As an actor/musician/singer dancer/hairdresser/wig maker/ general dogs body/gofer (go for this, go for that!), there is one thing everyone on the stage hates, and that is the wrath of the Director or the Stage Manager. Like seriously, you do not cross the stage manager or the Director.
You can have creative differences, and 9 times out of 10, you can come to a conclusion or solution for your differences. Usually it’s the player finding something difficult or impossible, for example a short actor being stood at the back of the stage and thinking they can’t be seen, but they’re looking out while the director is looking in.
Speak to the director, the set up gets a jig about and said short actor is more visible because the 6 foot tall group of men have been pushed back slightly and the crowd doesn’t look so imposing. Simple really.
The issue that the Head of Eastenders, Sean O’Connor had was that his overhaul was ludicrous. Like Sci-Fi ludicrous. Soaps are meant to depict real life. People going to work, having in family arguments, teenage strops and someone calling someone else a ‘daft cow’ in the pub.
In 12 months, we ended up with more deaths than a Miss Marple, countless sexual assaults, wooden acting and storylines that would be more in line with the Alien franchise. There is also the fact that the actors were not happy with the production and unhappy at the insults and disparaging comments made by Sean.
At the end of the day, if you’re not happy in your job, you’ll only give it half the effort, and if your job is below your skill and you’re not heard, you’ll give it half again.
Hopefully, after the re structure Eastenders will actually have some believable storylines again and the actors will want to put their all into it.
Soaps aren’t meant to be so farfetched they border on the ridiculous. They are meant to tackle real social issues that happen to everyday people. Coronation Street recently had the Grooming and Gang Rape storyline. Emmerdale has had Teenage Pregnancy; Hollyoaks has had Coming Out storylines where everything has gone wrong for the person involved.
These are real things that happen to normal people going about their business. Eastenders was getting to the point of farce and one thing had nothing to do with anything. How can one street and a market have more arson attacks than the national average and a pub that never seems to take cash? It is meant to be believable not on the brink of stupidity.
How about this for a storyline. Guy goes to the pub, his girlfriend and his gay brother in law try and bake a cake and it goes wrong. Guy comes home to find the burnt cake in the tin, folds over laughing while wafting the smoke out of the window and door, brother in law and guy do the washing up and blame the entire thing on the fact the recipe was using Fahrenheit, not Centigrade.