Oh, dear. The Maltings Theatre – former favourite squeeze of Berwick and credited with resurrecting the cultural life of the town – has fallen foul of its own success. There are grumblings afoot; malcontents whisper, and slow-burning accusations over shady division of Arts Council funding poison the air with a background radiation of resentment.
Even so-called Friends of the theatre are having a bitch, their fickle hearts reminiscent of a Gossip Girl story loop. Friends of The Maltings, for the uninitiated, is a scheme whereby a punter can pay a nominal fee of £2.50 per month (£2.08 concessions – bargain!) and receive discounted tickets and exclusive promotions.
And these Friends – aka ‘Georginas’, to keep things Gossip Girl real – have done very well out of it, having had first dibs on tickets to see the likes of Michael McIntyre, Jack Dee, and Lee Evans. Non-Friends meanwhile – we’ll call them Muggles for their failure to appreciate the magic cast by £2.50 – have had to wait their turn until the Georginas finish binge-purging the ticket allocation.
But trouble over the Toilet Bowel of Paradise has bubbled to the surface, causing a handful of Georginas to hoist their lips into tight glossy moues of pique.
Apparently management of bill-topping comedian, Kevin Bridges, refused to set aside a Georgina ticket allowance for his show in June. And a few Georginas, contemplating the significance of this, have reacted in the way of Afrikaner landowners facing the collapse of apartheid. And a few Muggles, bathing in the sex-glow of 50p a week well saved, have displayed their billet d’égalité in the provocative manner of a Blue Badge holder in parent and child parking.
So what started out as a noble stand for democracy and equality on the part of Team Bridges, has descended into a playground scuffle for superiority between Georginas and Muggles.
As we considered this unpleasant state of affairs and tried to work out a way to pin it on Rebekah Brooks or the French, NOT BAd received an email from Will Richards.
Will is co-founder of The Laughing Bear Comedy Club, one of the guys working his arse off to build a credible comedy venue in town. Will’s correspondence fizzed with big news excitement. We could tell this because it ran to an A4 page and he’s a bloke.
We’ll précis it for you – Lee Ridley, otherwise known as Lost Voice Guy. Look, here he is:
Challenging preconceptions with gags.
Laughing Bear has managed to secure Lee at the last minute for this month’s Club, further bolstering Berwick’s growing reputation for attracting top quality comedy. Promising to be “The latest comedy sensation in the UK,” and having already appeared on many radio and TV shows (CNN, BBC Breakfast, and Radio 4 amongst them), Lee is looking like the discerning comedy-gig goer’s act of choice, and all for just £5.
A fiver. Those of you with tickets to Michael McIntyre are feeling a tad silly now, eh?
And as for the Georginas and Muggles fighting to get one over on the other – this is what equality looks like, you divs.
Book your tickets fast as this is sure to sell-out:
Supported by Scottish Comedian of the Year – Jamie Dalgleish, plus Ben Verth, Jeff Lantern and Chris Conroy.