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OUT IN THE FIELD: Remember the sleigh rides in Eastbourne’s Bobby’s and Daniel O’Donnell

It would seem I wasn’t alone with my upset at members of the audience taking pictures of, and filming, Daniel O’Donnell on their mobile phones during his recent concert at the Congress. A fair few people have been in touch saying it also distracted them and some have written to the theatre to voice their upset that staff did not intervene and tell the offenders to put their mobiles away. Theatre staff are not to blame though. I have it on good authority that in the case of the Irish crooner, his crew made it very clear that they encourage both photo and videoing and did not want Eastbourne Theatres staff to stop any of this happening, against our better judgement, as they know only too well that these can impact on other people’s enjoyment of the show. The poor staff say unfortunately on this occasion they “felt impotent in dealing with what is standard Congress policies of no photos or recordings during performances”.

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Irish crooner Daniel O'Donnell is at Portsmouth Guildhall on October 9, 2018 PPP-180925-120156006

OUT IN THE FIELD: Daniel O’Donnell at Eastbourne – performance ruined by people on mobile phones

The older I get the more things bug me and a particular bugbear is people using their mobile phones in cinemas or theatres. I mention this because on Wednesday night I went to see Daniel O’Donnell at the Congress and was amazed at the number of people with phones in their hands during his three hour concert. (I must mention at this point that I grew up with Daniel O’Donnell. Not literally – but my mother, a Tipperary girl, played his music constantly. The rest of us felt as though we knew him personally such was her devotion to the crooner from Donegal.) Much to my dismay the person next to me had her mobile phone clutched in her hand from the offset as did the fan in the row in front. For me, small screens lit up across an auditorium are a distraction from the stage. Catching sight of, or even sensing, people taking pictures or videoing the main act drives me mad. I had to sit on my paws at one point to stop me grabbing my neighbour’s mobile out of her hand and slinging it as far as I could which no doubt would have ended up with one of us getting a clatter round the jaw. In the interval I asked the usher why they weren’t stopping the audience using their phones to take photos and videos as that is obviously the norm for most productions. “Daniel doesn’t mind his fans using their phones,” said the usher with a faraway look in her eyes, adding that if it was annoying they would intervene and ask them the offenders to stop. Even so, I cannot fathom why, after spending a small fortune on a ticket, somebody would then want to concentrate on taking the right picture/video of their idol rather than watch with their own eyes, absorb the atmosphere and keep their memories in their head and heart as opposed to their mobile phone. Madonna has the right idea in my humble opinion. The queen of pop has banned fans from using mobile phones in her concerts. And singer Adele scolded one woman while singing in Italy saying, “Can you stop filming me with a video camera because I’m really here in real life? You can enjoy it in real life, rather than through your camera.” Hear hear.

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