tragedy (beep) comedy (beep) history (beep)

Life Last night's trip to the theatre didn't entirely go off without a hitch. When Callow stepped onto the stage, we (we being the audience) could hear a weird, slightly subliminal beeping noise each time he spoke, rather like sound a mobile phone makes when someone is texting and doesn't know how to change the settings. Which continued through the whole of the first half.

(beep) Shakespeare was born in Strat (beep) He married Anne Hatha (beep) (beeep) (beeep) (fucking beeeep)

Usually when something like this happens, I always assume it's just me being me with my mild undiagnosed attention deficit and that it was simply an ambient noise, like the air-conditioning system behind me that no one else is paying attention to or bothered by and they didn't seem to as they laughed in all the right places. Yet it still ploughed onward.

... tragedy (beep) comedy (beep) history (beep) pastoral (beep) pastoral-comical (beep, beep) historical-pastoral (beep, beep) tragical-historical (beep, beep) tragical-comical-historical-pastoral (beep, beep, beep, beeeep)

As the house lights went up for the interval I asked my neighbours if they could hear it too.
"Oh good god yes, wasn't it annoying?" they said.
"I'm thinking of asking for a refund." I said. "It really was distracting."

As I headed to the foyer, I mentioned it to the sound department.

"We know" she said offering a look which said "I can hear it to, for the three hundredth time."
"What is it?"
And here it was ...
"Someone in the audience has a hearing aid which has malfunctioned and its interfering with the sound system."
"Is there nothing that can be done at your end?"

Since I had such a good night otherwise, on reflection it would seem churlish to attempt to rip off the Playhouse for something outside of their control, especially since as I came into the auditorium during the interval, the staff were dashing about and making announcements trying to work out who was the source of the offending malfunction.

As the second half opened, and Callow stepped back onto the stage, clearly some of the audience were also waiting to see if the beep would have returned with him (beep). I can tell that because as he began roaring with no accompanying noise, there was an audible sigh of relief from somewhere to my left.

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