In show business a green room is a place for performers to take a break before, during and after a show but how did this iconic room get its name?
Trevor Green, Senior Front of House Supervisor at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, has given theatre enthusiasts a backstage pass into the history of The Green Room in a recent online video.
“The Green Room is the space in a theatre that functions as a waiting room and lounge for performers before, during and after a performance,” Trevor said.
“It is a place for rest and relaxation to enjoy a cuppa or a meal.”
Trevor said the origins of the term ‘Green Room’ were unknown, but was possibly due to a green-coloured room where actors waited to go on stage at London’s Blackfriar’s Theatre in the 1500s.
“Some believe it was an open-air room with greenery surrounding it,” he said.
“The term may indeed reference theatre before it was staged in buildings – that it might refer to an outdoor space or village green.
“In the 1600s, history tells of when meeting royalty, a room where you would wait to see the King, which was apparently green.
“The phrase may also have originated from the term scene room or screen room.”
Trevor said another possible suggestion was the Cockpit-in-Court Theatre in London where one of the dressing rooms was covered in green fabric.
“It may have even been a reflection of how a nervous actor might feel before going on stage,” he said.
“The most common explanation however is that at one time, an actor’s make-up was a lead-based concoction, which, when first applied, was green-tinged and prone to cracking.
“The green room was then a quiet place for the actors to sit and relax while the make-up was ‘green’ and allowed to properly cure.”
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