Seeing Red Velvet and Seeing Red!


I nearly got thrown out of a London theatre on Saturday!

It was a play called Red Velvet at the Garrick Theatre on Charing Cross Road. The seats were excellent, third row, right in the middle of the stage. Just before the show started, I took a photo of the stage to show how close we were.


The view of the stage from our seats.

During the first half, I took a quick picture of the actors on stage. I didn’t use the flash and had the iPhone on mute so it didn’t make that fake shutter ‘click’ sound. It took a couple of seconds and I only took one photo. I didn’t disturb anyone or spoil their enjoyment of the play.

The Interval came and the bloke sat next to me on my right got up and went out. I thought nothing of it until seconds later, he came back, and an usher appeared and said, “sir, sir..?” I looked up and she said, “Please delete that photo you took of the performance”.

I didn’t want there to be any fuss, people had come to see a live show and I wasn’t going to give them one, so I took out my phone and let her watch me delete it. Then she said, “Delete it from your deleted photos too!” I said, “I don’t know how to do that.” She said, “come out of there, go into ‘all photos’…” So much for not wanting to make a fuss. Right now, in that theatre I was starring in the bonus interval entertainment, a two handed farce starring me and the usher. “I don’t see it” I said, “Go to ‘recently deleted”, she said, getting angry, “It’ll be at the top” she sighed. Finally I found it and tapped the waste basket icon, by now expecting a round of applause.

I couldn’t believe the bloke next to me had dobbed me in! It must have been him, he’d not been gone long enough to use the bathroom and didn’t come back with any sweets or ice cream!

What kind of mean spirited, sniveling weasel decides they’re going to publicly embarrass a total stranger with no provocation? I hadn’t done him any harm at all but he was clearly hell bent on ruining our night out! Didn’t he realise that he had to sit next to me for the entire second half of the show? Did he really think I was going to let him get away with it?

Before the curtain went up for the second half, I Googled the name of the play and found a publicity photo of the show. It was of the two lead actors, mid show and had been taken from roughly where we were sitting. With it displayed on the screen of my phone where my previous deleted photo had been, I held it out at arm’s length so he’d be able to see it and said loudly, “Good job I didn’t have to delete THIS one, it’s the best photo I’ve taken here all night!”

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I didn’t take this photo but whoever did could have taken it from my seat.

Now we were even, but I still had to win. The lights went down for the second half and I noticed he had his elbow on our shared armrest. I put my elbow on their TOUCHING his. His elbow slowly backed away. I moved mine until we were touching again. His elbow came off the armrest altogether. I moved my right foot further to the right until my shoe was touching his. His foot moved away, I moved mine until we were touching again. He moved his foot to the right again.

By now he had folded his arms and was squashed up into the corner of his seat. I never said a word. He must have thought he was sitting next to a nutter! I knew I had him when about ten minutes into the second half, he started checking his watch! There’s no way he was enjoying his night out anywhere near as much as I was enjoying mine.

The play ended and we gave the cast a standing ovation. As I clapped enthusiastically, my right elbow jutted out and kept hitting his shoulder, and occasionally his ribs and sometimes quite hard. I turned to Julie and said, “That was really good”, turned to my right and he was gone. He was probably the first one out of the theatre.

That’s a shame because I was just about to ask him if I could have a selfie with him!

Craic on!

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