Spare a thought for the dancers of the Australian Ballet company, who this week found themselves plunged into darkness mid-performance.
How so, you ask? Was there a power cut in the vicinity? Did a careless backstage hand accidentally trigger a light switch? No, not quite.
The power cut was blamed on – wait for it – a hungry rat.
That’s right, dear readers, a rat found his way into one of the company’s pieces of equipment and had a little munch, which in turn blew a fuse.
According to local newspaper reports, the dancers initially tried to carry on in the darkness, though one wonders how they expected the audience to appreciate their efforts – and talent – in the gloom. Some audience members even thought the darkness was part of the effect.
When the dancers were finally ordered to stop, they received a standing ovation, with the performers lit by the light of audience members’ mobile phones.
It was probably one of the rare occasions mobiles have been useful in a theatre, right? Makes a change from being told to switch them off.
Following the ovation, torchlight was used to evacuate the members of the audience from the theatre.
Sadly the show could not be rescheduled, so the audience will never know how that particular ballet finished.
Though Tabard has a good idea how it ended for the rat. And it isn’t pretty.