Today is Friday 13th – one of two Friday 13 this year (the other one is in July). Officially known as “Triskaidekaphobia”, which is the fear of Friday 13th, people are often nervous of bad luck, freak accidents and ghost sightings on Friday 13th. Thespians (theatre folk) are particularly superstitious. In a theatre, typically one should never say “Macbeth” (known as “The Scottish Play”) or whistle. Also, on stage there should never be real flowers, feathers (especially peacock feathers), jewellery, money or a mirror – always fake ones. One never says “Good Luck” (rather “Break a Leg”).
Kickstart’s rollicking comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong, currently on at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on campus is all about theatrical disasters and things not going as planned – with actors getting knocked out, the set falling apart, and props breaking – with hilarious consequences! So for tonight’s show especially, all the cast will be extra careful to honour all theatrical superstitions. Pictured whistling while looking in the mirror and clutching peacock feathers is Daisy Spencer, showing off his opening night flowers is James Cunningham and holding the Shakespearean novel, Macbeth is Liesl Coppin. Another superstition is sleeping with your script under your pillow, this enables the performers to learn their lines faster. To undo a theatrical curse, one needs leave the theatre building, spin around three times, spit, swear, and then knock to be allowed back in – which they did after this photoshoot for good measure!
* The Play That Goes Wrong at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until 29 April. Book at Computicket.