Romeo, oh Romeo…

Posted: August 26, 2011 in About Me

The scene was set. We were all there, the four of us, in the bar. The girls finished their drinks while Lewis went out for his final cigarette before the performance. The rain had started to drizzle outside and the sun was setting. It was decided it best to get a cab to St George’s Hall mainly to protect Claire’s hair from beginning to curl so off we went to hail.

Within no time we were in the back of the cab and en route to our destination. The driver a little bemused that he had picked up a fayre that would give him no more than £4.00 and this was verified through a telephone conversation to a ‘friend’ while he was driving us there! ‘St George’s Hall, I mean come on. What’s the matter with people these days, unable to walk a short distance…’ Lewis soon chipped in and put him in his place, and through his vocal slant regards his feelings lost the ‘tip’ we were going to give but left with another….. in future, however short or far the journey, we are paying and you are not just sat at the side of the road. Be grateful!’

We were there. At the door to St George’s Hall where we were stopped by a guy taking recordings for the website on out expectations of what the play would be like. We nominated Lewis to speak for our group, and so he did. We then went in, headed for the facilities and then to the bar to get a pre-performance drink and importantly order the refreshments for the interval.

We headed for our seats. I thought that they were pre-booked and told the rest of the group we were fine. All we needed to do was get in there and find seats 111, 112, 113 and 114. This wasn’t the case as we arrived at the entrance to the theatre. We were informed it was a ‘free for all’ and just to find a seat somewhere. We thought it wouldn’t look good for our positioning to see the performance and due to the time we spent in the bar would be left with the restricted view seats at the back of the auditorium, but we were wrong! We took our seats at the front. Right by the stage. We were ready…

The seats were arranged in a semi circular fashion as the middle of the performance hall formed part of the stage. The lights dimmed and the audience hushed in anticipation of what was going to unfold in front of their eyes. The room was in darkness and then a flash of light hit the wall placed upon the stage flashing the faces of characters as though they were appearing in doorways waving and saying hello to the expecting audience.

The lights dimmed and the performance began. It has to be said that the hall used probably wasn’t the best setting due to the high roof and the voices of the actors not being carried into the audience. Some of the actors rushed their lines, not taking time to pause and project their voices. Others, as the case with the lady playing the nurse, was clear and concise in what she was saying and ensured that her voice could be heard. That even when she was presumed to be speaking quickly in the role of her character, would make sure that it was clear. Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for Juliet, the only what seemed to be Scouse actor within the production. She rambled through her lines as though they were being forgotten the second they leapt off her tongue into the open abyss of the hall.

The opening piece, carried out by the Prince informed the audience that the performance would be two hours in length. Naturally we thought that the interval would fall half way between the two hours, but again this wasn’t the way it was to play out. We were 1 hour 30 minutes into the performance when suddenly the lights went on, the audience clapped and it was announced that the interval was now due to take place! In normal youth style we grabbed our coats and ran. We ran out through the doors into the corridor, down the three flights of stone stairs, through the entrance lobby, along the maze of corridors, passed many rooms and into the Great Hall where the make shift bar was situated. We were the first in. We made our way over and waiting for us were our pre-ordered drinks. We selected them and made our way over to a large round table to sit, enjoy our drinks and discuss our opinions on the play so far.

It didn’t take long. We were all under the same impression that it wasn’t as good as we expected, that the voices of the cast couldn’t be heard and then the revelation from Lewis came. He refused to go back in. Of all the plays and shows he had been to see he had never refused to return to the second half, but for this he did. We all seemed to share the same opinion and decided that as soon as we had finished our drinks we were departing from the theatre. Leaving our four chairs empty for anyone who was wishing to stay to move into if they so wished to do so!

It seemed that our feelings were not in isolation as on our way to the exit we spoke to six other people who had also come to the same conclusion, they too couldn’t sit through the second half, which we had come to learn was one hour thirty minutes long. That was ten empty seats for the second half of the performance, but it didn’t end there. As we stepped outside of the building we spoke to another group who had made the same decision, now taking the number of empty seats to 16!

We left and headed to the pub. Lewis throughout our journey apologised as he felt responsible as he had suggested we went to see the performance. The three of us reassured him that in no way was it his fault that we had decided to leave and that also our feelings and thoughts towards it were verified by the other people who had felt the production.

We agreed as a group that we felt sorry for the actors coming on in the second half as they would notice the number of empty chairs in the audience as it was compact and the room only held 140 people. I later learned tonight that a friend of mine that had attended the same performance with three of his friends had also left the performance, this taking the number that we now know ourselves to have left to 20.

My advice to anyone that has purchased tickets for this event is try to see if you can get a refund on your ticket as personally I wouldn’t advise anyone to go watch this production. If this is unlikely then maybe even consider not going anyway and do something else instead. Go for a meal, the pictures, have a night in, row, anything but don’t waste your time with this production. But again this is my view. And that of 19 other people who I know that walked out!!

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