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Friday, February 29, 2008

75: A Tale of Two Hats

I had forgotten how bloody miserable London can be in the rain and I am sitting here in Southwark "at the controls" of The Audience Club for the last day turning the lights on early as the light has seeped away from the day and it is almost evening.

This has been an interesting experience which has involved me wearing my Better Bankside hat every morning and my The Audience Club one every afternoon though the two have inevitably overlapped a little.

Angela is back in the wee small hours tonight - we may go and surprise her at the airport! - and I shall be relieved in more than one way of my responsibilities. It has been frenetic, almost stressful, and certainly has left me with a stiff neck at the end of each day spent staring at the computer screen whether it has been writing copy for the BB E Brief or uploading new shows onto the Theatre Ladder - join up if you want find out what that is!

It has surprised me at least a little to discover just how difficult it is to entice people to go and see a show. With seats to fill and venues to support I even resorted to special offers giving 4 tickets for every 2 paid for. I say "paid for" but in reality it is only a booking fee so 4 tickets for 4 quid!

What can you do? Are people really quite so despondent. Are they perhaps just choosy about the shows they want to see ie I wonder if Sound of Music would have much trouble selling out at £2 a ticket? Can they not be bothered to go slightly out of their way to see some creative piece say in Hackney or Croydon?

I wonder if in fact it is not just indifference though there are people who saw "free membership" and signed up with brusque alacrity and yet have booked to see precisely nothing in four months. Perhaps the telly has been especially great over that period (Life On Mars was repeated), or perhaps - like someone who once joined the ICA because ie me and I didn't go once in that one year I was a paid up member - it felt good to belong to something "worthwhile".

Thinking back I remember now that the call of home after a long day in the office was always louder than the gentler enticements of culture, be it yer actual thinking stuff, or the pub kind. Nothing changed there then. Just shows there are some things you can't even give away.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

74: Does anyone give a toss?

It took only a few hours for the long-awaited news to slip out that Sarko and Carla had finally - two and a half months after meeting - tied the knot. Some have been waiting for much longer and still wait. The bets are now on as to how long their union will last with favourite currently that they will split by the end of the year. The Sarkozy Circus trundles on.

Let's hope that the happy couple took time out from their celebrations to partake in the tradition of La Chandeleur when crêpes are consumed all over France to mark what we know as Candlemas the day when Christ was presented at the temple.

Let's hope that they tossed their pancake with one hand whilst holding a coin in the other to ensure prosperity throughout the year. Let's hope that they managed not to drop it as this toowill bring good luck. France needs both.

Super Sarko is onto his third marriage, so one can only surmise that he believes in it. It is her first - so maybe she is a convert. Sadly he continues to deny access to those rights and obligations to same sex couples whose only alternative is the ground-breaking PACS which has been left behind by most of Europe, and which affords only 17% of the rights of married people. One wonders why, given his poor track record, the happy couple didn't choose to be PACSed...

Thought the pancake's shape is supposed to represent the sun returning to herald the end of winter (seasons must have changed surely), if Petit Nicolas is to avoid tossing a pancake into his own face - better the role of ringmaster at Cirque Sarko than clown - he would do well to direct some sunshine on inevitable full equality.