, Polonius!”, was certainly a lot of fun on its own, but it wasn’t the only reason I was involved. I also enjoyed meeting the rather interesting and unusual (i.e. weird) types that the amateur stage tends to attract. There is seldom a dull moment backstage, especially when everyone is wired on large doses of caffeine and nicotine.

I’m sure that everyone who walks out on the boards initially has secret fantasies that their efforts are merely a stepping-stone to fame, fortune and a drug-related early death. After all, anyone who has seen Keanu Reeves on the big screen can certainly be forgiven for thinking, “I could do better than that”. Of course in reality, for every Charlize, there are millions of truly atrocious wannabe actors, who would be lucky to land the role of ‘Laughing Buffoon’ in the Rand Show advert. Consequently, many of these people end up having to choke down the bitter pill of disappointment and feed their desire to perform by joining a local theatre group.

I haven’t dabbled in hamdram for several years, because the last play I was in was no fun at all. It was so spectacularly dreadful, that even members of the cast were tempted to walk out halfway through the performance. The critics were at a loss to find words that adequately described something so abysmal and loathsome (although, that didn’t prevent them from making the attempt). Recently though, I was sent an audition notice and despite the fact that I earnestly swore to myself, “Never, ever again!”, I find that I am tempted…


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