Friday, September 18, 2009

The Curse Of Usher Hall

Funny-man Billy Connolly has become the latest big-name performer to fall victim to the curse of Edinburgh's new-look Usher Hall. The comedian performed the first few minutes of his sell-out show last night without sound after his microphone failed. But, as 2,500 fans waited for the show to get under way, the "Big Yin" made light of his plight by swearing at his microphone. Connolly, who was kicking off his first Scottish tour for years, suffered two more false starts after staff attempted to fix his microphone.But there were loud cheers when the show, which went on for another two hours, finally got under way. The Usher Hall reopened only last month for the Festival after a £25 million refurbishment, which was more than a year late and over double the budget. However, a Festival concert featuring soprano Joyce DiDonato had to be halted mid-performance when the lights failed. The venue was dogged by technical problems when tickets for Connolly's concerts went on sale, and a series of planned shows last spring had to be relocated due to the revamp delays.