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emptyaudienceOh, I’m in a tetchy mood…

So last night we played Shakespeare in Words in a little town here around. I limped there in the wake of a minor but painful accident, and we had to readjust a few things around the Chorus’s impeded mobility, and we had no technical rehearsal at all – but still.

Only, when the curtain went up, we discovered an empty house. Or perhaps not quite empty, but so sparsely attended that… Oh well. We soldiered on and did our best – which in the end wasn’t entirely bad, if I say so myself. But playing to an empty house is so disheartening.

After what passes for a final jig with us, and after the warm applause of our good few, a couple of town councillors came backstage for compliments and apologies.

“We tried, you know,” one said. “Only, I’m afraid that ours is not the most responsive of small places, and they favour light comedy in the local idiom.”

The other gave a bitter snort. “Had we offered free risotto, now, we’d be sold out.”

Risotto. Again.

We traded looks and burst laughing, and then had to explain the whole “From Risotto to Shakespeare” thing to the baffled councillors, and we all ended in the local Irish Pub to bemoan The Way Things Are over beer…

Oh, there will be better nights, I’m sure – and here’s to full houses – but still, let me say it: damn risotto! Damn damn damn.

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