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Memories, Letters and Publicity
This was one of those shows that – on the surface – was a fast-moving comedy in an easy-peasy single set. However . . . the central feature was a fountain which not only had to work but only at specific cues. In the plot, the beast would only gush intermittently and then only if someone stamped their foot in precisely the right place at the right time.
Looked funny but, of course, this meant that the head of water had to be maintained exactly at the top of the fountainhead ready for immediate action when the stage manager switched the pump on. We experimented with several ways to do this, including one short-lived attempt at connecting said fountainhead via plastic tubing to the mouth of the stage manager, the idea being that he could respond immediately to the cue and – better still – was able from his SM position to keep watch and ensure enough steady, surreptitious pressure on so that water was produced instantaneously on cue.
As you might imagine, this didn’t go down well with the SM (!) and so we resorted to a muffled electric pump and careful timing to see how many seconds needed to elapse between turning it on, and water appearing. Again, sounds simple . . .