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To expect people to behave 'properly' at the theatre?

(58 Posts)
kittylester Mon 10-Feb-14 10:12:01

Every six months or so, my three daughters and I have lunch together and go to a musical. Yesterday our first such trip for a while because of a rash of babies, we went to see a matinee performance of 'Dirty Dancing', not particularly my choice but they were all really keen.

We had really good seats, in the middle of the stalls, about 10 rows back. The audience was largely made up of women. The whole thing was ruined, for us, by people who had obviously been lots of times before and persisted in talking loudly to each other, joining in with the songs at the top of their voices, swaying with their arms in the air, standing up and whooping loudly.

After DD2 had shushed a group of four women in front of us and been ignored, DD3 tapped one on the shoulder and very politely asked her to be a little quieter where upon the woman turned and told her to 'shut the f* up'.

The worst offenders for swaying were sitting next to me and, when I asked to get out during the interval, complained that I was an f***ing nuisance as she had to pick her [loads of] shopping bags off the floor.

All this behaviour seemed to be exacerbated by the fact that people were allowed to take drinks to their seats and lots of women were coming back with plastic half pint 'glasses' full of wine.

It was impossible to complain to an usher as we were in the middle of a row.

Sorry for the long complicated post but I am really cross angry

Aka Mon 10-Feb-14 13:15:25

Perhaps this is the place to name and shame theatres that don't police the audience. They are happy enough to take our money and so should at least try to ensure we can enjoy whatever it is we came to see.

That HT was well out of order. I'd have written to the Chair of Governors Marelli or even had a letter in the local newspaper.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 10-Feb-14 13:24:03

I think there is a certain age group of women who behave like this. We have been to see a couple of shows with a certain young actor in them who has a huge fan base, mostly amongst younger women (and a surprising number of grannies!) Everyone has behaved respectfully throughout the show, and all emotion has been saved up for the finale, when, of course, all hell lets loose. grin

I think you need to pick your shows carefully. Shame, but there it is.

Charleygirl Mon 10-Feb-14 13:37:17

I used to visit London theatres regularly and it was always an evening show. Maybe the riff raff are more likely to see a matinee, I do not know.

I have seen Dirty Dancing but everybody was quiet and no mobile phones rang.

People sang at the end of "We Will Rock You" but not until invited.

I have never been to a rowdy theatre evening performance, thank goodness. One pays enough money without having the time spoiled.

Nonnie Mon 10-Feb-14 13:40:38

That sounds horrid Kitty presumably it was not in Brum? I think you will find WSS much better. We often go to the Brum Hippo and Symphony Hall, also occasionally the NIA and the only time we have ever experienced anything like this was just once at the NIA and several other people felt as we did.

We are so fortunate that our local theatre and cinema only seem to attract polite people, whether matinee or evening.

kittylester Mon 10-Feb-14 14:06:11

Nonnie DH and I saw West Side Story in London and thoroughly enjoyed it (I doubt I'd ever not enjoy WSS). It was after that performance that I bought tickets for us all to see it in Brum.

We go to the theatre in Birmingham quite often as it is so much easier (and cheaper) than battling with the crowds in London. We can get there in less than an hour by car, enjoy a meal before and come home after. The last thing we saw was Martin Shaw blush in 12 Angry Men at the Rep.

DH is a Jazz fiend so we end up going to London for concerts and usually stay over and go to a show 'for me'. grin One we saw was the 'Million Dollar Contract' which had people dancing in the aisles but the atmosphere was not rowdy or aggressive.

I feel I must point out that the DDs and I enjoy a good time, and in fact had a drink with our lunch shock but our enjoyment was ruined by a few thoughtless people.

I have just remembered that during the interval of 'One Man, Two Governors', the man in front of me turned and said 'I'm glad you are enjoying it so much' I realised that I had been laugh an awful lot. blush

squaredog Mon 10-Feb-14 14:09:11

Soutra, you've beaten me to it.

Sweet wrappers!

I can almost give myself a coronary, I become so incensed.

Do you think we re just miserabe old farts?

Marelli Mon 10-Feb-14 14:10:48

Wish I'd thought of that now, Aka.

KatyK Mon 10-Feb-14 14:31:03

Kitty - I had been trying to persuade DH that we should go to the Alex to see West Side Story but he wouldn't say yes or no. Now we have booked to go to London to see Jersey Boys which is also in April so we probably won't get to WSS. Although having checked, there are still some seats left..........

kittylester Mon 10-Feb-14 14:40:26

Go Katy it is the original choreography and fabulous! I've mentioned before that DD3 -cries- at the end of WSS however many times she has seen it. Could be us being 'shushed' this time but I promise we won't tell anyone to 'Shut the f* up!' grin

kittylester Mon 10-Feb-14 14:41:37

We were at the Picadilly, Aka.

Tegan Mon 10-Feb-14 14:44:08

blush Must admit to being a sweet wrapper opener at the cinema sometimes, but that's because I often get one of those tickly cough things and, once they start the more I try not to cough the more it tickles; sweets are the only thing that eases it. Mind you I always sit near at the end of a row near to an entrance so, if it gets bad I get up and leave.

KatyK Mon 10-Feb-14 14:53:55

kitty - I am going to report back to DH! Can anyone explain why people eat sweets in cinemas and theatres? I've never 'got' that.

Nonnie Mon 10-Feb-14 15:26:49

Katy I don't understand why people can't go for an hour or so without eating either! In the Brum Hippo they do sell sweets but offer you a little tub to put them in which I think is a great idea for the nibblers.

Wheniwasyourage Mon 10-Feb-14 15:30:36

We haven't been to the cinema in the evening for ages because of this sort of behaviour. It is also now possible for us to go in an afternoon, now that DH is retired and I work part-time, and several times we have had the cinema almost to ourselves, which is luxury!

Marelli, you were treated dreadfully by the school when you complained. They are not all like that though, fortunately. We went to see Derek Jacobi in "King Lear" in Glasgow some time ago, and sat in front of a school party (from a South Side comprehensive, but I can't remember which one) of senior pupils who were studying the play. They behaved impeccably and we complimented them afterwards. In fact they were so well-behaved that I felt I couldn't hide my head in my arms at the gory bits in case I disturbed their concentration!

Gally Mon 10-Feb-14 15:58:05

I'd be pretty p*d off too!
Marelli that was shocking. I can't believe it!
I can't bear it when people feel compelled to eat during a performance of any sort. It's indicative of the grazing culture. I want to ask why they didn't have lunch/dinner before going out. I think people just behave as they do at home in front of the TV chatting and eating away and don't even consider the feelings of other members of the audience. When we first moved to Scotland we took our 2 girls to the pantomime in Edinburgh and during the first interval the family next to us disappeared and returned with deep fried haggis, chips and bottles of coke. I had just had baby number 3 and felt quite nauseated. On top of everything else the two rows behind us were filled with a group of handicapped children, which I normally would have no problem with, but there were at least 24 of them and the noise was indescribable and we couldn't hear what was going on on the stage. I think that was the last panto we went to wink.

shysal Mon 10-Feb-14 16:03:13

I went with GCs to see Mama Mia at the cinema a few years ago, and found it was a sing-along version. The whole audience sat in silence. We must be a reserved lot around here!

felice Mon 10-Feb-14 16:09:57

This thread brought back a funny story, with a group of friends i went to a performance of TRHS, we had hired a mini-bus and got really dressed up, SO at the time wearing size 9, 4inch heels, we had a great time. later that year a rather stuffy old friend came for a few days, she was sleeping in my bedroom and must have had a nose around and found in a large drawer, all our gear, including, corsets, large high heeled shoes, dog collars, the lot.
she then asked about SO in rather sanctimonious terms. I twigged and really wound her up, sorry, weird sense of humour, but DD and i have had so much fun over the years. X SO and very dear friend knows all about it, he was amazed she was a friend of mine !!!!!!

KatyK Mon 10-Feb-14 16:30:24

I've noticed that our local cinema now streams West End shows live. They are showing War Horse, King Lear, Sleeping Beauty from the Royal Opera House etc. Didn't realise cinemas did this.

Stansgran Mon 10-Feb-14 16:31:08

Gillybob I'm afraid it is not as well behaved oop north as you think. I went to an RSC production ,an evening performance , at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle with several school parties in the audience. The teachers were strategically apart from their pupils so they alone could enjoy the performance. We meanwhile had the little b**** s with their drinks mobile phones sweets and yawns. The usher fortunately after our complaints and my hissing at them told them to shut up or get out. She was warmly congratulated by everyone over thirty.

margaretm74 Mon 10-Feb-14 16:43:27

Interesting thread; I wonder if it is an age thing, just wondering what Mumsnet would make of this? And if they would think we are a load of boring old codgers because we want to go to the theatre to enjoy the production, not to participate? After all , if we were that good at singing/acting/ dancing we would be on the stage surely?

kittylester Mon 10-Feb-14 16:51:52

This reminded me of a when DD1 thought it would be good to take her two children to a mimed performance of a panto, put on by deaf people for deaf people. She said that, although the stage was largely silent, the noise in the audience was horrendous presumably because most of the audience couldn't hear what was going on. smile

kittylester Mon 10-Feb-14 16:59:36

margaret74 my three daughters are all ideal Mumsnet candidates, aged 26, 32, 39 and with 6 children between them - they were even crosser than I.

margaretm74 Mon 10-Feb-14 17:05:47

Only just wondering if it was an age thing, and I have been to theatre productions with DD1 &2 and they would be cross too. In fact DD2 has performed a lot (amateur but in quite large theatres and singing professionally) and would find it annoying and disrespectful I think

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 10-Feb-14 17:25:12

It's women chasing their recently lost youth. hmm

kittylester Mon 10-Feb-14 18:10:56

No so recent by the look of the bat in front of us jings grin