On Saturday night (April 2nd) I went to see Dave Spikey at the Mechanics in Burnley.
The seats were £18 each and the house was near-enough full; hundreds of people having paid good money to see a top comedian. We did not want to be distracted by a parade of clowns who took it upon themselves to be a major part of the night.
The professional comic began his show exactly on time and was in full flow when a tribe of 30-somethings traipsed in and walked in front of the first row of the audience to their seats. Being late was discourteous, but, perhaps, unavoidable.
Unfortunately, it was not their only appearance. Astonishingly, the procession was repeated countless times as they wandered in and out of the auditorium; sometimes they perambulated in groups, at other times alone.
Dave Spikey’s performance ran from 8 p.m. until 9 p.m., and after the interval from 9-30 until 10-20 p.m., so it would not seem unreasonable to expect fully grown adults to sit still for 60 minutes, and, after a decent break, a further 50 minutes.
Perhaps the 30-somethings all had weak bladders – do they not remember being told to “go before you set off”? And, surely, taking copious pints of alcohol into the auditorium from the bar after the interval will not have helped their incontinence.
Their weak bladders, of course, might not have been the cause. They might have opted to damage their lungs instead, nipping out for quick fag every few minutes. One lanky shaven-haired individual was out so frequently he even missed the end of the show.
Again, the solutions are simple: ditch the fags, wear a nicotine patch and abstain for longer than an hour, or give the gig a miss.
The management at the Mechanics would do well to follow the example of other theatres. Some do not allow late-comers in until the interval and it is a rare exception that anyone leaves their seats.
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