Yesterday we looked at why actors say' break a leg!' to mean 'good luck.' But other countries have equally bizarre ways of wishing each other good luck on stage.
Italian opera singers will say “Il boca del lupo” (“in the wolf’s mouth”) to which the reply must be “Crepo il lupo” (“May the wolf die”). Goodness knows where that comes from.
We love the Australian greeting – “Chookas!” when a good sized audience would mean chicken for dinner - "Chook it is!".
Most of the other greetings are either disgusting or just plain crude.
The standard international greeting of “Toi, Toi, toi” is meant to sound like spitting three times to ward off evil – like when you mention Macbeth in a theatre space.
Dancers will wish each other “Merde”; Spanish performers say “Mucha mierda”; Portuguese “Muita mierda”. All of these supposedly relate to the amount of dung left by the horses on the road outside the theatre – lots of it glimpsed from the dressing room would indicate a good (if smelly) house.