Comedy rocker Mitch Benn was forced off stage by a hail of missiles at the Somerville-Jesus Ball last Saturday.
The bearded entertainer stopped mid-show to berate revellers for their behaviour, warning, “If anyone chucks one more thing, I’m off.” A drunken ball-goer then launched a bottle cap at the stage.
Benn duly left, to groans and boos from the crowd who had previously been enjoying his act. Mr Benn later tweeted, “Sorry how it ended but I hope you understand why I had to do that. “
Eyewitness James Waterson, of Jesus College, condemned the culprits. “The Ball Committee made a big effort to book [Benn] and I don’t blame him for leaving – he got the fee, we lost out: very good money for ten minutes’ work…the bottle cap throwers were tossers.”
Jesus JCR President Ross Evans was responsible for booking Mr Benn and also Stage Manager for his gig. Mr Evans defended Benn’s response, saying “you can’t blame him – he’s an artist. He’s not paid to have stuff thrown at him…the culprits should consider themselves lucky not to have been thrown out.”
Ball Vice President Jordan Clay claimed that it was not “the place of the committee to stop people getting drunk.”
However he also said, “It would have been better if we’d had some security set up.”
Ball Treasurer Joe Staines refused to say whether he had tried to withhold any of Mitch Benn’s fees to punish his early exit. However, Ball committee sources indicate that Mr Benn will receive the full amount for his performance despite not completing the show. A thank-you card is also planned.
Mitch Benn was unavailable for comment, and the culprits have not been identified.