A Lack Lustre Audience for a High Quality Strictly Come Dancing

Having just returned from the live tour of Strictly Come Dancing, Mrs M and I are all danced out.

We were only audience members but it is the type of show that requires maximum foot tapping.

The tickets had been a gift from our girls and what an excellent show it was; including some of our favourite stars from the TV series.

Throughout the night we booed Craig, laughed at Bruno, respected head judge Len, and cheered at the return of Arlene. The crowd seemed in one voice in expressing their disapproval at the BBC's decision to axe her from the recent series in favour of someone who had ten minutes of dance experience.

Sequins, lights, live music, dance, and the occasional burst of flames: what a night!

There were a couple of things that caught my attention that I feel are worthy of note.

Firstly, there was no Bruce. I shouldn't be too disappointed because it's not as if he is very funny anymore. But having watched him since the late sixties saying it was 'nice to see you' I wanted to be able to say it back to him in a live setting. The Queen might not like him enough to knight him but I have a soft spot for the Mighty Atom. I can't even ask Jim to Fix it.

Secondly, it was obvious from the reaction of the 7000 strong crowd that people had forgotten how to be an audience.

My wife and I felt almost alone as we applauded and cheered in response to the energy and expertise on show. Yet there were whole groups of people who just sat and watched as if they were at home viewing it on the telly.

I almost expected one of them to press pause on a remote control before going off to put the kettle on.

It was strange given both the price of the tickets and the nature of the show that there wasn't more engagement from them. One had to presume that this was the hardcore Strictly fan; The type of fan that knows every detail of Claudua Winkleman's hair and make-up.

Can it be that, as a nation, we have lost the art of being an audience?

It has suddenly occurred to me that perhaps it is our family that is odd in this respect. We regularly engage with the TV programme; taking time to applaud the best dances and respond to the cruel comments offered by the judges. It therefore seemed easy for us to continue such behaviour for the live show.

As for much of the rest of the audience it wasn't nice to see them; to see them it wasn't nice!

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