What a shambles. What a complete and utter shambles. And how entertaining.
Hang on – are you having a sense of déjà vu? Didn’t the Whingers open with that same line when they tripped off to The Tricycle Theatre only last month? And what a delightful brouhaha that triggered.
But by comparison with recent sagas, The Tricycle is beginning to look as organised as a Cage Aux Folles’ wardrobe mistress.
Yes, the run-up to seeing Complicit at the Old Vic There was more drama than they could possibly ever hope to see on the stage.
Farce it proved to be.
Now listen up. This is very long-winded and complicated, and if you weren’t one of the Whingers’ party of 10 it is probably quite dull. But that’s never stopped us before has it?
Months and months ago, for reasons that are now unclear, Andrew booked 10 seats for Complicit.
He put the date (Monday 19th January) and time (7.30pm) in his diary and let everyone know.
A few days before the show, he sent a reminder which was followed up shortly be a very flustered addendum saying that he had made an “administrative error” and that the show would actually start at 7.00pm.
Now the only reason the penny dropped was because he happened to read about the postponement of the press night from 19th to 28th January. A check on the Old Vic’s performance schedule confirmed a 7.00pm start.
How embarrassing. How could Andrew get it so wrong? When would Phil stop laughing?
It was only when Andrew got home and looked at the tickets that he realised he was completely innocent of any negligence for they did indeed pronounce a 7.30pm start.
So after checking the Old Vic’s website and phoning the theatre and confirming the 7pm start, Andrew duly informed his party that they were meeting half an hour earlier.
Now, (nodded off yet? No?) on the day of the erstwhile press night, while Andrew was waiting to be called back by the Old Vic to confirm the starting time, Phil began doing his own investigations. He rang the number on the Old Vic website to ask what time it started, the conversation went something like this:
Man at Old Vic number: 7.30
Phil: But the website says 7pm
MAOV: My screen says 7.30
Phil: Our tickets do say 7.30 but the website says 7pm as it was originally to be the Press Night.
MAOV: It says 7.30 here. I’ll just check. (pause) Tonight’s performance has been cancelled.
Phil: Are you sure?
MAOV: Yes it’s cancelled
Phil: You’re absolutely sure?
MAOV: Look this is the Ambassadors Theatre Group not the Old Vic.
Phil: Well it’s the number on the Old Vic website, surely you’d know for sure if its going ahead or not?
MAOV: (Getting a little testy) You need to ring the Old Vic stage door. (Gives Phil the number)
Phil rings the stage door number .
Delightful man at stage door: No it’s definitely going ahead at 7pm tonight.
Phil: You’re sure? Our tickets say 7.30.
DMASD: No it’s definitely going ahead and with all three members of the cast.
Phil: Why have they been missing performances?
DMASD: (Laughing) No, I’m just stopping that rumour before it starts.
Phil: But if all the tickets say 7.30 won’t the rest of the audience be late?*
DMASD: (Laughing) Well at least we’ll have you there.
As it turns out, the majority of the people were in their seats by 7pm which leads the Whingers to suspect some kind of conspiracy to prevent them from seeing the show.
Why would anyone go to such trouble? Surely it’s not because it was going to be a complete and utter turkey? Surely not…
Above: the West End Whingers’ party show their incorrectly printed tickets. These are probably worth a fortune on ebay. Like stamps.