09. July 2009 · Comments Off on Live Music … Or Else! · Categories: Links, News

Last week, Manchester County Court was the scene of an extraordinary victory. A man called Adrian Bradbury had taken his family to see a professional staging of The Wizard of Oz at the Lowry Theatre in Salford. I know the Lowry well. It’s a superb arts centre and it usually puts on top-class shows. But The Wizard didn’t enchant Mr Bradbury for one simple reason. It had no live band.

All the songs and dance routines were performed to pre-recorded backing tracks. Mr Bradbury felt that if you had paid to see what was billed as a “magical family musical” you were entitled to expect live musicians. So he sued under the Trade Descriptions Act. And, astonishingly, he won. The Lowry argued that “133,000 theatregoers have enjoyed The Wizard of Oz at the Lowry and Mr Bradbury was the only person who expressed any concern with the lack of live music”. But the judge, in effect, said “so what?”. He ruled that Mr Bradbury’s personal expectation of hearing real musicians was genuine and reasonable. So the Lowry must now refund the £134.50 that he spent on tickets.

I was alerted to this by Charles Noble at Daily Observations. Full article is here.

Having been to a production that used synthesizers to replace an orchestra I think we should be able to sue them as well. What you heard came nowhere near a real orchestra. But somehow the audience seemed clueless.

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