At the moment, I’m going to a few shows by myself. This is partly because I’m getting Press Comps, partly because I’m going to Wednesday matinees when most people are working, and partly because there are some shows which no-one else wants to go to.
It’s just like trying to go see Lesbian Vampire Killers all over again! Yeah, James Corden, I remember you did that film.
Anyway, some people may find it awkward being in public by themselves. But I have perfected the art of pretending to look busy: of course you’ve got the classic ‘checking my text messages on my phone’, and you can even branch it out by pretending to check voicemail or making a call. Just make sure you put it on silence, so you’re phone doesn’t ring while pretending to speak into it.
And once you’ve mastered this, you can even multitask. Pretend to check your phone, while also engaging in the best thing about going alone: people watching.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time people watching, hell, even last week at High Society, it led to spotting Loras off Game of Thrones! And having dedicated so much time to this sport, I’ve noticed that there are certain types of people who frequent the theatre. So here is my list of the 15 People You Always See at the Theatre, told in gifs from Starkid’s A Very Potter Musical, A Very Potter Sequel and A Very Potter Senior Year. Because why not!
1) The 1st timer, who’s totally excited.
2) And the 10th timer, still filled with the same (if not more) excitement.
3) The kids on a school group to the theatre for the first time. Loving it. Maybe a bit too much.
4) The grumpy adults 3 rows behind totally judging them.
5) THAT motherfucker who brings a hat and either wears it or drapes it casually over the seat in front. Ironically, I saw at least 5 of these at The Motherf**ker with the Hat.
6) The pirate: no, not literally a pirate, the person trying to video/take photos. Sometimes a tourist.
7) The person who thinks because they’ve listened to one of Mark Kemode’s film podcasts it makes them a critic. In the interval, they can often be heard spouting phrases such as: ‘X is sublime, but X was far better’, or ‘I find the use of lighting a tad reductive’.
8) The person who turns up at interval. Having missed half the show.
9) The person who’s trying to surreptitiously eat dinner. Yes, we can see you. And hear you.
10) The person who’s not even trying to eat their food surreptitiously.
11) The couple on a date: can be seen making out an inappropriate bits. Like after someone dies.
12) The boyfriend who’s been dragged along because Benedict Cumberbatch/Tom Hiddleston/that-guy-who-was-in-that-one-thing-from-like-5-years-ago is in this production.
13) But who totally loves it after 5 minutes.
14) The superfan: can be seen lipsyncing along with the lines. Knows the script off by heart.
15) And me: the completely normal one, sitting there judging everyone else and singing along by myself.