Press Night

The show must go on
As if pain were so much motley
Your costume for the close of Act One
Calls for something jolly

The lighting grid that follows closely
Every tiny truth
Is signalling for sequence two
So hit your marker, move!

No tears may fall upon your cheek
For make-up will no secrets keep
And running down your chin to seep
Through dry-clean-only, borrowed, cheap

Steal hope for critic’s mild misgivings
Drowning in depressing clippings
Uglified by wig and ribbons
Pantomime with all the trimmings

Make dumb show and mime for laughs
How things are fine – they’ve rung the half
Don’t let us down, we’ve paid to see
Up close, what’s not reality

Nudity, Nazis and New Labour

Advertising’s not what it was
The theatre needs a pimp
Instead of plays to draw applause
We want more wits, less think

An audience cannot be left
To cogitate alone
They seek a clue, a hand so deft
It helps them feel at home

We’ll dumb them down, those classic plays
And sell them out for laughs
For Shakespeare simply doesn’t phase
They crave more tits and arse

We’ll set the thing in modern times
So costumes are no hassle
Those kings and queens of long lost rhymes
Will reunite in chaps and tassels

Actors just do what they’re told,
Trust in director’s vision
Agents worth their weight in gold
Cannot prevent derision

And thus the show goes on and on
Reviewers numb to change
They watch the peep show and anon
From theatre are estranged

On artistic licence

Trying to learn sweet music by numbers
Is driving me nearly insane
For what beauty reaches the listener’s ear
If the whole does but total refrain?
What passion may lie in the breath of a sigh
Where the singer but counts up to four?
It may have been writ so, but ’tis not a bit slow?
Music equals more than the score.
I’m doing my utmost to do the notes justice
And hope the composer’d be proud
To hear such life given to what he had striven
To write down when sung out aloud.
Yet I crave your indulgence – I mean you no harm
And I hope my performance will cause no alarm
As you’re paying to hear me sing these lines tonight,
I’ll be doing them my way – so please do sit tight
And reign in your tongue, hark ere you criticize
Or the beauty may strike you right between the eyes.