Curtain call, the moment when actors float somewhere between their character and themselves; the moment of relief, jubilation, pride and perhaps regret. It is at this brief juncture between performance and dressing room that a myriad of emotions can erupt into something amusing or quite telling.
I love the curtain call moment for the unexpected, the awkwardness (how much should you look at any one actor?) and its simple joy. For those reasons it's become a category in my StOlivier awards in previous years - 2014's are currently being deliberated - but there was such a good measure of memorable moments, I thought they should get their very own blog post.
First up there are the last night antics. When else but on the last night of the RSC's Richard II could the King (David Tennant) and his deposer Bolingbroke (Nigel Lindsay) have a final tussle for the crown. It was 2-0 to Bolingbroke in the end, David Tennant's curtain call lunge to take the golden circlet from Nigel Lindsay was not quite fast enough.
Mark Strong couldn't hide his emotion either at the last night of A View From the Bridge but there were no tears, instead he mouthed a satisfied 'yes' while making a fist. Wonder whether he'll react the same on the last night of the West End transfer.
Then there was gentlemanly behaviour. During an early preview of A View... Mark Strong and his fellow male cast members helped the female cast off the very wet and slippery stage - in later performances a rubber mat appeared to make it a little safer.
But earlier in the year Seth Numrich had already demonstrated similar manners at the Fathers and Sons curtain call, lending a hand to two of the cast so they didn't trip while leaving the stage. Not that I think Seth is lacking is manners but I can't help wondering if he was still in character at that point.
I've got a whole separate post about the difference styles of bowing but I'll save that for another time...
If you have a curtain call story, I'd love to hear it.