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Some lovely pictures and perhaps this little story wouldn't be out of place here. I certainly haven't seen it quoted on here before and it was one of many told by Frederick William Humphreys, who was Musical Director of the Theatre Royal for 42 years during the second half of the 19th Century.
After the rebuild of 1820, there were no stalls and the pit extended around the orchestra to the stage. In those days, patrons of the Theatre were keen, if not always kindly, critics and their mode of expressing their sentiments was louder and rougher than in more recent times.
It was quite a popular amusement with them to interrupt the most pathetic periods of the play by dropping an empty mineral water bottle from the top tier. The object was to hit the big drum, but if the bottle descended on the artist with the drumstick, no one was perturbed except himself, and the house would much appreciate the inaccurate aim! :tongue:
[Taken from Mr Humphreys' obituary in the Birmingham Gazette & Express dated 1909]
The cost of seeing a top-tier game of football is the equivalent of a theatre ticket. At a footy game many fans spend 90 minutes abusing referees or players for their poor performance. At the theatre, when the standard is very low, the audience sits in silence. Let's bring back the missiles!