Laura cuts herself on a pin that Kirstie left in the Lady Macbeth dress, and after she and Kirstie leave the room, Jim sees a drop of blood on the floor grow into a large puddle. He is unsure whether he knows the lines well enough to go onstage in Tony's place, but Laura encourages him to take the chance. You only need one ticket to access both parts of the play. [1] At the same time, the concept of Inside No. Jim broke up with Laura and has not seen her since his run in Macbeth. Jim has taken over the role of Macbeth. [4], The episode was written and is presented in a five-act structure to mirror theatrical norms. 9 requires new characters each week, the writers were able to attract actors who may have been unwilling to commit to an entire series. [5] After the initial idea of a group of characters backstage at a production of Macbeth,[6] the writers re-scripted several times, unsure of whether the characters should be amateurs, members of a touring company or professionals. Laura berates Jim for his lack of ambition. The episode, he suggested, reflected happenings in a real theatre, rather than a television version. During a Friday night performance, Tony is drunk as he comes backstage during the interim between his part in Acts IV and V. Felicity is angry that Tony, a recovering alcoholic, got drunk again; she has had to issue several refunds because of his drunken behaviour on stage. 9 was a "reaction" to Psychoville, with Shearsmith saying that "We'd been so involved with labyrinthine over-arcing, we thought it would be nice to do six different stories with a complete new house of people each week. "The Understudy" is the fifth episode of British dark comedy anthology series Inside No. Before the understudy rehearsal, Jim's fiancée Laura (the understudy for Lady Macbeth) helps him learn lines in Tony's dressing room. This FAQ is empty. Jim, supported by girlfriend - and fellow understudy Laura - would love the chance to take the part himself and when Warner has an accident, apparently caused by being drunk, on stage, Jim gets his opportunity, becoming a star. You can now watch both parts of The Understudy by booking a ticket today. Pemberton said that the West End setting allowed for the "agonising" scene of a post-performance visit from audience members.[5]. She has watched Jim's performance every day of the week, and says she knew that he just needed "a little push" to achieve greatness. She also got Felicity sacked because Felicity would not let Jim perform as Macbeth. Company manager Felicity arrives and scolds them for using the room. Sign up to receive the latest news and show announcements. View production, box office, & company info. In addition, Bruce Mackinnon provided the voice of an actor playing Malcolm in Macbeth, and Jo Stone-Fewings provided the voice of an actor playing Macduff. The Understudy is a brand new radio play that will be broadcast in two parts on Wednesday 20 th May and Wednesday 27 th May to raise funds for the theatre industry which is facing a devastating impact from the Covid-19 health crisis. don @ minifie-1. You could choose just to listen to it, but you will also be able to watch it. Critics responded very positively to "The Understudy", with several drawing attention to the improvement over "Last Gasp", the previous week's episode. A scream is then heard from the stage, and the stage manager calls for a medic. We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. [16][17][18] Dessau felt that the complex plot meant that the guest stars did "not get quite as much screen time as they deserve", but that this was no complaint, as it was "very much Pemberton and Shearsmith's instalment and they are both brilliant". 1 of 2 people found this review helpful. She is determined for Jim to appear as Macbeth, which would allow them to save for their wedding. This episode, in turn, was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Rope. Actor Stephen McQueen has just landed a dream West End role. 9 also pays homage to Tales of the Unexpected, The Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The division of the story into acts and the setting primarily behind scenes at a theatre work well as does the key casting of several good characters. Registered Office: The Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen's Square, Queen Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2SP. [3], As the format of Inside No. [6] The script eventually settled on actors at a West End theatre. As she hands him a prop dagger, he sees blood all over the dagger and her hands. Felicity has been sacked after she was accused of sexual harassment. Nineteen months later Jim, now a name actor, gets a visit from the wheelchair-bound Tony Warner. Privacy & Cookies | [1] In addition to Pemberton and Shearsmith, who played lead actor Tony and understudy Jim respectively, the episode starred Lyndsey Marshal as Laura, Julia Davis as Felicity, Rosie Cavaliero as Kirstie, Roger Sloman as Bill, Di Botcher as Jean, and Richard Cordery as Nick. He believes that Laura pushed Tony off the battlements and could not live with her guilt. It was first broadcast on 5 March 2014 on BBC Two.The episode was written by and starred Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, and guest-starred Lyndsey Marshal, Julia Davis, Rosie Cavaliero, Roger Sloman, Di Botcher, Richard Cordery, Bruce Mackinnon and Jo Stone-Fewings. National treasure Stephen Fry, Russell Tovey (Years and Years and The History Boys), Emily Atack (The Inbetweeners and I’m a Celebrity), Sarah Hadland (Miranda), Layton Williams (Bad Education and Everybody’s Talking about Jamie) and Mina Anwar (The Thin Blue Line and Shirley Valentine) star in this two-part online play. Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? He is distant, eventually asking her to leave him to prepare alone. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. 9. Use the HTML below. The plot of "The Understudy" partially mirrors the story of Macbeth, exploring the theme of power and the lives of actors. You can enjoy both parts by booking a ticket today. This allowed for jumps in time within the episode, as well as marking it out from others in the series. Was this review helpful to you? With this new job Stephen’s stage career may be destined for the dizzying heights, but not everything is going quite as well. After Tony leaves, Kirstie arrives to see Jim. That's appealing, because as a viewer you might not like this story, but you've got a different one next week. They stressed the links between "The Understudy" and Macbeth, but said that viewers would not need to be familiar with Shakespeare's work in order to enjoy the episode. While Jim is absent, Felicity flirts with Laura. [8][9] Writers in The Sunday Times called the episode "[a]nother exquisite short story",[10] Ben Lawrence, writing in the Daily Telegraph, called it a "gloriously OTT tale",[11][12] and John Robinson, writing for The Guardian, described it as an "excellent instalment" of the series. An acting understudy eventually assumes center stage, but at a price. [5] The plot is essentially based on Macbeth, leading Pemberton to suggest that the episode might be used "on an O Level syllabus" in the future. "[14] Dessau agreed, saying that "[y]ou don't need to be a literary scholar to get the gags". He also has another visitor, a devoted admirer who, unbeknown to him, went to great lengths to give him his taste of fame. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy. Sitemap | [5] This meant that the script-writing took longer for "The Understudy" than for any other episode of the first series of Inside No. Terms & Conditions of Sale, © Copyright Tony Warner is starring in the lead role of Macbeth at the Duke of Cambridge Theatre. [19] This was lower than "Last Gasp", the previous episode, which in turn had had the lowest viewership of the series on its first airing, with 872,000 viewers (4.9% of the audience). Stephen’s wife left him two years ago, wondering if he’d ever grow up; his daughter wonders when he’ll get an actual job; worst of all, he’s starting to fall for the leading man’s wife. The Understudy is the story of an underdog – a failed husband, a failing father, a failing actor, and the impossible choice he’s going to have to make between stealing the show and stealing another man’s wife. Add the first question. Highly enjoyable! Writers Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, who had previously worked together on The League of Gentlemen and Psychoville, took inspiration for Inside No. The episode was written by and starred Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, and guest-starred Lyndsey Marshal, Julia Davis, Rosie Cavaliero, Roger Sloman, Di Botcher, Richard Cordery, Bruce Mackinnon and Jo Stone-Fewings. The play aims to raise much needed funds for the UK’s theatre industry, and all proceeds from the play will be split between Acting For Others, the Equity Charitable Trust, Equity’s Benevolent Fund and The Theatre Development Trust, run by the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre. You can enjoy both parts by booking a ticket today. 2020 Lawrence Batley Theatre. He identified the themes of the episode by calling it "a spooky and highly satirical take on actors, Shakespeare and power". Kirstie reveals that she herself is the one who pushed Tony, and spiked his juice with alcohol backstage. A paralysed Tony comes backstage to visit him and talks about how far Jim's career has come. Title: Tony comes out of the shower and wants to finish the performance, so Jim allows him to go. Whilst he’s waiting for his time to shine, he reflects on his career – one that has spanned everything from (non-speaking) Rent Boy 3 in The Bill to his recent starring role as Sammy in the (low-budget) regional tour of Sammy The Squirrel’s Seriously Silly Safari. (05 Mar 2014). With Rosie Cavaliero, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith, Roger Sloman. The play is in two parts. Laura asks Tony's dresser, Kirstie, what he earns, before opening Tony's payslip to see for herself.

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