Tuesday 14 October 2008

Push-A-Playwright is the new craze that’s sweeping the nation.

It’s a game which was devised by the West End Whingers quite some time ago but we haven’t got around to playing it yet.

It’s a bit like happy-slapping except that it’s funny.

Basically, it works like this: if you see a playwright, you push him or her over. The older and more frail the playwright, the more points you get. And that’s it. The one with the most points is the winner.

We are a bit disgruntled that our idea has been stolen by Kevin Spacey before we got a chance to really get going: Mr Spacey pushed the 69 year-old Alan Ayckbourn over the other day at the end of The Norman Conquests as reported by Michael Coveney:

Kevin Spacey loves Alan Ayckbourn to death, and nearly proved it when an over-zealous bear hug at the end of The Norman Conquests trilogy sent Britain’s most successful living playwright flying and gasping for air while flat on his back on the stage.

He had been led to this undignified nemesis by Spacey himself and accorded a heartfelt standing ovation which was only marred by the unexpected tumble into the front stalls, customers aghast, spectacles shooting in all directions.

It seems that Mr Ayckbourn saw the funny side which has provided the Whingers with much encouragement and they intend to play with zeal and gusto.

  • However, Phil is trying to persuade Andrew that Harold Pinter is far too frail to take part in the game, but after No Man’s Land he’s taking some convincing and he desperately wants those points.
  • Phil is going to have a go at Polly Stenham which won’t earn him many points but he claims it’s how you play the game that’s important (the same claim he makes when losing at Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Canasta etc etc).
  • We can only assume that Betsy will be gunning for Neil LaBute.

If you want to join in, please do. And don’t forget to send us a photo.

9 Responses to “Push-A-Playwright”

  1. she with he of Xanadu on stage seating Says:

    Slightly off topic, (but only slightly) please feel free to join us in the game my friend Phil invented, we call it “push a Latin American diva”, which he inadvertently invented when he managed to push Chita Rivera to the floor at a party for the Broadway production of “Nine”. My guess is that this is possibly more exclusive than your push a playwright but still worth playing should you chance upon a Latin American diva.

  2. I heard Alan Ayckbourn telling his wife and companions a few minutes later: “I took a tumble, but it was good…”

    And for what it’s worth, I nearly sent Yoko Ono sprawling in a Belfast street several years ago. Strangely, I was one of the few people in that city at that time without a gun.

  3. betsy Says:

    i hate to say this, but neil, you know, he’s.. a bit fluffy.. a bit chunky.. if you see what i mean.. and not old or frail at all. can’t i push someone a bit smaller? michael frayn?

  4. mark ravenhill Says:

    We playwrights play a similar, and yet subtly different, game ourselves – since we agreed several years ago not to push each other over. What we do is we go to well known cruising grounds in London and if we spot a famous actor we shout out ‘closet!’ and then run away. It’s provided hours of delightful mirth. All the playwrights are at it. Just you see.

  5. Jonathan Harvey Says:

    We do indeed Mark. See you tonight at curtain down. xx

  6. harper Says:


    you continue to show your poor taste in playwrights.

    i’ll be more than happy to take your place.


  7. Jack Says:

    I pushed Summer Strallen outside the Playhouse after La Cage. It was her own stupid fault for standing so close to someone putting on a cardigan but she was most ungracious when I apologised. I was so startled by her vicious glower, I was tempted to damn well push her again. I didn’t.

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