Theatre Etiquette: Things that annoy me (and I’m sure you guys to)

I feel like this subject has been brought to life a lot at the moment with various incidents happening during shows both on West End and Broadway. Therefore I thought I’d write a blog post about the things that really get on my nerves (and I’m sure most of you to) whilst at the Theatre.

 1) Mobile Phones – This is a subject that has been at the forefront of so many theatre stars recently. I honestly don’t understand why people pay money (usually quite a lot) to sit there and text/talk on their phones during a performance. It’s honestly so rude and disrespectful to the performers up on the stage and to be honest, it’s just annoying. Another thing is when an audience member doesn’t turn their phone on silent/off and it starts to ring (usually in a tense/dramatic part of the show) and just ruins the whole scene. The whole phone thing is happening so much recently and I know that it really is a pet peeve to so many. No wonder Patti LuPone took an audience members phone off them mid-show and took it backstage with her. Good on her I say. People never learn.
2) Sweet rustling – I know that we all love to take a range of sweets/confectionary to have during the show but please open them up before the performance starts. There is nothing worse than hearing people in the row behind you, searching through their bags and then attempt to open a bag of sweets whilst the show is on. It’s distracting for the performers and also just annoying for everyone that is trying to watch.

3) Talking – Theatre should be a time where you just sit back and enjoy what you see in front of you, not discussing what you had for dinner or what you’ve been up to. I honestly don’t understand why some people constantly talk through a performance. You really don’t have to give a running commentary to the person next to you. You’re both seeing the same show. Going to the Theatre isn’t cheap so why would you waste your money/time if you’re not even going to pay attention to the magic that is going on in front of you.

4)Late arrivers – This one speaks for itself. Please just arrive on time. I don’t want to have to get up from my seat half way through a song because I have to move to let you into the row. You know the time you have to be there, so stick to it. Theatre isn’t like a television show, you can’t just pause it so that it can start when you arrive.

5)Share the armrests – Sharing is caring and when it comes to being comfortable at the Theatre you need to respect the people around you. It’s always frustrating when the person next to you thinks that they can take up the whole of the armrests. Just a tip, it isn’t just for you and you need to make sure that both yourself and the person sitting next to you can both use it.

6)Not bothering to applaud/stand up – This one is for audience members that are to ignorant to give a standing ovation or applaud the cast at the end of the show. You might as well not even be in the audience. I honestly think that is one of the rudest things. Even if you haven’t enjoyed the show, the cast/crew etc have all worked incredibly hard so a tip for next time, DO IT ANYWAY.

Here’s some celebrity tweets/comments I’ve seen floating around recently in relation to the above…

Beverley Knight – Memphis The Musical (UK)
Savannah Green – Wicked the Musical (UK)
Lesli Margherita – Matilda (Broadway)
Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton (Broadway)
HollywoodReporter.com – Laura Benanti

I honestly could go on and on about what Theatre Etiquette should be but to be honest, it should just speak for itself. I think some people forget that these performers put on a show 8 times a week for our pleasure, so the least we can do is show them some respect. When you next go to the Theatre, think about these pet peeves and take them into consideration so that everyone can have a pleasurable experience.

Following these simple rules can lead to happiness in the form of the above.

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