Wednesday, 11 August 2004

Plan well ahead

Open-air performances usually encourage you to provide some of the facilities for yourself: you can bring your own chairs, tables, food, drink and, if you are that sort of person, candelabra and joss sticks. But there is one facility which you cannot bring with you, and at an open-air event my wife and I went to last week, which was marvellous in most ways, inadequate provision for it was made, to the extent that in the interval one of the performers had to queue-jump.

Lamentable, but not so serious as the situation at a major musical event some years ago when one of our great choirs was to perform an oratorio in one of our great cathedrals which at that time was undergoing extensive repairs. As recounted later by one of the choristers, the conductor at the final rehearsal addressed the choir and orchestra as follows:
“There are two hundred and fifty in the choir, ninety-five in the orchestra, and it is expected that there will be one thousand five hundred in the audience. In the crypt there are two ladies’ and one gentlemen’s lavatory. You have been warned.”

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