Friday, 20 July 2007

Another Fringe first

Last year, it was my first irate performer. This year, it was my first performer to cancel a performance while performing.

I won't malign the performer in question (the story will filter through the Fringeverse quickly enough), but here's the rundown. The performer, hereafter to be referred simply as Performer, was late. Performer is supposed to be in the house 30 minutes before show time. This way Performer can costume, warm up, put up set, or whatever before doors open to the audience. Doors open to the audience 15 minutes before show time. (The Winnipeg Fringe runs a particularly tight ship when it comes to scheduling.)

Thirty minutes before show time ... no Performer. Fifteen minutes before show time, doors open; ticket holders are filtering into the venue ... no Performer. Performer finally arrives, much to everyone's great relief. Doors close right on schedule at show time. I have a moment of Venue Team Leading, Crisis Averted, Pride.

Not five minutes later, my usher appears saying something along the the lines of "Performer's thrown in the towel." That wasn't quite the idiom the usher used, but I don't remember exactly what it was. Something colo(u)rful and befitting the across-the-pond (some pond or other) accent of the usher. But the upshot was that Performer got on stage, started the show, and then apologized and exited the stage.

Boggle.

Now, I can see Performer may not have been in the best shape, and I decline to speculate as to why. And I can see that Peformer, not being in the best shape, and playing to a small house (I think we had a total of five cash sales, plus a few advanced sales, at least one Frequent Fringer pass sale, and, unfortunately for Performer, a media--a 'media' is Fringe lingo for someone from the media who arranges to see the show in order, one presumes, to review it. One doesn't go far in the Fringe game by making trouble for one's media(s).) As I was saying, Performer, perhaps not being in the best shape and playing to a small house, apparently decides that It Just Ain't Worth It. Well, 'the show must go on' be damned apparently.

I don't know what is happening with these young people these days.

So I don't know who's going to demand a refund, and considering there were two price levels, how They (whoever They are) are going to deal with that. I'm just glad it's not my job. Nor my regular venue, so I personally don't have to deal with Performer again. Not that I'd actually mind, but I'm not sure I could stop myself from saying something (intended to be) scathing.

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