So, further to my last blog about my ‘Hair Raising Theatre Experience” at Hair, I had an interesting discussion with my Twitter followers about their most annoying audience experiences.
Unsurprisingly, people had many stories about annoying theatregoers, so I thought I would give you guys another blog about the theatregoers we all love to hate.
Top of the list of things we hate in the world of theatre is something I was not at all surprised at – mobile phones and cameras. It is true that these things have no place in any darkened room, let alone a theatre where there is a live performance happening. Some of my contributions were from performers, others were from theatregoers, but the consensus was the same – we hate mobile phones!
Number two in the list of things we hate most was food glorious food! Far from “Please Sir, Can I have some more?”, my readers are more like “Please folks, keep the food in the bag!” After all, what’s worse than someone eating a rustly bag of sweets on the row behind you? Worse than that, I have often fallen prey to people around me eating McDonalds, Burger King, or once… a whole pizza between a family. Please, people. Eat BEFORE the theatre not during it.
It seems London theatre has many pet peeves, but the one I noticed occurring frequently among performers was people shouting in inappropriate places. I can only imagine how distracting that must be when you’re on stage. I have had my fair amount of people sitting behind me either commentating the show to younger/foreign family members or just having a good old chinwag right in the middle of the show. Chinwagging came up pretty high on the list too. I know particularly at We Will Rock You I used to fall victim to tourists translating the entire show to their family and friends… and not quietly. As well as people talking, something that came up again and again was those who talked about the show, or gave away the ending.
Aside from the above, there were a few wildcard pet hates in there. Aaron Renfree, (@aaronrenfree on Twitter) currently appearing in We Will Rock You, informed me that he hates “People pointing at my crotch during Radio Gaga”. It is true that theatre audiences are full of oddballs! Joseph Connor, (joe_connor1234 on Twitter) also of We Will Rock You, said he hates “when people fall asleep in the front row. I have been known to try and make big noises near them!” One has to wonder how it’s possible to fall asleep during a show like We Will Rock You! Jonathan Hume, (@Mrhume on Twitter) says that he hates “People who take their shoes off (YOUR FEET SMELL!)”… understandably that’s not the most pleasant of things!
So it seems the woman I sat next to at Hair was not the worst of the bunch. Her fanning and not clapping looks like a miniscule problem compared to the crotch pointing, pizza eating, phone using theatregoing public. I’ve put the suggestions at the bottom of this blog so you can read what everyone said as, if I covered everyone’s points on here this would be one epically long blog!
Happy theatregoing folks!
@NaomiWeir people with young children who constantly chat 2 them, “what do you think of it?” “I know, that bit was scary wasn’t it!”
@WickedElphaba09 people who don’t go to the theatre often and have no idea how to behave in one
@dramaticmisty . Rude people at the bar. Photography in the auditorium in the middle of a row with flash during the show!
@Kayeigh_jade shouting strange things at really inappropriate times!
@annaarose Late Comers!!!
@chrisdclegg People texting or playing on phones!!!!
@wozie_stevie The sound of people opening Sweets. the quieter they try to be the worse it makes it
@lester_freeman people who commentate “this is a good bit coming up” or “this is a good tune next”etc
@hannahsarkar people that don’t join in or clap at the end of songs
@beaney192 got to be if someone taller then you sits infront or someone that keeps bobing there head about!
@MissLucyNewton texting whilst watching!!! We can see u! Grrrrrrr!
@joe_connor1234 I think my pet peev is when people fall asleep in the front row. I have been known to try and make big noises near them!!
@ANiceSitDown Eating, eating, eating, eating, eating, eating, eating, eating, eating, eating, eating, eating, eating…. and late arrivals.
@Sherriepenn Most definitely phones and video cameras!!!
@AboutLondon Those that get up during the performance and walk across the front of the stalls to go to wherever it is they want to go.