How many times have you found yourself in a conversation that you are unable to partake in due to a lack of jargon knowledge? The Oberon Glossary of Theatrical Terms is a wonderful book chock full of theatrical jargon explanations.

Following on from our last article, today we look at 'G' to 'L'.




Genesius (Saint): Patron Saint of actors, whose Feast Day falls on 25 August. According to tradition, after playing before the Roman emperor Diocletian, Genesius declared that during the performance he had been converted to Christianity. In an attempt to force him to recant, he was tortured and eventually decapitated.

Ghost Walked? Has the,: 'Have the salaries been paid?' There is a tradition that Shakespeare played the ghost in Hamlet, giving him a long wait between his entrances in Act I and Act III, scene 4. He would therefore have had time between entrances to collect the takings, from which he would pay the actors, while still wearing his 'ghost' costume. The often heard remark: 'The ghost walks on Friday' derives from the same tradition.

Hip bath: Words repeated as a vocal exercise by the actor Sir Aubrey Smith (1863 - 1948). Audiences could often hear him loudly declaiming them in the wings before making his entrance.

Kensington Gore: Type of artificial blood supplied for use on stage, named in punning reference to the London thoroughfare of the same name.

Lamp tramp: A lighting technician.


The Oberon Glossary of Theatrical Terms by Colin Winslow is published by Oberon Books.