As an occasional paddler at the edge of the ocean known as ‘ Show Business’, I am often surprised by the strange and superstitious customs practiced by actors and comedians before they walk onto a stage. So I’ve documented a few of them below below below.

Laurence Olivier

In his day Larry was revered as the finest actor in all of the South Bank. He guarded this reputation jealously and became increasingly superstitious. In the latter years of his career, Olivier would insist that Bernie Clifton rode a live ostrich through his dressing room, after which he would kiss the bird and recite a page from a porn mag he found in a hedge. It must have worked because he won every play he was in.

Tara Flynn

Tara is an actress comfortable with playing comedy and tragedy, so before she goes on stage she like to scream jokes at a photograph of the twin towers. When that picture is unavailable, she uses a photograph of a sad hedgehog.

Michael Maloney

Unusually, Maloney performs his ritual a full week before every performance. Meaning that any play he’s in can only be performed once a week. This has resulted in the closure of many theater closures. His ritual is very simple: he knocks on the stage door with a Mini Kiev, enters, runs up to the admin office and farts onto man’s chin.

Danny Dyer

Slaps a nonce.

Michael Legge

Before Michael took the world of comedy by storm, he was a millionaire playboy. However this doesn’t mean he is anything other than serious about his chosen profession.  Half an hour before every gig, he can be seen pacing the venue thinking about dead puppies to ensure that he never accidentally laughs at his own jokes. Do not approach him at these times or he’ll leave his boot in you.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Being extremely young and at the peak of his career, Cumberbatch has very little need of ritual before he does the acting. Though when he’s forced to do theater he has a ritual or two . One of these is performed on opening nights. After the curtain goes down he kills a stagehand, drains their blood into a Simpson’s thermos flask and throws it at Jonny Lee Miller’s car.

The Trap

The Trap is a comedy collective made out of Dan Mersh, Jeremy Limb and Paul Litchfield. If you are aware of their work you will know that they each have a distinct career separate from the collective. However that doesn’t mean they are ever entirely alone. Whether filming the telly or playing some pianos for the Queen, they’re never more than four foot apart. This was taken to an extreme recently during a recording of Miranda when both Paul and Jeremy were suspended above the set in harnesses, during that famous scene where Dan beats up Sarah Hadland’s character for getting his name wrong. Sadly the riggers had stupidly used bungee ropes, so Paul and Jeremy kept bobbing into shot. This necessitated so many retakes that an exhausted Dan accidentally knocked out two of Sarah’s teeth. Luckily Miranda Hart managed to save the day by looking into the camera and pulling a face, so no harm done.

Peter O’Toole

Drinks heavily.

If you’ve been effected by any of the issues raised in this blog, then telephone 01422 2222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222

Simply Superstitious

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