We set off to book for Cabaret at the Congress, but because the company had decided to stop offering the advertised £4.50 concessions we made our protest and walked away.
Apparently Cabaret was so successful it had drained most of the audience from the Devonshire Park, which was staging Peter Shaffer’s 1960’s double-bill “Private Ear and Public Eye”.
At the last minute we decided to go there, and were offered almost any seat in the house for 30 pence. Guilt made me buy a superb programme (£2.50), and we saw a truly brilliant performance of two witty, touching and very entertaining plays.
Half-way through the last act we thought there was a sudden twist to the plot, for extremely loud bombs and gunfire nearly drowned the speech.
In the 60’s we always dreaded that World War Three was imminent. Perhaps that was Shaffer’s intention, we thought.
Then the reality struck us, namely that a huge firework display was taking place, seemingly in the theatre car-park.
After this disgraceful example of planning incompetence by the powers-that-be I fear the Original Theatre Company may never visit Eastbourne again. A pity, because they were outstanding in every way.