Gary O’Hanlon, 32, a drama teacher at St Brian’s Academy in Dudley, faces professional ruin after forgetting to laugh ostentatiously during a visiting performance of The Taming of The Shrew by the Really Kewl Shakespeare Gang. The crime took place during Act 2 Scene 1, where Katerina tells Petruchio “If I be waspish, best beware my sting”. O’Hanlon’s colleagues were already half way through the shoulders-heaving exaggerated snigger, followed by the overblown ‘hahaha’ and the obligatory chin stroke, before he realised.
The play was stopped for a minute so that the performers could regain their composure. O’Hanlon tried to make up for his error by really going for it during Petruchio’s “What, with my tongue in your tail? Nay, come again, Good Kate; I am a gentleman” speech but it was too late. Cassandra Spragg, Head of English, said: “I’m disappointed. He had shown such promise but now, even though he tried to save face by confiscating an iPhone during Act 4, his career is over.”