We just came back from our last show of this year's Melbourne Comedy Festival, Danny Bhoy at the Atheneum Theater (excuse spelling).
The show was really good and I guess I would discuss our Comedy Festival experience some other time. But for now I'll just talk a bit about what happened before and after the show.
We arrived at the Atheneum about half an hour prior to the designated time. It was pretty empty at the time, so we just stood there at the entrance (partly because by now it's too freezing to stand outside). A young lady was standing there with a microphone shouting instructions to all five of us standing there; and she still managed to be unclear.
As time went by more and more people came in. It turned out there were several shows going on at the same time, and each had its own convoluted intricacies of entrances - balconies, stalls, upper upper balconies, etc. So everyone came in and did their best to get to that young unclear lady and find out what was going on.
Pretty quickly the entire affair felt like a sardine can. We were given with orders to "stand next to the right wall", with people pushing on from the outside all the time. The amount of people that "brushed" my coat as they pushed their way in must have caused the left sleeve to totally fade. Once in, the people had no where to clear themselves to because the lobby of that Atheneum is way too small; and with more and more people coming in it became one big joke. We had designated seats so there wasn't much of a reason to fight for a place, it just that it was a hassle to get out.
I guess this experience stands out because you tend to have everything so well organized in Australia.
Eventually we got in. The seats were so badly designed that everybody had to lean forward to see anything. Pretty quickly I noticed that legroom was such a joke the head of the guy ahead of me was between my knees.
If the Atheneum is supposed to simulate what things are like at Athens, I'm not going, thank you.
Comic relief was supplied when we left the show (obviously I'm ignoring the show itself). These two girls were chatting about the shows they've seen so far, and the conversation went like:
"Have you seen X [a comedy show]?"
"Yeah, he was good. Have you seen Y [another comedy show]?"
"Yes, that was very good. And have you seen Z [guess what that stands for]?"
"Yeah, that was good"
And so on and so forth. I'm only mentioning this because I think these girls should think up a career as reviewers.