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Theatre Superstitions: Whistling

Whistling on stage is bad luck!

Original stage crews were hired from ships that were in port and coded whistles were used to communicate scene changes etc. Random whistling could confuse the stage crew into changing the set or have the unfortunate result of a sandbag being dropped on the actor. Although today cues are given via intercom or other signaling methods, it is still considered unlucky to whistle backstage, or clap for that matter.

One way to void the curse of whistling is to run around the theatre three times and knock on the door to be let back in (that seems to be the cure for most theatre curses).

So, if you are ever on or back stage remember this tale to avoid having to run around the theatre in the dead of winter.

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