Sunday, 1 October 2017

I Compare Two Audiences

Royal Albert Hall Saturday 23rd September 2017
Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto
Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

Notes on the Audience

Flash photography? In a place this size? With the lights down and the sublime music of Beethoven it's like watching a badly choreographed, underwhelming firework display.  If you are going to use your camera turn off the flash AND the sound you twerps and oh, you're clapping after the first movement; well, I mustn't judge - it's just a convention to remain silent but it IS Beethoven and I hope by the time the 9th comes on you'll know not to clap until the end and why oh why are you eating, and eating noisily - yes, it is the Emperor Concerto which is a popular piece but it's not the bloody Nutcracker and whatever you are chatting to your neighbour about ,can't it wait because the Royal Albert Hall acoustics are bad enough as it is without the competition of what is not even an apologetic whisper and surely you could have used the interval to rummage around your bag which is the size of Wembley stadium and I am going to turn around and smite you with my Paddington stare if you don't shut up ... there I did it (and am I a musical snob for wanting to listen to music in quiet I mean I know that sometimes people have to cough and that can't be helped but talking - talking! - why did you even bother coming and if you realised I'd booked these tickets back in February to enjoy an evening with my son whose favourite piece is the 9th and which I have never seen live before and which I want to be memorable for the right reasons would it make any difference?).  Oh, and there you go! Clicking away during the slow movement which is so sublime that I want to cry and shout at you for the sake of all of us who want to listen and I think I will stand up and leave and I think I will stand up and walk down and into the orchestra to be as close as I can be to the cellos when they pick up that theme which is the most amazing moment and even you lot with your rustling and your chatting and your flashing and your clicking can't ruin this - the voice of joy rising from the deepest place in the whole wide world.

Much Wenlock Pottery Saturday 30th September 2017
Voices for Change - An Evening of Poetry to mark 100 Thousand Poets for Change Global Event Day

Notes on the Audience

I look out at  people, listening with all of themselves.  You are still, intent, serious about this: focused on what's happening now.

Thank you.


  1. Funny :-)
    Use the breathing techniques Liz

    1. Were you the one eating crisps, Zaphod? ;-)

  2. I can neither confirm, nor deny that accusation 😂