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Excerpt from Encore, Encore!

A Devised Lip Synch, by Oop-La! Theatre Company

as ascribed by Leigh Gerber.


A Note about the Company:

Oop-La! Theatre Company is a crew of queens and clowns, trying to bring a little fun to this dark and ugly world. Encore, Encore! combines the rich performance traditions of drag and clowning into an irresistibly fun (and surprisingly touching) mashup of glamour, laughter, and mayhem. Oop-La! is a collaborative theatrical company comprised of Robert Beck, Benjamin Howarth, and Hippolyte Broud; also supported dramaturgically (and emotionally) by Leigh Gerber. Having met on the Advanced Theatre Practice MA at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Oop-La! is totally multi-national: hailing from London, Wales, France, and the US.


Oop-la! Theatre Company is dedicated to forming its own genre: one that pays homage to the rich traditions of clowning and drag, and the sociopolitical and theoretical ramifications that come alongside the performative and practical investigation of social outliers and liminal community standings.


A Note about the Script:

Encore, Encore! devises from film, academic theory, music, television, contemporary literature, pop music, and more. Through lip-synch regurgitate through original content and mined text, Encore, Encore! revisits how we remember the past, while reconfiguring our popular conceptions of the present. Hip and hopelessly over the top, Encore, Encore! is a re-imagining of contemporary stories through the words and worlds of recent decades past. Above all, it is a celebration of identities- a show for anyone seeking to find themselves through losing it a little.

All musical numbers referred to throughout the following text are lip-synched.

All textual passages are merely a guideline, and can be performed ad lib according to each and every individual performer, iteration, and venue.


Encore, Encore! was first performed in its entirety by Robert Beck, Hippolyte Broud, and Ben Howorth at the Mirth, Marvel and Maud Theatre in Walthamstow, London On August 22nd, 2018. Like any live entity, it is subject to change and growth.


The Cast

THE CLOWNS: (in alphabetical order)

ALBERT CAMUS- a Stuffed Fish, who is also a Philosopher, who is from Paris, who is best friends with Hippolyte, who is also a Psychiatrist, who is sometimes rival, who is also a Friend.

BEN- an Actor, who is also a Drag Queen, who is also a Clown, who is sometimes Celine Dion, who is also Alec, who is occasionally Yum Yum, who is secretly a Superhero.

HIPPOLYTE- a Clown, who is a Frenchman, who is an emcee, who is always with Albert Camus, who is a Special Effects Designer, who is Peep-Bo, who is an Academic, and who is mostly a Hopeless Romantic.

ROB- a Drag Queen, who is also a Clown, who is sometimes an Actor, who is Crazy In Love, who is also Losing his Mind, who might be Patrick Bateman, who is also Mary Jane From Spiderman.


THE CREW:

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE: who is The Director, who is currently a Mystery.

ALEX: who is the Lighting and Sound Designer, who is also the Stage Manager, who is the Fall Guy, who Doesn't Actually Exist.


THE AUDIENCE:

THE FAKE AUDIENCE: who Isn’t Really There.

THE REAL AUDIENCE: who is In Their Chairs.


Encore, Encore!

Time: Now.

Place: Any theatre- or any pub, or any pub theatre, maybe The Royal Music Hall, a dive bar-any gay bar for that matter- perhaps with a dance floor, or in a cabaret, maybe even a secret superhero lair; or, really, any semblance of a public forum that could be mistaken for a venue: located partially in fantasy, partially in reality, and completely in the Company’s minds.

The stage is big, bright, and set sparingly- with a sense that at one time there was, or will be, more there: 3 chairs sit center stage, positioned in a semi circle as if they were at a tea table. There is a child’s toy phone with a painted face on it seated atop a stool to the left of the chairs.

There is a large, vaudevillian, red-velvet curtain dressing the entirety of the upstage area. It does not quite stretch the distance to hide the theatre’s wings. All entrances and exits are conducted unnecessarily through this curtain.


Movement I: Bows/End of Show.

Blackout.


LIGHTS UP on the empty stage, the house, and THE REAL AUDIENCE seated there.

The fabricated sound of rapturous, prerecorded, applause, as if lifted from a 90’s sitcom, fills the space. It is the sound of THE FAKE AUDIENCE.

The following should be executed in nauseous repetition. The performers should gage the live audience’s patience, as well as test their duration and their own, throughout the following sequence:


ROB, BEN, HIPPOLYTE, and ALBERT CAMUS - also known as THE CLOWNS, enter through the red-velvet curtain to the sound of the prerecorded applause. They all feel however they feel on that given day. They bow uniformly, gesturing gratefully to both THE FAKE AUDIENCE, ALEX in the tech booth, and THE REAL AUDIENCE, who may join in on the applause (or ignore it) as they see fit.

THE CLOWNS bow again and exit through the red curtain.

The rapturous, prerecorded applause swells and continues.

ROB, BEN, HIPPOLYTE, and ALBERT CAMUS enter again through the red-velvet curtain to the sound of the prerecorded applause. gesturing gratefully to both THE FAKE AUDIENCE, ALEX in the tech booth, and THE REAL AUDIENCE, who may join in on the applause (or ignore it) as they see fit. They wave goodbye a little more frantically, and exit through the red curtain.

The rapturous, prerecorded applause swells and continues.

ROB, BEN, HIPPOLYTE, and ALBERT CAMUS enter through the red-velvet curtain to the now deafening sound of the prerecorded applause. THE CLOWNS relinquish all formalities in order to bow and bask in their post-show glory however they see fit. They wave and blow kisses, overcome by the outpouring of fictional support.

They bow individually- gesturing manically to THE FAKE AUDIENCE, ALEX in the tech booth, and THE REAL AUDIENCE, who may or may not be irritated by now.

Finally, ROB waves for THE FAKE AUDIENCE to quiet down for a moment, as well as nodding to ALEX in the tech booth to cut the sound cue.


THE CLOWNS enjoy the silence for as long as they like, waiting in anticipation of what only they know is about to come.

And so it does: SPOTLIGHT on the toy phone with the face on it.

The toy phone RINGS.

THE CLOWNS all scramble to answer it.


MOVEMENT 2: Introducing The Mysterious Voice On The Phone.

HIPPOLYTE and ALBERT CAMUS are the first to answer it; both speak with a thick french accent and a baffled determination.

HIPPOLYTE: Alo?

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE: (Inaudible.)

HIPPOLYTE: Mmhmm?

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE: (Inaudible.)

HIPPOLYTE: MmHmmm

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE: (Inaudible.)

HIPPOLYTE: Mmhmm, right!

He passes the phone to ROB, who is next in line. ROB grasps for the phone joyously.

ROB: Yes?

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE:: (Inaudible.)

ROB (squeals): Ooooooo!

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE:: (Inaudible.)

ROB: Oooooooooo!!!

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE:: (Inaudible.)

ROB: Ooooo! OOOooo!!!

BEN takes the phone, but HIPPOLYTE interrupts it once more and passes it again to ALBERT CAMUS, who did not get to say his full piece earlier.

ALBERT CAMUS: (Inaudible.)

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE: (Inaudible.)

ALBERT CAMUS: (Inaudible.)

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE: (Inaudible.)

BEN wrenches the phone from ALBERT, fed up from waiting. He is much more deliberate and secretive than the other three.

BEN: Yes?

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE: (Inaudible.)

BEN: Yea.

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE: (Inaudible.)

BEN moves upstage and covers the receiver, as if he were trying to keep his conversation with The Voice On the Phone even more private.

THE VOICE ON THE PHONE: (Inaudible.)

BEN: Yea. Yes. Ok.

BEN hangs up.

THE CLOWNS are all in agreement. They look up to ALEX the tech box, expectantly.

Ben: (ad lib) Alex? Did you get that? Can you start the song please?

The lights and sound are adjusted suddenly by ALEX. The show is set to begin again.


MOVEMENT 3: Three Little Maids

SOUND CUE: “Three Little Maids” by Gilbert and Sullivan.

BEN scrambles to get Rob, Hippolyte, and Albert in their correct places.

Throughout the following lip synch, BEN continuously directs and redirects his fellow performers.

HIPPOLYTE routinely does not know the words, but tries to mask his confusion. ROB’s desire for both BEN’s approval and THE REAL AUDIENCE’s favor amounts to frantic, over the top femininity and freneticism.

In other words, this musical number should be performed terribly, with the exception of BEN, whose awareness of their collective failure mounts to tangible frustration throughout.

THE CLOWNS as YUM YUM , PITTI-SING and PEEP-BO: Three little maids from school are we/ Pert as a school-girl well can be/ Filled to the brim with girlish glee/Three little maids from school

BEN/YUMYUM: Everything is a source of fun/

ROB/PITTI-SING: Nobody’s safe, for we care for none/

HIPPOLYTE/PEEP-BO and ALBERT: Life is a joke that's just begun/

THE CLOWNS as YUM YUM , PITTI-SING and PEEP-BO: Three little maids from school/ Three little maids who, all unwary/Come from a ladies' seminary/Freed from its genius tutelary/Three little maids from school/Three little maids from school

BEN/YUMYUM: One little maid is a bride, Yum-Yum/

ROB/PITTI-SING:Two little maids in attendance come/

HIPPOLYTE/PEEP-BO and ALBERT :Three little maids is the total sum/

THE CLOWNS as YUM YUM , PITTI-SING and PEEP-BO: Three little maids from school/Three little maids from school/

BEN/YUMYUM: From three little maids take one away/

ROB/PITTI-SING: Two little maids remain, and they/

HIPPOLYTE/PEEP-BO and ALBERT: Won’t have to wait very long, they say/

THE CLOWNS as YUM YUM , PITTI-SING and PEEP-BO: Three little maids from school/Three little maids from school/ Three little maids who, all unwary/Come from a ladies' seminary/Freed from its genius tutelary/Three little maids from school/Three little maids from school.

When the song ends, BEN reaches his boiling point.


MOVEMENT 4: BEN’S RANT

BEN: ad lib rant herein.

BEN drops character as soon as the song ends and directs his frustration at his fellow cast mates.

He READS them one by one in turn, in true Drag Queen style, before he EXITS through the red-velvet curtain.

ROB EXITS after BEN, trying to catch up with him. THE REAL AUDIENCE can hear their heated conversation continuing as it fades into the wings.

HIPPOLYTE and ALBERT remain onstage, bemused, bewildered, bedazzled, and alone.


********END OF EXCERPT *******






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