THE Regent has thanked audiences who attended the Ricky Gervais shows and said it has learnt lessons following its huge demand.

The Christchurch theatre has thanked audiences for their well-behaved nature during the shows after problems with abuse towards staff by fans trying to get tickets on May 10. 

Described as a 'tale of two halves' by house and publicity manager, Chris Cole, he said the atmosphere on both nights on May 13 and 14 was great and it was great to be able to help promote Christchurch

He said: "The shows themselves were really happy. All the production crew, Ricky himself were quite happy with how the show went and the atmosphere on the nights was great. 

"Everyone was so excited to have that opportunity to see someone like that so close and so personal.

"We've been trying to for a few years to try and get warm-up gigs down here to the area because we think it's such a great venue, town and area so the fact we got offered arguably one of, if not the most famous comedian in the world is a real boost for us."

Both shows saw a huge demand with tens of thousands attempting to get tickets for a theatre that can only seat 500 people. 

With a lucky few getting tickets, The Regent reported that some had been abusive towards staff and therefore was glad on the nights that this was not the case. 

It said in regards to ticket sales, it is currently discussing solutions for the future, stating that it is not equipped for such huge amounts of people trying to buy tickets at once. 

Chris said: "We could have sold the O2 arena seven times and we only had about 700 tickets to sell. The lesson we learned is that the internal systems we currently have in place are not equipped to deal with that level of demand. 

"We will hold our hands up to that and say that we do understand that that wasn't a good experience. I've done big sale days in other venues and the demand this generated eclipsed anything I've every experienced."