The Army of Dwarves at The Hippodrome By Joe Lycett

The Army of Dwarves at The Hippodrome By Joe Lycett

The Army of Dwarves

I came across this article and it did make me smile so I thought I would share it with you as the Dwarves story has been the biggest story of 2013 related to a Casinos, covered by all the major tabloids in the UK and in the USA along with an unbelieveable amount of varied blogs around the world. Great PR work, Stroke of Genius or Stroke of Luck. Some of the shared sources  The Mirror The Telegraph ITV Demotix Metro US Boston and of course ourse at C4D

 The Hippodrome Casino & The Army Of Dwarves by Joe Lycett

Those of you that are at all aware of my work will know that I make a habit of wasting the time of companies and institutions by raising pointless issues and complaints. I have contacted Phones4u posing as an English Professor pointing out the error in their spelling and instructing them to rebrand under the properly spelt ‘Phones For You’, I contested a parking fine I received on Christmas Eve from Birmingham City Council by offering them a bottle of brandy in lieu of payment and I nearly managed to sell a story to the Sun newspaper about Matt Baker from the One Show kicking a pigeon.

But one letter I sent to the Hippodrome Casino in London has created the most remarkable response. Here’s the original:


I recently visited your casino and found it to be a shoddy establishment with an ugly interior and uglier patrons. What’s more, my wife was left in the cold as she was deemed unfit for your premises and I was robbed by the house.

I was and am so furious about my treatment in your casino that I am considering spending some of my considerable wealth on annoying you. I recently inherited hundreds of millions of pounds from my uncle who passed away recently and who invented a unique and ubiquitous type of bottle cap. I find wealth to be unappealing and I am a petty man with a lot of spare time, so think rather than waste my uncle’s money IN your casino feel that waste it IRRITATING your casino may be preferable.

Some ways I may annoy you:

– Employ hundreds of dwarves to stand outside your doors shouting ‘we used to be tall before we gambled in this casino’.

– Release a van full of cats with gastroenteritis induced diarrhoea onto your doorstep.

– Purchase neighbouring properties and turn them into casinos where the house always loses.

– Employ undercover people to enter your casino and release swarms of locusts at regular intervals.

– Bribe government officials to persuade them to change gambling laws that will put you and your horrid premises out of business.

I should make it clear that I am not threatening to do this I am just making it clear that, should I wish, I could do this. An apology from you may rectify the matter completely.


Paul W


An edited version of this email appeared in my Edinburgh show this year, If Joe Lycett Then You Should’ve Put A Ring On It. The sender is Paul Wenbridge, an alias I created to maintain anonymity. This, as with all my emails, was not a random attack but carefully constructed towards a company that I felt had done me wrong – earlier that week I had visited and they were properly horrible to my friend and something dodgy went on at a blackjack table with a missing chip. About a week later I received this fantastic reply:


Dear Sir,Thank you for your letter concerning your experiences at The Hippodrome Casino. We have only been open 9 months and whilst already the busiest and most popular casino in the country, we appreciate any feedback, good or bad, recognising that there are bound to be areas that we can improve on.

Firstly your comments on the building. Many people love the exterior and it is said to be one of the finest buildings designed by Frank Matcham over 100 years ago, but in any case it is listed so we are limited in what we can do to it. As to our patrons, we are proud of all our customers, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.

Secondly you say your wife was left out in the cold when you visited. Our sincere apologies for this. We shall immediately look to create a suitable refuge outside The Hippodrome for your wife on your next visit.

With regards to the numerous punishments that you have lined up for us and the use of your enormous wealth to carry them out:

The dwarves: Perhaps a little bad taste given the history of dwarves in the building. As you may know when The Hippodrome opened over 100 years ago, it was an indoor circus with a large water tank in the middle of the ground floors. They had show’s with elephants swimming in the tank, and other shows with dwarves high diving from the Minstrels gallery 60 ft above the water tank. All went well until they tried to combine the shows and the rest is history, certainly for 2 of the dwarves anyway. But in any case if you get an army of dwarves we would have no choice but to get our own army of dwarfs to combat them and we could have a ‘small’ battle in Cranbourne St.

The cats; please don’t, we have only just got rid of the last lot.

The neighbouring property route. We like this idea, so please go ahead; it will give customers more money to come and enjoy themselves with at The Hippodrome which is by far the best property in the area.

Your locusts: It makes us smile just thinking about the poor chaps coming in with a swarm of locusts under their coats. It could be a tad uncomfortable for them.

Government officials: Any chance of getting the government officials to carry the locusts in? It would make us smile even more.

So in short we would dread to think of you carrying out any of your ingenious plots, so naturally unreservedly apologise for any offence caused, knowingly or unknowingly. Please do introduce yourself on your next visit (with or without wife); we will make sure you are well looked after and will happily buy you a drink for the pleasure you have given us.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Mettam


Fair play and a brilliant response from the Hippodrome Casino a Great example of how to deal with a customer complaint

The Army of Dwarves

Full article on Joe Lycett Blog 

User Rating: 0 (0 votes)
Started working in the Casino Industry in 1985, just never managed to leave as yet. Visited 99% of all UK Casinos, seen them all,