Why Aren’t You…Behaving Properly in the Theatre?!

N.B. This post isn’t directed at you, dear reader. More at the twats from last night’s show.

This is a bit of a quickie post, as I’m at work! I’m in between shows at the moment: writing up review of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time which I saw last night, and getting ready for The Tempest at the Hope Theatre in Islington tonight! Press Invite, woo!

I realise there aren’t exactly guidelines on how to behave in the theatre. But there are certain unspoken rules which I think most people understand.

You know, like: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that you DON’T USE YOUR PHONE IN THE THEATRE’.

And that’s not even an unspoken rule. There are actually signs up everywhere which say that! Well not quite that…more likely a photo of a camera with a cross through it.

So here are some quick tips, just so you don’t behave like a dick, unlike 50% of the audience at Curious Incident.

1) Don’t. Use. Your. Phone.

CAN YOU NOT GO FIVE MINUTES WITHOUT CHECKING YOUR BLOODY EMAIL?! …is what I wanted to shout at the person beside me.

Seriously, there are signs up and how short is your attention span. It disturbs EVERYONE. Do you know how bright a tiny phone screen is in a dark theatre…? VERY! The stewards though were on it, to their credit. I have seen people walk out of Shakespeare’s Globe in groundling standing on their phone…why…why would you think it’s okay to take a call in a theatre?!

2) No, seriously, don’t. ESPECIALLY, DON’T TAKE PHOTOS OR VIDEO, FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

This will disturb the whole performance. Other members of the audience notice it, stewards notice it, heck, even actors notice it. And you will either be asked to delete the photos, or chucked out.

And if you are gonna be a dick and do it, be discreet. Don’t leave the stupid flash on!

3) Don’t eat inside. Or if you do, eat something small/quiet.

Okay, this is a bit of cheeky one. Because my friend was doing it last night! But in their defence, it was only half a croissant, which she ate very quietly!

But again, the people beside me had brought a full on Chinese takeaway! Cold, of course! And the people in front had left over Pizza Hut. I pretty much glared them down, like, ‘Go on…I dare you…’

Again, the stewards were on it, and told the people next to me not to eat it during the interval. Although they then took that to mean, ‘Of course eat it while the show’s on’. Much to my annoyance.

4) Don’t be late. I didn’t mind last night that I had a Restricted View. After all, I had paid £15 for Curious Incident, so what do you expect, plus it was only one corner of the stage I couldn’t see. Until the latecomers came.

At a suitable point, the stewards rightly brought the latecomers in. I refer to them as latecomers, because the alternative is something much more rude. So I may just settle on Mr and Mrs The-Slowest-People-in-the-World.

If you are late and have to scooch across to your seats, DO IT QUICKLY! They literally blocked 3 rows view for like 30 seconds. And they actually stopped for a second to look at the stage!

5) Don’t speak. To quote the No Doubt song:

Don’t speak,

I know just what you’re saying

So please stop explaining

Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts.

Seriously, it hurts the ears of everyone else around you who are craning to listen.

By all means whisper if it’s something you have to tell your friend. But don’t do it consistently and don’t raise your voice over the actors so you can be heard. We have paid money to hear about Christopher’s story, not your life story which you are trying to relay!

So basically my advice when watching theatre: don’t be THAT guy who you bitch about after the show to your mate, or worse, on your blog!

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