Okey dokey, here’s what happened in Didcot tonight. I either brought a roomful of people together in a moment that may end up in the local papers – or I have sparked a war between the neighbouring towns.
The audience were particularly lovely and included: a couple in the front row by the names of Rolf and Frederico Danko who were originally from Holland (“No shit” I hear you cry); A German woman called Monika who was on crutches; a Computer Industry blogger called Martin; and a more mature couple called David and Jean who had only been together for four years.
There was also a woman called Claire who told us she went on holidays to Greece but was asked to stop calling their daughter by her name Pippa, because it is a Greek word for oral sex. Can anyone confirm this?
So far so good. Then I brought out a copy of the local paper The Didcot Herald.
I remarked that I especially liked the Didcot Herald, as it puts every nearby town name in any article in bold. For example, “A new national high street chain has chosen Didcot’s empty Woolworths store for its first shop”, or “Late night patrols are due to start on the streets of Wantage on Friday.”
I thought this was kinda funny, but there was a general grumbling from the locals. Turns out they are a little disgruntled that Didcot rarely seems to be mentioned. In fact, the direct audience quote was “Turn to page 23 to find any news in Didcot”. I pointed out that Didcot was actually on the front page, but nonetheless conducted a survey to see which town got the most mentions in the fist five pages.
As a man in the crowd called Colin took score, I read out every town in bold (including the list of convictions in the local courts) and discovered that much to the chagrin of the audience, Abingdon received the most mentions. There also seemed to be much aggression towards both Wantage and Wallingford.
In fact, when Monika revealed she was from Berensfield there was audible grumpiness in the room. I did point out that times have changed when an English crowd are ok with the fact that she’s German, but perturbed that she lives in Berensfield. Personally, I took a shine to the town name of Great Coxswell, which I assume comes just before Blewbury.
It was at this point I decided to do something to get Didcot into their own newspaper, so I rang the offices of the Didcot Herald and left a complaint on behalf of the audience on their answering machine. Not content with this, I began the second half with another idea.
After reading Martin’s Computer Industry blog during the interval, I asked him on stage to read it to the assembled mass with gusto. To a chorus of cheers, appropriate boos, and even a cry of “Get in!”, Martin inspired us all with a reading of “Copenhagen – How CIOs Can Address In House Climate Change” – a blog that outlines how the computer industry can become more environmentally aware.
I then developed a two-prong plan to get Didcot some more news coverage. Part One: I rang the editor of the Didcot Herald and left a message pleading for some Didcot-based coverage. Part Two involves the audience, and you: See, I noticed that local people can email local stories to email@example.com.
So… let’s all email in a news story about how Didcot man Martin Hingley inspired a Didcot audience at The Cornerstone Theatre with a globally aware, potentially world-saving speech.
If you like, you can read his whole blog at www.martinhingley.wordpress.com, but your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to email in your own story about this moment of inspiration, this uplifting message of global importance, that was delivered with enthusiasm and verve to an appreciative audience that gave a prolonged ovation.It doesn’t matter if you weren’t at the show, it doesn’t even matter if you’re not in the UK.
Feel free to embellish, exaggerate, and up the ante as much as you like. But please do it before Tuesday, which is apparently the deadline for stories. If all goes well, the story may make Wednesday’s edition of The Didcot Herald.
Come on people, let’s give Didcot the coverage it truly deserves!!! Especially in its own newspaper. I’ll do my best as well, but for now it’s gonna take all of us.
The rest of ths show was lovely and as always, I sold t shirts to raise money for a local charity, this time the Sobell Hospice.
I have a few days off now, but will keep you updated on more tour gigs as they happen
For now though – Off you go and Do it for Didcot!