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Badly Behaved Audiences


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#11 Legend

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 06:54 PM

QUOTE(Matthew Winn @ Jan 26 2008, 01:40 PM) View Post
I don't think they're doing it to be obnoxious, and they probably don't even realise that's what they're being. I've sat near people like that and they spend a load of time before the show talking very loudly about how often they've seen it, so it's my belief they're doing it because they think everyone else will be impressed that they've seen the show many times before.


Unfortunately, my partner and I had to put up with a particular obnoxious gentleman at one particular show who the moment he sat down interrupted our conversation to ask us if we had seen the show before and then proceeded to tell us how many times he had seen the show and how he had met all of the cast etc just to try and appear as some sort of expert. The bloke was a lamentable bore and we resorted to thumbing through the programme to try and avoid his witterings.

#12 Matthew Winn

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 07:21 PM

QUOTE(Legend @ Jan 26 2008, 06:54 PM) View Post
Unfortunately, my partner and I had to put up with a particular obnoxious gentleman at one particular show who the moment he sat down interrupted our conversation to ask us if we had seen the show before and then proceeded to tell us how many times he had seen the show and how he had met all of the cast etc just to try and appear as some sort of expert. The bloke was a lamentable bore and we resorted to thumbing through the programme to try and avoid his witterings.

Couldn't you have trumped him by telling him you used to be in the show, or in a different production of it if he's seen every cast of that particular production? Failing that, simply say:

"Don't worry. I'm sure you'll understand it eventually."
I have always hated eggs. I remember back when I was a sperm I tried to head-butt one. It did not end well.

#13 Abby

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 09:48 PM

I actually discovered a brand new irritant today when I went to see Othello - the audio described performance during which one or more people using headsets turn the volume up so loud that someone sitting three rows away can hear it. Hearing snatches of description while the strangling was going on was slightly distracting...

I also saw Wicked recently and had the same experience that others did. I wondered if the fact that the theatre is a bit of a barn contributed - it seemed much more suited to a concert, where it might be more acceptable to talk, sing along and walk in and out.

#14 Legend

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 10:37 PM

QUOTE(Abby @ Jan 26 2008, 09:48 PM) View Post
I actually discovered a brand new irritant today when I went to see Othello - the audio described performance during which one or more people using headsets turn the volume up so loud that someone sitting three rows away can hear it. Hearing snatches of description while the strangling was going on was slightly distracting...


I was at the NT watching Present Laughter a few weeks back and the old dear next to me was wearing a headset. For some reason she chose to take the headset off in the middle of act two whereupon it started to emit a loud buzzing noise to the annoyance of all of those around her whilst she of course was blissfully unaware.

Maybe this is going to sound ageist but I more often get annoyed by older theatre patrons than younger audience members.

#15 flying_free

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 04:12 PM

As someone who has seen Wicked numerous times since the first preview it does seem just lately that the screaming fangirls have invaded and we have tried pointing out to them just how annoying the high pitched screaming is but they seem to think it's an ok way to show their appreciation.
I've also had to deal with someone munching popcorn next to me and someone singing behind me, i think i tried shhing them 3 times before giving up. They must of thought they were really big or clever or something dry.gif

#16 Alnoor

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 05:41 PM

In response to Legend's post (14), I have often noticed that during a matinee some of the 'elderly audience' are in snoozeland.

#17 JWC

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 08:08 PM

Several comments on the audience "singing along". A number of the TV talent shows (interesting use of the word "talent") including, I believe, Joesph and Maria, have an option on the digital channel to hit the red button and have the lyrics displayed thus encouraging viewers to sing along with the performers. it's quite easy to see how such behaviour would easily transfer to the theatre with audience members (especially those who don't go often) believing it is perfectly in order to carry on in public as they do at home in private. Of course, it is also those shows that encouage the studio audience to whoop, holler and screech like they were being filmed by David Attenborough for a wildlife documentary. Monkey see, monkey do!

#18 Legend

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 08:30 AM

I was at a production of Les Misreables and there were a few empty seats to the side of me. During the interval a chap came to sit in one of the seats and we had a bit of a chat about the show. He seemed a thoroughly decent sort until he started humming and singing along to all of the songs during the second act. I did ask him to be quiet and he then proceeded to tap his knee and dance along to the music in his seat. Most annoying.  rolleyes.gif

#19 Backdrifter

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 11:14 AM

QUOTE(Legend @ Jan 26 2008, 10:37 PM) View Post
Maybe this is going to sound ageist but I more often get annoyed by older theatre patrons than younger audience members.

Always my contribution to these audience discussions. It's not ageist, it's just a statement of fact - in my experience, the elderly are by a LONG stretch the most annoying and consistently disruptive theatregoers.

I love going to Sat mats at the Hampstead; I walk up from Waterloo via Marylebone High St, enjoying the shops there and the market at the north end of the street (good for lunch), then on through Regent's Park and up to Swiss Cottage and the market outside the theatre. It's a lovely routine and I'd hate to lose it, but after my Sat mat the other day seeing The President's Holiday, I think I'm almost at the limits of my tolerance of the elderly audience's behaviour and might have to resort to week-night visits, as the Sat mats are mostly attended by the elderly and they're making it insufferable. What is it about so many of them that makes them think it's okay to speak audibly during performances?

Also, and I'm sure this won't be popular with some, I don't think any food or drink should be allowed in the auditorium. Wine stench, prolonged ice-cream-tub-scraping (some people seem to be levering off every last molecule of ice cream) and the aforementioned slow-sweet-unwrapping - I can do without all of them.

Get rid of those and then bar the elderly from attending, and things will start looking up.
Turn up the signal... wipe out the noise

#20 armadillo

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 11:33 AM

I'm with Backdrifter on this one. I don't work on Wednesday afternoons which you'd think would be ideal for a theatregoer. Matinee audiences at the NT do seem reasonably well-trained but the old dears at any WE plays or somewhere like Hampstead or Richmond are appalling. (And, as an aside, I have found this in Real Life too - it's the posh old ladies who pride themselves on their good manners who are often rudest to anyone they deem to be their social inferiors). I have no problem with school matinees if their teachers take a bit of trouble to tell them what is expected from them in the way of good behaviour and it's often refreshing to have them clap at a funny bit or gasp at something shocking or answer a rhetorical question in a soliloquy. And at least they don't clog up the bar, taking 10 minutes to decide what to drink as an impatient queue forms




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