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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

whenim64 Mon 10-Feb-14 22:28:53

We went with twin grandsons to see In the Night Garden a couple of years ago. It was fabulous. We took a picnic to have first as the layout under the large tent was staged with loads of seating that looked like grass to resemble the programme. The children could run up and down and move around whilst it was on, and there were lots of helpers for mums with prams. The children were spellbound.

Deedaa Mon 10-Feb-14 22:10:57

My DD has just booked tickets for us to see The Night Garden Live in July. I suspect the toddlers will be rather better behaved than some of the audiences we've been reading about - not sure about some of the mothers and grannies though hmm

Gally Mon 10-Feb-14 19:45:40

Moi, I think - it begins with G so I can understand the confusion wink

GillT57 Mon 10-Feb-14 19:41:21

When my friend was living in Singapore she couldn't believe the cinema behaviour! Huge family groups all chattering and laughing, mobile phones on and being used, not just a glow from someone texting.....and worse of all the audience bring in pots of fish head curry bought from the vendors outside and eat it noisily with chopsticks, slurping, eating and talking. Nice shock

absent Mon 10-Feb-14 19:34:47

Sorry! smile

Galen Mon 10-Feb-14 19:21:52

Not me! Honest gov!

absent Mon 10-Feb-14 18:30:40

I think Galen has got it right. People are so used to talking, making cups of tea, eating biscuits, joining in the songs, pointing out the cute kid, asking what is happening now, getting up and wandering about, etc. while they are watching television in their own homes, they do it in theatres and cinemas without realising how disruptive it is for the rest of the audience.

I don't think it's age related. I have been irritated by two dozy old bats when I took absentdaughter to see The Wizard of Oz years ago – every time Toto appeared they said, "Oooooh, isn't he sweeeeeet!" among other annoying observations. Equally, I have been driven potty by people younger than me talking about the last play they went to see without watching the one we were currently attending. Presumably, that's the one they would talk about at the next play they went to "see".

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

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

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

It's women chasing their recently lost youth. hmm

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

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.

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

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?

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.

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.

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 !!!!!!

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

We were at the Picadilly, Aka.

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

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..........