And what about the show itself?
Well let's put it this way many were those who found their way to the toilets during the show... The lady next to me checked her watch umpteen times, the lady from the Echo published her review of the show at 8.20pm (during the interval for heaven's sake!!) and Jennifer Ellison whispered incessantly to her partner. I know because she was sitting right in front of me.
Some people I am informed absolutely love this show.
There's nowt so queer as folk though is there? After a few minutes of what can only be described as screeching my eardrums were crying out for cotton wool - but alas the only thing about my person was a Flake wrapper and I wasn't going to stick that in my lugholes.
There's a problem with this show - a fundamental problem. It feels like it's emerged from a stable, a Simon Cowell type of stable full of wannabe performers screeching their little hearts out. It kind of feels highly manufactured; too polished, too apple-pie perfect. I never felt a shred of sympathy or empathy for either of the female leads whose names elude me - I just wanted them to stop screeching.
And what about the male lead? Could those jodphurs
have been any tighter? The actor was undoubtedly well endowed, but not with singing or dancing skills. A career in CInderella beckons...
The songs are hardly memorable, the script less so. There are supposed to be laughs here - you knew because of the stony silent pregnant pauses. "Tough crowd" I heard the actors thinking, from behind their beaming smiles straight from page one of the Musical Theatre handbook.
Though it's not often I do not return to my seat following the interval I could not face another forty five minutes of high pitched wailing and jazz hands. Yes the sets are superb and the effects are wonderful, but it's a hollow show at heart. Bland is the word that comes to mind.
"Enjoy the second half of the show," said a member of staff as we stole out of the bar during the interval. Had we been rumbled?
I'm only guessing here, but I bet ours were not the only empty seats when the curtain opened for the second act...