Professor Pick’s revelations about Eastbourne theatre finances – information the council didn’t want its taxpayers to know – were astonishing.
Yet when we look at the shows on offer and the almost West End prices demanded, suddenly half-empty theatres don’t come as quite such a surprise.
There is clearly something badly wrong when three smug and totally unfunny “comedians” pull in the biggest audiences.
From my own experience the productions are too highbrow or too lowbrow - oh those tedious Alan Ayckbourn farces! Not another has-been soap star, please!
I read the reviews in the Sunday papers of wonderful plays on tour before the West End, hoping they’re coming to the Sunshine Coast.
But they never trouble with us - but Brighton always gets a visit.
Incredibly, the shows my wife and I have always loved at the Congress and the Devonshire have been produced by amateurs.
The Rattonians are simply outstanding and we have enjoyed their shows so much we have actually returned later in the week to see them again.
It’s surprising that the pantomimes aren’t so successful as they come running off the production line.
But I have to say that in recent years the cast haven’t always been so enthusiastic and one leading performer actually had a go at the audience for not laughing enough.
That made it all even less amusing and perhaps other people - like us - felt it wasn’t worth bothering the next year.
In spite of all this Eastbourne - a premier seaside resort - should surely be sustaining British theatre.
What’s the problem, apart from prices and mediocre productions? Too many people? Too many perks?
Take your Pick, Professor!