2 PM Tuesday 28 May 2013 Nunhead Heights
I was at the Leicester Square Theatre Friday night when a near riot broke out. I heard about it seconds after it happened.
The last comic on a comedy bill in the Lounge made a joke relating to the Woolwich atrocity. The gist being that people don’t talk of the thousands who are killed by British soldiers.
It wasn’t me. I don’t know the joke so I can’t judge if I would have found it funny. I won’t name him as I didn’t see it happen and he may not revel in failure as I do.
[It was in the same room I do my ‘Lewis Schaffer’s American Guide to England’ every Sunday. This Sunday, the 2nd of June 2013, I’m on at 6PM. Tickets are available, click here.]
According to what I know the audience told the comic he was ‘Way out of line’ and demanded the comic stop talking and leave the stage. I got the impression they wanted to kill him.
There was no compere and the comic was the final act. It was just him, all alone, and a mostly young male British audience.
Six people actually called the police, the Manager told me, though I didn’t see any police there.
Martin Witts, the owner of the Leicester Square Theatre, went in and spoke to the audience.
He told them he wasn’t stopping the show, or asking the comic off the stage. It was the comic’s choice what he would say and if the audience didn’t like it they could walk. They could talk it over upstairs in the waiting room, and he would refund their money, if they wished, but the show would go on.
Twenty of the 25 punters left – an almost Schafferian number in terms of walkouts – and the theatre had to refund four or six admissions. The comic continued his set to the remaining five people.
I know there are many club owners who would support the comic as much as this but many, many, wouldn’t. That is what makes Martin Witts a hero.