Dear Lady In The Red Coat

Ashlea Dutton writes to a fellow comedy 'fan'

Dear Lady In The Red Coat.

Hello, my name is Ashlea. Tonight, I sat behind you at a Jimmy Carr gig.

Could you possibly answer a question for me? Have you ever been to a comedy gig? Or, have you ever been in a social situation which involves sitting and listening to an individual for a period of more than 60 minutes? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then I sit here astounded.

Hoping to not sound cynical, or pessimistic, or just like I’m having a ‘good moan’, I felt entirely entranced by your performance at tonight’s gig, opposed to that of Mr Carr. Perhaps I should view this positively, technically, in regards to entertainment I received a ‘buy one get one free’ offer, only unlike the main event I hadn’t been looking forward to my ‘free’ extra performance since last year.

Dear Lady In The Red Coat, may I enquire as to whether you are familiar with the concept of ‘laughter’ rather than the chorus of disapproving noises you made tonight, the climax of which was a rather loud ‘Is this supposed to be funny?!’ towards your disconcerted partner, who, rather much like me, was attempting to listen to the punchline. Although this was hard, due to the fact that as soon the words ‘Paralympics’ or ‘women’ arrived in the space, you began to sigh. Loudly.

Dear Lady In The Red Coat, perhaps you could solve another riddle for me. Have you ever heard of Jimmy Carr? Given that you attended his gig, I would go as far as suggesting you were even, dare I say it, a ‘fan’. If you are said ‘fan’ than I do not feel it is ridiculous to suggest that you would be accustomed to his style. ‘Short, snappy and controversial’ is the phrase I would use. Never be afraid of the taboo, as you appeared to be, when sitting down to watch Mr Carr. I think my highlight (if you could call it that) was when he announced he was about to embark upon some material with the intent to ‘offend everyone’, when you simply folded your arms and lent back in your seat looking exasperated.

Dear Lady In The Red Coat. It could be suggested that maybe I am being to harsh on you. Perchance you were invited along by a partner (who, from events which unfolded tonight, quite likes Carr’s humour) and felt you must go. I was once in this situation, invited along to an event which I did not wish to attend, but felt I must due to social obligation (mine was a party). However, I did not spend the entire evening sighing, flicking V-signs towards the party host or looking sullen. The formers are all valid examples of your behaviour tonight.

And finally, Dear Lady In The Red Coat. When the people around you drive their hands together with a certain degree of force in order to produce a satisfying and rewarding noise, it is called ‘clapping’ and traditionally done at the end of performance in order to thank the performer. Perhaps you should try it some time, say, at the end of a Jimmy Carr gig.

Yours truly,
A fellow comedy patron.

Published: 1 Apr 2010

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