What to do if you're the only person in the audience at an Edinburgh Fringe show

THOUGHT you’d check out an exciting new comedian or play at Edinburgh, only to discover you’re the only person there? Here’s how to cope with the embarrassment.

Attempt to leave

The likelihood of this succeeding depends on when you arrive for the gig. If you’re ten minutes early you’ll settle in happily, thinking the rest of the audience is about to appear, and the horror will only dawn on you slowly. However, if you turn up one minute before showtime to find an empty venue, you may still be able to leg it back out the door.

Try to sit as far away as possible

Unfortunately, due to the steward being overzealous and also having no other audience to usher, they are way ahead of you and the door has been firmly shut, so you have no choice but to stay. You try to hide yourself away in the furthest reaches of the back row, but the steward insists that the seats are filled from the front. That means that when the comedian or actors bound on stage you can see the whites of their eyes and the mortification on their faces.

Smile encouragingly

Okay, so you’re going to have to suffer through the entirety of this 55-minute set by a comedian who is probably shit. Given that you’ll have to maintain eye contact with the performer for every single second of it, because it would be even weirder if you looked elsewhere, you need to arrange your features into a suitably encouraging expression. Well, you’re aiming for encouraging, but from their perspective it could be anything from constipated to murderous.

Don’t break the fourth wall

Given that it’s just you and a tiny, pretentious theatre troupe in the room and you’re desperate to escape due to the immense pressure on you to pay attention and enjoy it, there’s a massive temptation to say ‘Honestly, guys, you don’t have to do this’. However, if you break their flow they will almost certainly start crying about what a terrible Fringe they’re having, which will be even more mortifying. Let them continue, even though you’re cringing so hard your colon is about to come out of your mouth.

Overcompensate at the end

When the show finally ends, it falls upon you to make enough noise to make up for the other 99 people who should also have been there, the f**king cowards. You clap and whoop excessively while the performer or performers take a bow and visibly die on the inside. You can’t help your solitary clapping sounding sarcastic, but eventually your they tell you to stop taking the piss and f**k off, which you gladly do, while vowing to never support up-and-coming artists ever again.

Sign up now to get
The Daily Mash
free Headlines email – every weekday

Sexist deeply offended after being called a misogynist

A TRADITIONAL sexist was left feeling hurt after being branded a woman-hating misogynist.

Martin Bishop of Leeds enjoys leering, wolf-whistling and breast-and-arse-related ‘banter’, so was mortified when someone suggested he had a problem with the opposite sex.

Bishop said: “I see myself very much as a ‘Jack the lad’ figure. I love talking about women’s bodies and cracking jokes about how they belong in the kitchen. You know – traditional, wholesome sexism.

“But the other day I was hitting on some tart in a club and she had the nerve to call me a ‘misogynistic pig’ – just because I said she had a lovely arse and asked if she fancied a shag. Some women just can’t take a compliment.

“I said, ‘Listen darling, I love birds, I don’t hate them. My mum’s one for Christ’s sake.’ Then she chucked her drink in my face and walked off, but I’m pretty sure she was just playing hard to get.”

Bishop’s best friend, Nathan Muir, defended his mate’s friendly antagonism towards the opposite sex.

He said: “Martin may say the odd horrendous thing from time to time, but he doesn’t hate women. He loves them. That’s why he spends his time trying to have sex with as many as possible, often without telling the other ones.

“He might come across as sexist, patronising, unfunny, boring and obnoxious, but once you get to know him you realise deep down he’s just a twat.”