I went to the theatre tonight, to see a production/revival of Patrick Barlow’s The Messiah at The Other Palace Theatre, part of, I believe, the Andrew Lloyd Webber empire.
It stars Hugh Dennis (mostly can’t stand him) and Lesley Garrett (detest her) and someone I have never heard of who played a policeman in something on tv that was not The Bill, but I love the humour of Patrick Barlow’s theatre pieces, especially The Royal National Theatre of Brent. Yes, they are one joke and predictable, but it is such a funny joke and at least one joke more than most other ‘comedy’ shows you see.
So, we were all happily in our seats, pretty full, only a few empty seats, the scene is set, the music playing and 7.30 arrives.
A scruffy guy comes out and says the play is delayed, maybe half an hour, there is a water leak backstage, please go out to the bar. Not even a ‘sorry’.
It’s a tiny foyer, there’s nowhere to sit, no “apologies, have a drink on us while you are waiting”.
After a time, Hugh Dennis comes out. The show is cancelled. You can stay and drink in the bar (pay of course) and he does say sorry. No other co-star, no-one from the theatre.
People are cross. Someone suggests they do something on the small stage in the bar to entertain us. After all, we have come, some a long way, on a cold night. That would have been good PR and been a generous gesture towards a memorable evening. But no, he says, not doing it.
Maybe it was true there was a leak. Maybe it wasn’t. A co-star could have thrown a wobbly. I don’t know. They were already there with forms to fill in to try and get our money back. It all looked a bit peculiar, almost like it had happened before.
It was all just odd that the leak suddenly became an issue just exactly as 7.30 hit.