Backstage at the Noite do Oriente

Dear Editor,

I thought your readers should be made aware that when they buy tickets online for an event at the Parque das Cidades in Faro, they should not get caught out, like the thousand or more spectators who attended the Noite do Oriente on Monday, August 7.

Those of the audience who sat at the north side of the stadium were treated to a spectacular show of Chinese acrobats, dance and magic, while the remaining 50 per cent of the audience on the south side of the stadium were disappointed to see only the back view of what must certainly be considered a stage show and not a circus. The cast played entirely to only one-half of the audience.

The unfortunate spectators situated on the south side, who witnessed mostly the changing of costumes and the stage hands running from left to right, whistled and jeered throughout the first half of the show. This had no apparent effect, as the artists continued to acknowledge only the audience on the north side of the stadium.

During the interval, an angry crowd gathered to try and voice their complaints. They were calmed by the stadium security guards, who incidentally were sympathetic to their plight.

Following a 45 minute wait, the complainants were eventually escorted to representatives of the organisers of the event, in order to explain the reason for their anger. One hour later, permission was given for a form to be completed in their complainers book. No refund of entrance fees was offered at this point. Although the cost of the tickets was only eight euros, it was considered a matter of principal to try and obtain a refund.

Who was at fault here? Was it the stadium event organisers who got it wrong, or did the Noite do Oriente company fail to explain that the show was intended for presentation in a theatre and not a football stadium?

In future, if the Parque das Cidades wishes to stage events such as these, then perhaps it would be wise to take much more care in planning their seating arrangements to ensure that the entire audience can enjoy the entertainment.

Penny McCall,

sent by e-mail

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