Sunday, 30 May 2010

Strictly Limited Experience

Forgive me if I have a moan but...

...I took Mum to see Strictly the Professionals at Leicester’s De Montfort TangoHall the other afternoon. We both love Strictly Come Dancing and were looking forward to more of the same. We were hoping to see a selection of ballroom as well as Latin but it was mainly modern freestyle. The dancing was good but even the Waltz was jazzed up and the Quickstep never got a look in. The show was all about skimpy clothes and loud music – not exactly appropriate for an afternoon matinee where a large proportion of the audience were elderly. I’m willing to bet that they were all there for the ballroom too. What a shame.

I couldn’t even get to see Vincent Simone’s raised eyebrow properly, but then I suppose that’s the theatre experience. I blame television for raising my expectations. I’m so used to seeing close up shots of everything that I find it frustrating to have to squint from many rows back. A friend commented recently after taking her son to see his first live football match that he was disappointed when he didn’t get a close up of the free kick. I wonder if he was expecting an action replay too. I suppose what you lose in close ups you gain in atmosphere. There’s nothing like the buzz of being in a football crowd when a goal’s scored and there was certainly a friendly and warm atmosphere in the theatre that afternoon.

But I’m afraid there are more moans. I had booked our tickets well in advance and explained about Mum’s limited mobility and yet to reach our seats we had to go up two steep steps and shuffle along a row. In the end the entire line of seated people very kindly filed out to let Mum in. We were grateful but embarrassed and if any of them are reading this now then I would like to thank them very much. Once seated, we watched as other people struggled to reach their seats. It was reassuring to know that it wasn’t just Mum but worrying to think that one slip could mean a major incident.

When the show was over it took some time to get back down again as there was only one very small lift available. Mum has trouble standing for any length of time and so we had yet more problems when we finally reached ground floor level. There was nowhere for Mum to sit and wait with a view of the front door while I fetched the car for her and so she had to stand outside. I don’t think we’ll be going to the theatre again, well not that theatre anyway.


  1. It's so frustrating when you're all excited to attend an event and it's disappointing.

    The last event we attended was a local troupe putting on the Wizard of Oz. We were lucky - it was a magical experience. I hope your next time out is better! :)

  2. Hi Jemi. I've been surprised by local groups who are brilliant and professional groups who, quite frankly, aren't. It's a bit pot luck, isn't it.

  3. What a shame! But I hope you mum still enjoyed it, despite the mobility issues?

  4. Thanks, Talli, Mum did enjoy it even if there weren't a lot of ballroom gowns on stage.

  5. That's a pity, particularly when you were excited to go. I love Strictly Come Dancing too and Dancing With the Stars. Was so happy when Nicole won the latter.

  6. Hi Olive. I love Strictly Come Dancing too, best programme on the tv. I'm always at a loose end when the series is over. I know, I know, I'm sad, need to get a life etc ;-)

  7. I am sorry the show didnt live up to your expectations.. but isn't life much harder than it should be for older people. My mother would not be great on her legs either.. and it just makes you realise who many places that she cant really go. We still have a long way to go before society is organised for the good of all!

  8. Thanks for the comment, Barbara. It certainly is a shame when money is poured into a redevelopment and yet you still can't access it easily with limited mobility. All design panels ought to have an older person on the team. My Mum always says that no one knows what the pain of arthritis and ageing bones is like until they get old themselves.

  9. The seating was definitely designed for the able-bodied only. I took my daughter and a man sitting behind us was cramped so during the interval asked the usher if he could sit in the seats marked 'reserved' as they hadn't been used due to his bad leg (that's how he described it). Instead of simply saying "yes" she had to contact a manager and get permission. It really shouldn't be that difficult.

    As for the show: the dancers involved were largely Latin experts so it was going to be biased towards their expertise rather than Ballroom. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed it.

  10. Hi Emma. Thanks for the visit. Don't you just love the way people talk. '...they hadn't been used due to his bad leg...' I love it.

    Anyway, back to the seating, I have to admit that it was even worse than I said in the blog. I was up against a grill that was belching out ice cold air and I too was cramped so I really felt for poor Mum.

    I'm so glad your daughter enjoyed it. A lot of it was aimed at her age rather than my Mum's.


Thank you for commenting. I do love receiving comments. Your comment will be sent to me for moderation before appearing here.

If you do not have a Google account, click on the Google account box and select Anonymous. Spam comments are not accepted on this blog.