Cromer is a quaint seaside town at the most easterly point of England. It has an old theatre on a pier. It is also famous for crabs, and last year was invaded by travelling people who held the town hostage. It is also home to the Cromer lifeboat and it’s brave crew, some of whom I have shared many a hangover.
The theatre produces a long-running summer show and it does very well. Normally summer shows do not exist in a variety format any more, they are normally one nighters with a different star every night. What the Cromer show lacks in stars it makes up for by producing a good old-fashioned variety show that everybody loves and can afford.
I’ve played the theatre many times, it is a labour of love, you do not do it to make money as it only holds 400 people. Also you can only do it in the winter because the summer show takes up all the good weather.
There was a bit of a problem at the end of last week. I turned up to do two shows. The weather was horrendous with a gail force N E wind blowing. Kevin and I struggled to make our way down the slippery wet and rather dangerous wooden floor of the ancient peir. I could not understand how anybody would want to make this journey to see me.
There is no stage door as such so I waited in the bar area. I asked for a spritzer, and then explained what it was. I was poured a pint of it!! but the wine was off. Not surprising really when I was the first show of the year and the wine had probably been there since the last show in the summer. The young man who served it understood, but the man with him became sarcastic and looked down his nose at me as if to say I bet nothing nothings good enough for you is it. However the young man understood and poured me another one.
One by one the audience arrived looking like surviours from the failed expedition to the Antarctic. The bar was freezing.
I went to my dressing room, this had newly been painted in white gloss paint, not only was the smell overpowering but I managed to smother the wife’s Christmas present, a new timberland coat, in paint.
After nearly passing out with the fumes I returned to the bar, most of the audience had taken their seats and I asked Kevin to get me a whiskey. I was told I could not have it in a glass but it had to be in a plastic tumbler. I told the woman I wasn’t happy with that because plastic tumblers kill turtles. She obviously had not seen David Attenborough. She bought the whiskey in a plastic tumbler, Kevin grabbed a glass and poured the tumbler into it. I was told I could not take it out of the bar. It was now at 8 o’clock and the show was waiting to begin. I explained to the woman I was taking it onstage. This made no difference, She told me I could not leave the bar with a glass. She seemed pleased.I told her I would wait in the bar and finish it and could she explain to the audience why we were waiting. She then pulled a face and said please yourself and dismissed me with a flick of her hand.. What a star I felt.
I later explained this to the stage crew, who rolled their eyes to heaven and made gesticulation which summed up their thoughts about the front of house people. Mine too.
While I was on stage I told the audience. I also told them that I would get the blame and that some spotty little oik from the local paper will get his headline “Jim Davidson rude to staff”
This is, or course what has happened
Great technical staff, wonderful ushers…shitty attitude millennials running the bar…blame me!!! shame on you
The show went quite well.
The best line was from some female on FB….Talking about the bar staff…”they pay your wages” me…”Thank them for the 15 k”