As a theatre lover, I’ve been to see many shows, mainly in my home town and on the West End. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced some behaviour within the theatre which I and/or the performers on stage have been upset by. Below I’ve listed some of the moments that have occurred whilst I’ve been to the theatre.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to have experienced mobile phone related issues at the theatre. The common one is a phone ringing during the show. This has happened on several occasions when I’ve visited the theatre, and takes audience members attention away from the stage as well as putting the actors off. I appreciate people may need to keep phones on for emergency contact, but they should be put on silent during the performance.
When I went to see Miss Saigon, someone’s Siri went off at the end of the show (if you’ve seen this musical you will understand what the significant moment on stage was when it happened!) I actually ended up missing a major plot line because I was distracted.
When I went to see a production of Sister Act at the Mayflower Theatre, a few rows in front there was a boy probably about ten years old sat with his mother. When certain songs were being performed, he held up a large sign above his head. This obstructed the view of some of the audience members, as well as putting the audience on edge. On multiple occasions ushers had to come down and ask him to stop, further disrupting the show. I understand the boy was young and may not have known better, but his mother should have. Being in the theatre is very different to being at a concert.
I mentioned this in a previous blog post, but when I went to see Dreamgirls in London, audience members shouted out during the show. It was during an intense breakup scene, with purposeful dramatic pauses for effect, and people were jokingly calling out to the actors on stage. This clearly put them off, at moments they went to speak and had to stop because of audience members. I found this rude and frustrating, as well as unnecessary. Audience members should be able to control their excitement in the theatre.
These are just a few of the things I’ve experienced in the theatre. It’s a shame that certain people act out of turn but hopefully, with a bit of clarification, these things will happen less often. Thanks for reading, if you have had any other experiences on or off stage let me know in the comments!