I love a theatre trip. Who doesn’t. Especially when you’re part of/trained in the industry. But do you know what (and I’m sure I’m not the only one here), but since training, I’ve found that I’m so overly critical of anything I see. It’s rare that I can sit and watch a piece of theatre without ripping it apart, finding fault in the performance. It’s usually only small things, and things I’m sure go unnoticed most of the time. But as a trained dancer, it’s easy to critique if you see someone fall out of a pirouette or if something goes wrong with the set.
Of course, on the flip side, being a performer too, I know it’s rare that a run of a show will go perfectly. We all have off days. And sometimes problems with set and props are unavoidable. My point is, when I was younger, I would leave the theatre in absolute awe. It’s very rare that that happens now. Which is a shame.
And nothing can ruin your theatre experience more than annoying audience members. Especially those sat near you. If you go to the theatre, you’re going to watch a piece of art. You should be considerate of a) the other people around you sat watching, and b) (and arguably most importantly), the performers slogging their guts out on the stage. They’ve worked themselves into the ground since they could walk to get to this point, this is their job – show some respect?
- Rattling sweets – SHUSH. Eat before or after or in the interval. Are you in the park or on the beach? No. So it’s not the time for a picnic.
- Phones – either seeing someone use it or hearing it go off. Put it on silent.
Put it away.
- Light up earrings (a festive one) – its lovely that you’re feeling the spirit of the season. But it’s not YOU that can see them, everyone else can. So, unless you’re sat on the back row, these constant flashing lights are at eye level of the people behind you and beside you. Kindly save the twinkles for another time.
- Talking to your neighbour – you’re making a noise, being rude AND blocking my view of the stage. Shhhhhh.
- Unnecessary clapping – a 10 second musical interlude as the set changes isn’t an invitation to start clapping along. Especially if you’re the only one doing it.
- Heckling – 2 minutes into ‘The Full Monty’, someone on my row shouted out ‘GET YER KIT OFF’. Although, in this instance, the lady in question may have just been offended by the appalling attempt at the Yorkshire accent. Honestly, if you’re coming to the centre of Leeds, with a Yorkshire show – you have to have the accent absolutely nailed. So I take that one back, Madame, whoever you are. Well done.
Please. If you’re reading this, don’t be one of these people. Coz (in the words of Liam Neeson). I will find you. And I will kill you.