Russell Howard Storms Off The Stage After Clash With Audience Member At Gig
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Russell Howard stormed off the stage during a gig this week after clashing with an audience member.
The comedian was testing out some new material when he spotted a woman he believed was filming him just five minutes into his set at a bar in Bristol on Wednesday (12 August) night.
According to Bristol Live, the 40-year-old was performing at the Bambalan when he became agitated and called her out for disrupting his flow.
It is said Russell told the woman: "That's literally the worst thing you can do."
The funny man then reportedly told the woman to 'live in the moment' and asked her if she would be happy if someone started filming her while she was working.
He told the audience member that comics were a 'dying breed' and that it's difficult for them to try out new and potentially controversial or tricky material when they know it will be shared on the internet moments later - destroying their act.
Russell then told the audience that he would continue the set, but would only be using tried and tested material from an old routine. However, the incident stuck with him and he then told his fans that he wasn't able to carry on and picked up his stuff and left.
Before leaving, he reportedly told the crowd: "I was really looking forward to this gig."
The woman involved said she was only taking some photos, just as others had done. However, another audience member is said to have shouted at her across the bar, saying: "You were filming the whole f***ing thing."
Tickets for the intimate gig cost just £5 each and it was billed as a 'work in progress' type show.
Following the event, the show's compère Mark Olver said he was sad that it ended on such a sour note but that he totally understood why it had upset Russell.
He said: "It's important that when acts are trying out new material people should understand they don't want video of it out there.
"Sets at this kind of event are a work in progress. Most people understand this but I should have been clearer at the start of the gig in explaining it to people.
"He's gutted and didn't want to disappoint anyone but comedy is something you have to write in front of people and having a recording of that process out there in the world makes being creative really difficult."
A spokesperson for Russell Howard said: "Any comedian whose set is being recorded at a new material night would find it distracting.
'The beauty of live performance particularly at this strange time is its intended for the room only."