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Playing With / All Part of the Show

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Basic Trope: The audience at a live event mistakes a disaster or supernatural occurrence for part of the show.

  • Straight: During a production of Hamlet, a horde of real zombies appeared on the stage. The audience thinks it's the director's interpretation of Hamlet's madness.
  • Exaggerated: Zombies are attacking audience members and trying to eat their brains, and still everyone assumes they're just actors.
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  • Downplayed: An actor falls and breaks his leg on stage. The audience doesn't suspect it's real until the paramedics arrive, and even then...
  • Justified: It's an avant-garde production, and some pretty strange things have already happened that really were part of the show.
  • Inverted: Actors show up dressed as zombies, and the audience panics, thinking it's a real zombie attack.
  • Subverted: The zombies were hired by the director and really are part of the show.
  • Double Subverted: ...but in the middle of the performance they go berserk and try to snack on Hamlet. The audience still thinks it's an act.
  • Parodied:
    • Not wanting the audience to panic, Hamlet continues to deliver his soliloquy even as the zombies are devouring him. The critics comment favorably on his convincing screams, but don't think much of the makeup job on the zombies.
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    • Hamlet is attacked by human actors playing zombies as part of the show, and the audience thinks it's a real zombie attack. However, all of the human characters are being played by zombie actors, and nobody in the audience noticed, even when Hamlet reached up and took off his own head to go "Alas, Poor Yorick".
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Most of the zombies in the play are actors. Keyword: "Most".
    • There really is a scheduled scene where zombies attack Hamlet, but an hour before the show, one of the actors playing a zombie was bitten by a real one. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Averted:
    • The play goes on without anything catastrophic happening that wasn't staged.
    • The audience immediately realizes when something wasn't supposed to happen and react realistically.
  • Enforced: "How can the heroes save a building full of people from zombies without breaking the Masquerade? I know—the zombies attack during a play, and everyone assumes that they're actors!"
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  • Lampshaded: "Are those people blind? How can they not realize we're being attacked by real zombies?"
  • Invoked: The director insists to the audience that everything that's happening is all special effects and that everyone should remain calm.
  • Exploited: The Evil Overlord sends his zombie minions to attack in the middle of the show so that no one will realize what's going on until too late.
  • Defied: The lead actor turns to the audience and tells them that the zombies are not a part of the show and they should all exit the theater as quickly as possible.
  • Discussed: "What do you bet that the audience thinks this is just a really unconventional staging choice?"
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Zombies invade the theater, and the audience believes it's just a part of the show. Nobody calls the police or the military and nobody runs away. The zombies infect them all and begins the zombie apocalypse.
  • Reconstructed: The hero arrives before the zombies can attack and defeats the zombies while posing as an actor in the show, thus defeating the threat without alerting anyone in the theater that they were in any danger.
  • Implied: After the play, a critic praises the zombie scene, and asks the director what made them come up with it. The director doesn't seem to have a good answer.

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