Thursday, July 24, 2014

The idiot's guide to attending the theatre

As I said in my post yesterday, Nikki and I went to see Les Miserables over the weekend. And we had some incredibly fidgety people in front of us. Admittedly, we didn't say anything to them, so we're kind of to blame for how irritated we were by it all, but I still came out of the performance with a big list of things running through my head. And I figured that I'd put them in writing, so I can hand it out to people in the future*.

*I totally won't do that, but it would be pretty nifty.

So here, have a list of stuff:

1. Don't sing along. 
Seriously, this shouldn't even be something that needs to be on this list. And yet... People have paid (in Australia, at least) somewhere between $60 and $150 to see the professionals do their thing. It is not karaoke shower time. Stop. Singing. Along.

2. Put your phone away.
If you're waiting on an important call, then you probably shouldn't be at the theatre. If it's suuuuuuuuuuper important, put your phone screendown on your leg - ON SILENT - and let the usher know that you'll need to duck out at some point. Unless you're in the middle of a row. Then suck it up and deal with it at interval/when the show finishes. Do not, under any circumstances, check the time on your phone. You will blind the people in the surrounding five rows.

3. Seriously? You're trying to record this?
This happened at Les Mis, and my thought process was pretty much along these lines: "Are you actually serious? You're in the fourth back row of the grand circle. In the dark. Trying to film Javert's Suicide, which is a really dark scene. On your phone. Which is blinding everyone. AND attracting the usher's attention. Good work, girl. Good work."

4. Don't lean forward in your chair.
If you sit properly in your chair, everyone can see. If you lean forward? The person behind you gets annoyed because your head is blocking 75% of the stage. The person behind THEM is annoyed because the person in front of them is leaning from side to side trying to see the stage. And so on. You are creating a chain of perpetual annoyance. Sit like a grown up.

5. Don't eat things in noisy packets.
Yes, the snacks at the theatre require a second mortgage. But that doesn't mean you should smuggle in bags of THE NOISIEST VARIETY EVER. If you're going to smuggle stuff in, at least transfer it to a Tupperware first. What is this, amateur hour?!

6. Beware of taking selfies.
You WILL end up with total strangers looking awkward in the background of your photo. And that's the best possible scenario. Worst? Said total strangers decide to photobomb you.

7. Don't bob your head from side to side in time with the music. 
Congratulations, you have a decent sense of rhythm. Meanwhile, the person sitting behind you wants to punch you in the face for being an asshat.

8. Whisper, don't talk. 
This one is especially for the guy who was sitting next to me, who'd clearly never seen the show before. We all know the Thénardiers are hilarious. But you don't have to announce it every time they're on stage. And especially not at normal speaking volume. If you MUST say something, say it quietly.

9. Don't put your arms behind your head. 
You are not at home in your living room. Don't sit like you are. Going to the theatre is a lot like being on a three hour flight - keep your hands to yourself, don't hog the armrests, and be courteous of the people behind you. No one wants your head in their lap during dinner on a flight, and no one wants their entire view of the stage blocked by your arms.

10. Be careful of what you text. Half a dozen people behind you can read it.
Yes, OMG-I'm-so-hungover-right-now-and-I've-already-had-a-fight-with-Mum guy. I'm talking about you. We all know precisely how bored you were by the whole show and how much you'd had to drink the night before. Thanks.

And, as a special added bonus:

11. If you're going to wear a strapless maxi dress, make sure it doesn't match your skin tone.
When you're sitting down, everyone around you will think you're naked at first glance. And they will be terrified.

What would you add to this list?

K xx


  1. As someone who worked in a theater for four years, all of this makes me want to die.

  2. Wilhelmina UptonJuly 25, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Ugh, yes, the perfume one!!! I generally am not used to heavy scents and especially other people's perfumes tend to give me headaches so I am all for this not bathing in it!


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