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A Web of Coincidence?

June 13, 2012

Theatremonkey.com has often got me into strange situations. From simply being greeted as “Theatremonkey” by many people (some even expecting me to ‘sign in’ at their reception desks under the name) to getting a suspicious “are you from Theatremonkey” from theatres I’m visiting, I know there’s some level of recognition out there. Oh, and for the record, a (very attractive, I must say) young lady recently used the name when using “The Stage” website’s dating service. Must point out, that isn’t me… and it isn’t Mr P either… he doesn’t own a wig that colour, he claims…

It’s when other things happen, though, that I realise the real reach of the internet. Strange but true, some family friends came back recently from a foreign holiday.  As part of their trip, they took a day tour that included lunch. At lunch, they were seated with some people from the USA. They fell to talking about theatre, and the US couple asked if they knew their favourite West Endw ebsite, Theatremonkey.com? “Know it?” our friends exclaimed, “We know HIM!”

Anybody with a better grasp of mathematical probability than I have should feel free to work out the odds on the occurrence above. I’d be interested to know.

If they’d like a bonus, try this on for size. I’m a fan of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, and never miss a musical. Sadly, a few times, I’ve been caught at performances that have been ‘rained off,’ and had to reschedule. Not once, but twice in the last 2 seasons that has happened. Here’s the good bit: a regular review submitter has twice attended BOTH performances that I have, been rained out… and rescheduled for exactly the same performance a second time.

Admittedly, the pool of performances they could choose from is smaller than the chance of 2 couples from 2 continents taking the same day tour and being allocated the same lunch table,  but still, makes you think.

It isn’t just theatre of course. A few years back, my father was waiting for a lift (elevator to Americans, and to clarify context for everybody else) in the car park atHeathrow Airport. Many lifts in many car parks in the area, of course. The doors to this particular lift opened, and there stood a man. The man looked at my father and said, “Hi, I’m your window cleaner.” It was, too! How random is that.

And just to tie the above into a final, finishing knot: when I was much younger, my father and I purchased 2 tickets for a National Theatre production of “Hamlet” in the Cottesloe auditorium. It was when they still had unreserved seating – no seat numbers – and for this production there were even cheaper cushion places available on the floor. We took the cushion option, but ended up being shown to two regular seats instead – lucky as the “cushions” were just uncomfortable-looking small padded tiles on the floor.

 Just before the play started, two ‘regular seat’ ticket holders arrived, and couldn’t find any seats. Luckily, there happened to be two unoccupied cushions, so they were shown to those. Amazing coincidence again, eh?  Isn’t life odd.

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