Comedian Matt Forde has stirred up a debate on Twitter after one of his Edinburgh gigs was "derailed" by a crying baby. The comedian, whose material often contains political commentary and adult humour, took to social media to state his case.
He said: "Someone brought their baby to my show last night. Sadly it derailed large parts of it because they wouldn't do the decent thing and just leave when it started crying."
One reply said: "It's selfish of them. Plain and simple. Exactly the same if they attended a play or the cinema. Either get someone to babysit or stay away."
Another added: "It's genuinely rubbish having to miss stuff because you can't get the kids watched. I wouldn't take my children even a babe in arms to a comedy show though. It's one of those things you have to accept being a parent that you might miss things, surely?"
However, some people didn't agree. One reply said: "All shows need to offer a babes in arms performance. But on the other hand single parents shouldn’t be shunned or have to be hermits with zero access to art."
Another pointed out: "No one is more conscious or panicked than the parent of the baby who is crying. I can guarantee you the parent/s of the child would have been devastated and embarrassed more than you can comprehend.
"I hope they haven’t seen this tweet. You don’t know what they are going through."
Mr Forde added: "I get that it must be tough as a new parent but please, don't bring babies to adult shows. It's always a problem."
"I realise this sounds a bit whiny but it’s just to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s like someone’s phone continually ringing and them not turning it off. I’ve had so many messages from people who were there last night who were very polite about the fact it p***ed them off."
Some people saw the funny side, with one joking: "I was dragged into a Matt Forde show once and I cried my eyes out too. It was awful."
Another brutally added: "If you were unlucky enough to attend the Matt Forde show that was ruined by the sound of a baby whining for an hour, I'm sorry to inform you that he does the same act every night."
And the controversy brought up some great anecdotes about comedians replying to infant 'hecklers' - including one story from a Seann Walsh gig. As a Twitter user recounted: "He heard the baby making baby noises and asked what sort of person brings a baby to a comedy gig. Guy two rows in front said: 'They couldn’t get it to sleep so brought him to see you'. He never recovered."
One father recalled that his three month old daughter slept through an entire Ed Byrne gig until the comedian mentioned that there was "one born every minute." He said: "Right on cue she started crying and Ed ad-libbed with: 'And there's another one.'"
Matt Forde's show, Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right runs until Sunday, August 28 at the Edinburgh Fringe. The official Edinburgh Fringe website states: "Babies do not require a ticket."