Last night I did the best and worst shows of my time in Aurora back to back. There was a 7 o'clock show that had a good number of people in, a nice atmosphere and went really smoothly. Probably the best show I've done so far this tour. That was followed by a really small house and a slightly late-night drunken atmosphere and a lot of kind smiles from people who were tired. Very frustrating.
What makes it all the more frustrating is that for three nights running there have been around 20 people missing from each audience. These are people who've bought tickets and then failed to turn up. There are always likely to be a few no-shows for one reason or another but when it's a significant number and it's a regular occurence it's obvious that something isn't right. Every night after the show when I chat to the audience there are always a few stories from people who tell me that they struggled to find the theatre and nearly gave up so that seems as good an explanation as any as to why there are so many people failing to show.
This really shouldn't be possible because theatres are normally, by their nature, showy places. They like to advertise that they exist and they like to advertise the shows they are currently presenting. That doesn't seem to be the case here in Aurora where the front of the venue looks like this. It looks more like a building you'd have to visit to pay a parking fine than a theatre. There isn't one sign on the building to tell people what it is let alone anything advertising the show.
Trying to explain to the venue that people are telling me they can hardly find the place and that some kind of signage might help seems to be met with blank stares and when some of the ticket-buying public fail to turn up they scratch their heads and seem confused by it all. Oh well. The technicians here have been really friendly and easy to work with, the audiences have by and large been great, the reviews have been good... but unfortunately I can't pretend that I'll be unhappy to leave Aurora tonight.