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 Post subject: Re: Smallboy's Line to George
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:18 am 
Billy
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Location: Rochester, NY
Interesting. It was originally w**ker on Broadway. When the Chicago production was in previews I heard they were not getting desired response to that line and changed it a few times. At the same time it was changed to "fat b*stard" in NY. The Broadway audiences laughed, but I think American audiences tend to laugh at any profanity. I preferred w**ker.

I can't see how the Toronto small boy could be motivated to say "fat b*stard" given that Jim Ortlieb is so non-fat. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Smallboy's Line to George
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:29 pm 
Miner
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Location: God's own County
I have no problem with the language in this show but I do think 'fat b'stard' is a little unlikely from a seven year old, even in a very northern working class town. I think I was about eleven before I called our next door neighbour a b'stard!

I think we need to get some sort of advertising campaign going in North America to get the word 'w**ker' adopted. It's such a useful word for all occasions.

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 Post subject: Re: Smallboy's Line to George
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:35 pm 
George
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:42 pm
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I think the line was "loser" combined with the L-on-the-forehead gesture the two times I saw it in Chicago.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallboy's Line to George
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:41 pm 
Tall Boy

Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:52 am
Posts: 158
That line from SB was always problematic for me; there jut appeared to be absolutely no motivation for it. It was simply put in there to get a laugh. It usually got one, but it seemed very obvious and I never liked it.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallboy's Line to George
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:32 am 
Billy

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:54 pm
Posts: 6810
A real life Small Boy from a northern mining town would use the w-word.

I have rarely heard it used in the US, at least in its British context, though the American slang term not considered offensive - 'jerk' - originally had the same common meaning. Those who recall 'Married With Children' may remember that Peggy Bundy's maiden name was 'W**ker' and she often said the 'she comes from a long line of W**kers from W**ker County' - showing that even on prime time TV the term is comical, not offensive, in the US, and, like the colloquial meaning of 'jerk', has come to mean a fool or idiot.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallboy's Line to George
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:35 am 
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Billy
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Location: Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
But mikey's point that it makes no sense seems valid to me. I just find it very odd that a six year-old would call an adult a name like that to his face and not suffer any consequences, even if he has already been established as a foul-mouthed little brat during the bit with the press-ups. But then the whole thing is intended to be shocking to the audience in a comic way, and it helps to set the tone and show how rough this whole group of people is. So I guess it can be justified as a dramatic device.

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 Post subject: Re: Smallboy's Line to George
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:36 pm 
George
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There are no consequences because he's on his way out, George is too busy with Billy and Michael, and George will have forgotten by next week. Anyway, being polite doesn't help any. Even when Tall Boy asks, "Please sir, can I have a word?", he doesn't get very far. (I guess that's why he doesn't bother asking anymore, at least on the tour. :D )


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 Post subject: Re: Smallboy's Line to George
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:50 pm 
Billy

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:54 pm
Posts: 6810
LiamM wrote:
There are no consequences because he's on his way out, George is too busy with Billy and Michael, and George will have forgotten by next week. Anyway, being polite doesn't help any. Even when Tall Boy asks, "Please sir, can I have a word?", he doesn't get very far. (I guess that's why he doesn't bother asking anymore, at least on the tour. :D )


I agree. And George's portrayal is more comical than the situation would be in reality. Only seconds before, George manhandled Michael; Billy coiled up as though expecting a blow from George's foot; and Michael had a boxing glove thrown at his head - all actions that would seem much harsher (and these days, abusive) if the acting weren't comedic. Given that Small Boy witnessed this, and got to the door unscathed (and covered his head, expecting a blow just seconds before), one can understand why his parting shot would be as it is. (In fact, if it were up to me, I would have SB give George two fingers as well).

But, since this scene is treated as comedy, I can see how Small Boy's invective might seem out of place.

Returning to the question of Small Boy's language, the London production contains a song-within-a-song in 'Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher' when the girls sing a ditty to Michael Heseltine to the tune 'Clementine', using the 'w' word and its synonym, 'tosser'. It seems to have been removed from the Tour (I suppose Michael Heseltine would be unknown to most North Americans). At least one of the Ballet Girls is the same age as Small Boy, more or less, so again such language is taken by the producers to be appropriate to the story.


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 Post subject: Re: Smallboy's Line to George
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Billy
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About the Hesseltine part: yes, that's why it isn't in the US show. During previews in NY, they tried it and dropped it. They also tried substituting a Ronald Reagan puppet popping out of the tote bag, but it fell flat, so they just got rid of the "Oh my darling" part altogether.

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 Post subject: Re: Smallboy's Line to George
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:01 pm 
George

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:11 pm
Posts: 525
Location: Austria
For a non-English speaking it`s really interesting to read such conversations - I must confess that I never understood those lines! (And now I had to ask my daughter what this could mean!!) ;)
I think that a so young child would not use such a dirty word (or would he?)!

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