Staged and not so staged spanking

16Nov11

stage spankingsstage spankingsstage spankingsstage spankingsstage spankingsstage spankingsThis post was inspired by the top picture, supplied by Tiptopper, which according to the caption, shows actor Will McKenzie spanking his girlfriend, a fellow performer after a temper tantrum after a rehearsal back in the 1960s.

It was a great reminder that in theatre land, historically not all spanking were staged. A friend of yours truly was one of two men in an amateur dramatics group back in the 1980s and 90s.

He said that pranks among the cast were rife and that for a production of Kiss Me Kate the understudy had to be brought in after the leading lady broke her leg. The understudy is reported to have quipped something like “you are always so literal,” a reference to the traditional theatrical good luck.

Apparently the aforesaid leading lady, now relegated to prop mistress, substituted the clapper-paddle for the spanking scene with a real one. Not only did the understudy take a sound spanking for real, but being new to the role and a little naïve thought that was what the part required and ended up taking it for the production for the remaining performances before anyone told her.

On another occasion the ladies of the company got so bad at learning their lines that the spanking was added as an incentive to the usual fine by the director, the other man in the company. The bemused friend said that not a night went by after rehearsal when one of the women was not spanked over the director’s knee.

In the book the play’s the thing there are numerous accounts of spanking pranks played on actors.

The second picture above is from a stage production of Postriziny. The third is from a play called Full House, which may have had a single run in 1932. The actors are unknown, but the character being spanked is Lady April.

The fourth picture may be a publicity still from the 1950s play, More the Merrier or else some impromptu horseplay.

The fifth picture is from circa 1930 and is a father daughter scene. Again this may be a publicity still, but spankings in stage productions was not unusual at this time.

The last picture is from an experimental theatre production and like the first picture it is also from the 1960s. It may have been a student theatre group where nudity was common up until the 1970s or a pub theatre production. The actors are unknown, as is the name of the play.

For more on this see Spanking in the Theatre.



10 Responses to “Staged and not so staged spanking”

  1. 1 Karl Friedrich Gauss

    That first one looks very authentic. Great theme, D.J.!

  2. 2 Poppy

    He can’t spank her in her pretty dress with his shoe! That is just wrong.
    Cute pictures, DJ.

  3. Picture number 5 is from 1927, a stage play called ‘Peggy Ann’ starring Helen Ford.

  4. In pic number 3, Isabel Jeans is spanking Heather Thatcher. I will get back to you on the first pic after I have researched it. I know that I have the unedited pic in my collection and the shadow that you can see by the girls legs is none other than a young Roddy McDowell, who you see in the uncropped version.

  5. 5 DJ

    Thanks Richard,

    does this mean the first pic is a movie pic and not a theatre pic?

    DJ

  6. DJ, I looked for the pic but haven’t found it as of yet, I have 1000’s to wade through, lol. From what I remember though, Roddy McDowell is stood by an old camera so I am led to believe that it is on a movie set.

  7. 7 Tiptopper

    This photo that I sent in is from my local newspaper. The caption under it reads verbatim: “Will Mackenzie, her boyfriend in the play, dampens her temper tantrum effectively with an offstage spanking. They were still good friends afterwards.”

    I have that clipping but no other information about it other than the fact that is in a group of other items that I have from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

    • 8 DJ

      Thanks for that – yes it was hard to read and incomplete. Great picture though.

      And thanks again for supllying it. I had forgotten that detail about it being from your local newspaper – I wonder if it was just conciously or unconciously staged to look like the picture Richard is thinking of or if indeed your newspaper just carried it?

      DJ

  8. More on the first pic. The girl in the pic is Susan Tyrell and the picture was taken in Cape Cod. Now aside from it appearing in Tiptopper’s local paper, the same picture and caption also appeared in Look magazine, 9-24-63. Later on today I will post the full page on my site.

  9. 10 Richard

    The first i knew women got spanked was a tv broadcast of a play it might have been live that part is not clear in my mind the play was kiss me kate i was nearing puberty so all things connected with the female sex were of increaceing interest


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