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Bad Behaviour At A Show


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#1 justafan

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 04:01 PM

I went to a west end musical last week where an incident happened whereby several people kept on talking through the show - a gentleman asked them to be quiet several times but they continued to be rowdy - at the interval they followed him into the restroom and asked him if he wanted to continue it outside - he reported them to the staff and they were escorted from the theatre.  I have had a similar situation at a local theatre and in fact the gentleman who kept talking apparently took a match and was going to light it and burn my jacket and it was only when we were leaving that another audience member told us what had happened.  I immediately reported the incident and was told that they would trace this person by the seat booking.  After a few days the theatre contacted me to say they could not trace the booking!!!  However, he was a regular theatregoer as he always sat in the same seat behind us and tended to go to musicals and we have not seen him since so I am a little suspicious as to why he suddenly doesn't go to the theatre but anyway why do some people constantly talk throughout a show - I have paid to go and see and listen to the cast not the audience and why do they get so offensive and rude when you ask them to be quiet.  It spoils it for so many people and some audience members are too polite to ask them to be quiet but it is extremely rude - also does drink have something to do with it as well?  Sadly it seems to be happening more and more often and I would be interested to hear what other people think.

#2 cat123

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 06:06 PM

Someone called me a cheeky cow once for telling them to stop talking. I'd had a bad day and burst into tears! When you'vd paid 600 for a ticket why on EARTH wouldd you not pay attention to what you've paid to see. Madness. Give me the bloody 60 and I'll go to a show and actually enjoy it.

#3 JonnyBoy

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 06:15 PM

QUOTE(cat123 @ Jun 14 2010, 07:06 PM) View Post
Someone called me a cheeky cow once for telling them to stop talking. I'd had a bad day and burst into tears! When you'vd paid 600 for a ticket why on EARTH wouldd you not pay attention to what you've paid to see. Madness. Give me the bloody 60 and I'll go to a show and actually enjoy it.


Blimey!  I know premium seats are highly priced but 600 is ridiculous!
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#4 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 06:18 PM

^ 600 or 60?  huh.gif

I've had some bad experiences but nothing as bad as yours, nobody tried to light my coat on fire. I think the theatre's can sometimes do more. Lots of times they've ignored the problem, even when audience members have complained. At a pantomime a few years ago, there was a kid, about 6 years old, constantly kicking the chair of a person beside me. His parents ignored him, obviously not caring about the person who's chair was being kicked. When she turned around and asked for them to get their child to stop, they said something along the lines of 'Ah buh he's onlee a kiid, Leave him aloin' in an inner-city Dublin accent  laugh.gif This happened before the show started so the person was able to move seats. I guess a panto is different to a West End show though..

#5 JonnyBoy

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:16 PM

When I saw Blood Brothers, a lady behing me talked through the entire opening scene.  Presumably she thought this was ok because there was little dialogue.  To hell with setting the scene and creating the atmosphere; it was as if she was trying to get through everything she had to say before the show 'properly' started.

This thread should carry a health warning.  I can see myself getting worked up over these selfish idiots (the guy with ridiculously wild hair that blocks half the stage, the girl with jangly jewellery who thrashes her arms about, the people who pass sweets along the row, the texters, the people who have to bring alcohol in and can't get through a show without it, the whistling breathers, the one who falls asleep and jerks his head about till he wakes himself up, the ones who lean their coats over the seats in front and don't bother to move them when you try to rest your head back, the man translating for his partner then tilting the programme to the light to see which one was in Holby City etc...)  Admittedly they are a minority but in a half-full theatre, there's bound to be one selfish, oblivious fool and it just takes one to disturb an otherwise excellent evening.
For heaven's sake, people, just watch the damn show!
(time for my blood pressure pills...)

#6 cat123

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:26 PM

Oops! laugh.gif 60

#7 JonnyBoy

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:28 PM

QUOTE(cat123 @ Jun 14 2010, 08:26 PM) View Post
Oops! laugh.gif 60


The sad thing is, considering the rocketing premium prices (e.g. most of the stalls for La Bete), 600 is not too unbelievable! tongue.gif

#8 comaweng

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:21 PM

QUOTE(justafan @ Jun 14 2010, 05:01 PM) View Post
I have paid to go and see and listen to the cast not the audience and why do they get so offensive and rude when you ask them to be quiet. It spoils it for so many people and some audience members are too polite to ask them to be quiet but it is extremely rude - also does drink have something to do with it as well?


Drink definitely has something to do with it at certain shows, particularly (as I understand it) Thriller and Dirty Dancing. I recall there was something in the press about some theatres considering hiring bouncers.

There is always some misbehaving nitwit in every show: fortunately or unfortunately I expect it these days. The baby who cried through at least twenty minutes of Sister Act before Palladium staff finally intervened. The constant rustling of crisp packets and plastic bags from a family at Legally Blonde. The man who received at least three phone calls in the second half of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, shouting down his phone at whoever he was talking to each time. The woman in the audience at Enron who took it upon herself before the show to read aloud at the very top of her lungs the glossary in the programme explaining financial services industry terminology, as if nobody else at that matinee was literate.

I was at Sunset Boulevard at the Comedy early in 2009 when a man in the second or third row as I recall turned to some woman behind him, shouting, "I paid to watch them perform, not to listen to you yakking!" At Les Miserables one Saturday at virtually every poignant moment, there was a big intake of milkshake of some sort. "Listen everybody, General Lamarque is dead!" *SLURP*. "She will not die in vain / She will not be betrayed." *SLURP* The stage revolves to show the deaths at the barricade. *SLURP*. Highly inappropriate.

It is completely unacceptable: if I wanted to have an animated conversation with someone I could have one for free without having to pay for theatre seats (some of which are can be terribly uncomfortable). Clearly there are people out there with more money than sense.

One more, if you can bear it: a young couple discussing loudly how to work the lady's cameraphone. They wanted to take photographs during Wicked. Eurgh.

#9 There'sOnlyUs

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 09:33 PM

At a performance of Annie, a girl beside me brought a small electric fan that was on 80% of the show. She also sang along with most of the songs. And got up off her chair quite often, and also shouted quite alot to her mother who was sitting beside her as if she wasn't even there.

At another performance of Annie, a TEACHER, had a nice long phonecall with someone. Then after that she took out the biggest sandwich ever. It didn't smell too great either.

#10 Cathryn

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 09:37 PM

I wonder if it is a bit the type of show?  I've very rarely had this sort of problem, but I've don't often go to a musical (I quite like them, but tend to see them only when friends from NZ are in town, so they're a very small part of my theatre-going).  I wonder if these people are mostly tourists?

At the Donmar, say, or even the National, I can't imagine anyone coming in with a milkshake.  Glass of wine, maybe, but not a milkshake.  And I suspect anyone who tried taking photos or talking would just die from all the evil looks they'd get.  And at little fringe theatres, most of the audience are friends or very avid theatregoers, and anyway, the cast is almost in your lap, so it would be very unlikely.

Having said that, the RSC is normally full of tourists and schoolkids, and I can't remember any really bad behaviour there either.




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