We don't know about you, but we are really missing the theatre, and so its the small things that remind us of those warm, fuzzy feelings that the theatre gives us. One of the amazing things that has come out of this lock down is the quirky, charming and creative comic strip created by Mark Sage called "Bums On Seats"
"Mark began his life in the theatre at the young age of 12 as an usher at the beautiful Theatre on the Bay in Cape Town, South Africa. Mark spent most of his time either drawing cartoons or at the theatre. He quickly fell in love with all aspects of the theatre and worked backstage, FOH, on the follow-spot, as a lighting tec, sound tec, crew, dresser, admin assistant in the theatre office, even barman in the FOH bar – whatever was needed to make the show go on! When the Theatre on the Bay closed 10 years later for a lengthly period of renovations, Mark hopped on a plane to London. He spent two fantastic years working in the West End for Stoll Moss Theatres (which became Really Useful Theatres). In November 2000 Mark returned to South Africa to manage the newly opened Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre in Johannesburg. 20 years later and Mark is still happily looking after the daily operations at Pieter’s Main and Studio theatres at Montecasino.
Over the years Mark has developed his hobby of drawing cartoons and has illustrated numerous books and online projects. Most recently, Mark created the very successful daily strip – THUDSTER – with his good friend Rick Crosier. The THUDSTER project sadly came to an end when Rick lost his very brave battle against cancer, but not before self-publishing a comic book containing over 500 daily THUDSTER comic strips. Mark is now delighted to be able to combine his love for theatre with his creative drawings on this exciting new project – BUMS ON SEATS."
"Ever since the THUD daily comic strip came to an end I have been mulling over combining my two loves – drawing and theatre. In 2011, I created two characters – Melville and Nelson – but had no idea where they would fit, so I filed them away for a rainy day. That rainy day came during Lockdown when I had a few moments to brainstorm ideas for a new theatre comic. I knew I needed a few lead characters who were very real to everyday theatre and was going through the files when I found Melville and Nelson.
I had already come up with a catchy name for the comic strip – Bums On Seats – that everyday phrase that sums up the goal of every commercial theatre project and something that everyone in the industry can relate to (and it’s a little bit naughty too so that’s fun!), and now I had my two lovable characters that I could see living the theatre-making experience. Once I started drawing their daily adventures the ideas just kept flowing and I can’t wait for everyone to see what’s coming up! My goal has always been to make people smile with my drawings, and if Bums on Seats makes just one person smile in these dark times, then I’ve done my bit."
We are slightly obsessed with these adorable comic strips. If you are too, you can sign up for the Bums On Seats daily comic strip on https://bumsonseatscomic.com/.
A big shout out to Mark Sage for putting smiles on our faces - Thank you!