Connolly vows Futurist return

Billy Connolly at the Futurist'Billy Connolly on stage at the Futurist'Picture by Neil Silk 120363d'21/01/12
Billy Connolly at the Futurist'Billy Connolly on stage at the Futurist'Picture by Neil Silk 120363d'21/01/12
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BILLY Connolly has promised to return to Scarborough following his two sold-out shows at 2,000-capacity Futurist Theatre.

But the news follows criticism from some of the audience that their night out was spoiled by drunken hecklers and people leaving their seats during the show.

Barrie Stead, the venue’s manager, said that the comedian had assured him that he would be back. He said: “He was delighted and said we will be on the list for the next tour. He was over the moon with everything.”

Paul Tye contacted the Evening News to voice his concern at the rudeness of people walking about during the performance. He said: “So much so that he walked off stage in the end before sharing his last story.”

He added that the comedian seemed clearly upset and feared that he would not return in the future.

And Mike Newby, from Crossgates, wrote to complain about a drunken heckler who shouted a comment just before the comedian abruptly walked off, appearing to cut short his performance.

But Mr Stead said two hours was a long time to expect people to stay seated. “People are entitled to go to the toilet – it’s a show without an interval. People go for a cigarette and we can’t stop them,” he said.

He added that Billy Connolly’s style of humour was confrontational. He said: “He makes statements and some people react to them.

“It’s an eight o’clock show and people are ready for a bit of fun. There was nothing malicious about it.”

Mr Stead said that the performance was not cut short and that Saturday’s show was slightly longer than the one on Sunday. He added: “He always just walks off at the end. It was a great night and we’ve had about 30 calls here saying how much they enjoyed it and when will he be coming back?”