A theatre was branded a ‘shambles’ yesterday after tickets to see a well-known comedian sold out in 90 minutes.

The Radlett Centre, in Aldenham Avenue, had problems with their phone lines as hundreds of people tried to book tickets to see comedian Michael McIntyre at the centre in September.

Fans were left disappointed as the show had sold out in an hour and a half hours, with many still queuing out the door or trying to reach the box office by phone.

Comedy fan Marc Shoffman had been trying to call the box office since 10am and said the situation was a “shambles”.

He said: “This was supposed to be a treat for my wife's 30th birthday as we are about to have our second child in November so it would have been one of our last nights out for a while.

“The Radlett Centre has been really disorganised. They knew this was the UK's top comic and failed to get their systems in order to deal with demand. People have jobs or kids to look after so it is archaic in the 21st Century to expect them to queue or phone and not use online booking as an option.

“They could have dealt with demand better by allowing booking online and limiting the number of tickets per person to just two instead of six.”

Online booking was blocked as the centre would have had no way to stop tickets touts making multiple bookings.

The theatre has already had a number of people add their names to a waiting list of tickets, while a number of people who missed out on tickets have taken to tweeting the comedian to ask him to add a second date at the centre.

Radlett Centre general manager Greg Dexter said: “Although we are not part of Michael McIntyre’s tour as such, we were approached by his management to hold a preview performance here at The Radlett Centre in September, which was not part of our scheduled programme.

“To be fair to all of our customers we publicised the event to our emailing list, and on various associated websites. We were contractually obliged to offer six tickets to customers and also to only sell the tickets in person or on the phone.

"The fact that we sold all of the tickets in 90 minutes proves that we were totally organised in advance and sold continually for that period. Unfortunately when demand outstrips supply by such odds not everyone will be lucky."