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12 hours ago, graemew said:

I apologise if this has been mentioned before (it is rather a long thread to scan through) but why do people lean forward in their seats in the Ampi at ROH? Elbows on knees,  chins on palms and then the person behind can't see a thing. With normal behaviour the sight lines up there are some of the best.

The worst audiences for general behaviour seem to come along with the Russian summer visits. A higher percentage of casual holiday visitors perhaps?

 

 

I'm quite short and if I sit in the front row of the Amphi at the side (e.g. seat 80) with my back against the seat, I can't see half of the stage. That said, if I lean forward I make sure it's only enough for me to see.

Edited by aliceinwoolfland
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18 hours ago, zxDaveM said:

just give 'em a tap on the shoulder and ask them to lean back. 

 

8 hours ago, Sophoife said:

I quietly tapped the person on the shoulder only to have my wrist forcefully grabbed and my arm pulled...this person said "I will sit how I effing want to sit, you have no effing right to effing touch me I will effing have you for assault, now effing leave me alone and eff off."..I wish I had reported the person to the police as I did have a lovely bruise bracelet the next day.

 

Some people are horrible. We need to be careful, though. I witnessed a similarly unpleasant incident in the ROH amphitheatre last season - only it was the other way around, as it were. I'll summarise as briefly as I can.

 

A persistent sweet-wrapper rustler (throughout the whole first act) ignored all attempts by various people in neighbouring seats to shush her. So a man sitting behind tapped her on the shoulder. In the interval this really kicked off: the woman was screaming "assault" (that word again); her son said he would call the police; while the excellent staff tried to mediate, while clearly sympathising with the tapper rather than the tapped.

 

The ROH are doing everything they can to "open up": this inevitably brings people into the house who are at the other end of the spectrum of experience from the sit-quiet-and-behave regulars. I don't know what best to advise - nor do I know the current legal definition of assault - but fear we are in a difficult world.

 

Edited by Geoff
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We do indeed live in a very very difficult world, sadly. "Those" kind of people seem to be more and more in a majority, we are becoming a minority and more and more we keep quite for fear of aggressive verbal or physical behaviour and we put up with all sort of unreasonable, rude and purely selfish, even aggressive and threatening behaviour...and things are getting worse and worse :( 

 

I am already staying away from several theatres as I am not prepared to put up with such people nor to be confronted by such people.

The ROH for me is one of the few remaining theatres I still go to as the vast majority of people attending still have good manners.

I hope this doesn't change now that the ROH has "opened" up...(or shall I have to stay away from ROH too in the future if things deteriorate and "such" people are allowed to get away with it all?) 

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I’m afraid it is nothing new as over thirty years ago we were shopping in Cambridge and a male pushing a pushchair deliberating ran it over my huaband’s foot, hard. My husband is very easygoing but he said “That hurt!”. The tirade of abuse he received from the yob with the pushchair (which had an unfortunate infant in it) was utterly foul and inexplicable. Apparently it was all my husband’s fault. I’ve never forgotten it as it was so surreal and yet awful.

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3 hours ago, Geoff said:

The ROH are doing everything they can to "open up": this inevitably brings people into the house who are at the other end of the spectrum of experience from the sit-quiet-and-behave regulars.

Why we should assume that new attendees, that are encouraged by the open up project,  "inevitably" will be  badly behaved? You're saying you have to be a long-standing regular to the ROH in order to learn good manners?

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56 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

Why we should assume that new attendees, that are encouraged by the open up project,  "inevitably" will be  badly behaved? You're saying you have to be a long-standing regular to the ROH in order to learn good manners?

 

Not for the first time, Richard LH, you have twisted the meaning of what I wrote. I will be generous and assume you are not mischievous but just have a slim grasp of grammar. I'll leave it to others to fill in the rest, if they can be bothered.

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On reflection the person who assaulted me knew full well why they had been tapped on the shoulder: when they launched their tirade, I hadn't yet said even "Excuse me"! So obviously it was their habit, and they'd been told before they were inconveniencing others but didn't care, and were now tired of being interrupted. Probably all my fault for being a foot shorter, choosing a seat behind them, and having the temerity to want to actually see what I'd paid to see.

 

4 hours ago, Geoff said:

The ROH are doing everything they can to "open up": this inevitably brings people into the house who are at the other end of the spectrum of experience from the sit-quiet-and-behave regulars.

 

With reference to the above quote, I read it as saying that people will come into the house who are not the sit-quiet-and-behave regulars, but people who are less...is passive the right word, or maybe polite... about bad behaviour, meaning they will not hesitate to call it out!

 

1 hour ago, Richard LH said:

Why we should assume that new attendees, that are encouraged by the open up project,  "inevitably" will be  badly behaved? You're saying you have to be a long-standing regular to the ROH in order to learn good manners?

 

Now you've obviously taken the completely opposite meaning...isn't it interesting how we all interpret written language differently!

 

I got in a bit of a discussion on Twitter last year for taking what the OP then said loud and clear was the wrong meaning, and yet both of us had supporters in the sense that some saw the post the way I saw it, some the way the OP said it was. I agreed I may have misinterpreted, the OP agreed their response had been inflammatory and we all calmed down, but it certainly made me think.

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46 minutes ago, Geoff said:

 

Not for the first time, Richard LH, you have twisted the meaning of what I wrote. I will be generous and assume you are not mischievous but just have a slim grasp of grammar. I'll leave it to others to fill in the rest, if they can be bothered.

Geoff I am certainly not being mischievous and I am perfectly prepared to acknowledge if I have misunderstood what you said. Are you able to explain further, please? I am unaware, by the way, of what you mean by "not for the first time".

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I am going to be a damp squib and ask that this diversion from the discussion on the thread be curtailed now.  Thank you. 

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18 hours ago, Xandra Newman said:

The ROH for me is one of the few remaining theatres I still go to as the vast majority of people attending still have good manners.

I hope this doesn't change now that the ROH has "opened" up...(or shall I have to stay away from ROH too in the future if things deteriorate and "such" people are allowed to get away with it all?) 

I too hope for no such outcome, Xandra.  I am rather a newbie myself, and  have felt very welcomed when chatting with longer-established ballet goers at the venue. It seems a lovely atmosphere, to date, and as you say I am sure the  vast majority attend with good manners and theatre etiquette. But there must be a turnover of newer, occasional, and longer-standing attendees the whole time, and I don't  see why the current "opening up" project, in particular,  should be expected to attract ruder people to watch ballet at the ROH. 

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So sorry you had that horrible experience Sophoife .....what a nasty person you had to deal with.....and then to see another post that's its happenening at the ROH!! Oh dear can hardly believe that ....a very unfortunate sign of our times ......as it seems people today are a bit more generally "angry "than they used to be....

Personally I do think this is a Theatre Management issue in the sense that you should be able to go to an Usher and get them to deal with the problem properly so it becomes a little less personal etc.  Of course it's ridiculous to think of tapping someone lightly on the shoulder as assault ....a misuse of Language to me ......though no doubt just giving someone the evil eye will soon be classed as assault!! But it's probably advisable not to touch people these days however provoked. If the Theatre Management was really efficient and on the ball then perhaps there would be better behaviour generally in theatres as people might realise they could be asked to leave if being very uncooperative etc! 

On a lighter note and talking of being tactile I was staying with friends a couple of weeks ago and in moment of gest in the conversation hit my friend on the arm ( we have known each other for 50 years my excuse!) only for her to exclaim "ow I've just had my flu jab this morning" I felt terrible of course but luckily it only hurt momentarily. In fact she said it was the first time her jab had reacted in this way as had never had a sore arm afterwards in previous years. Anyway I was then roundly berated by them both for yet not again having had  this flu jab!! 

I suppose the thing is you never know if you touch someone if you are literally touching a physical sore point though I'm sure it's mostly their ignorance you are touching in these types of situations. 

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Here is an extract from a memoir by Joseph Wechsberg (the writer and opera-lover probably best known for his lovely book “Looking For A Bluebird”) who writes in “The Vienna I Knew” of his first visit to the Vienna Opera in 1923:

 

”The audience was incredible. Fat men and vulgar women in the boxes, overdressed and unkempt...They talked and coughed through the arias. During the intermission following the first act, when most people remained in their seats, I watched an improbable couple in the parterre box next to me. They opened small packages containing rolls with sausage, peeled the sausage skins off with their teeth, and threw the skins into the stalls. A man in front of me got angry and threw the skins back at them, and everybody laughed...The real opera lovers were up in the galleries, but I didn’t know it then.”

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On Wednesday evening, a young woman in the front row of the Amphi at the ROH, some way to the side, not only leaned a long way forward in her seat but also then proceeded to pull a long strand of her (long) hair out to the front, literally as far as she could stretch her arm, AND THEN LEFT HER ARM THERE!!! Every now and then she'd pull the hair back and take another strand off for a walk out front. So her arm clutching a strand of hair was permanently just sticking way out into the auditorium. Absolutely bizarre. Totally distracted me (and I'm sure others) from the beginning of Les Patineurs, so it was really very annoying. Unfortunately no-one behind her called her to order; fortunately, an usher saw what was happening and did intervene in the end.

 

I ask you.

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On Tuesday evening, side amphi, a young man in the row in front of us leaned forward quite a way, blocking a few people behind him.  The lady next to me tapped him on the shoulder and politely asked him to lean back, saying he was blocking her view.  He just dismissed her with a wave of his hand.  A few minutes later, she did the same thing, a bit more sternly this time.  He very grudgingly sat back, but not before he turned around and said to her "you should adjust yourself."  English was not his first language.  She and I then said we can't adjust ourselves, and why should we just to accommodate him?   In the same seat, in Bayadere, there was a woman doing the same thing.  She had clearly swapped from somewhere else with a friend for the Shades scene.  I asked her about four times to lean back, and she ignored me.  I was at the end of the row so I went to ask the usher to intervene.  She did, but the woman still refused to move.  When the lights came up, I told her in no uncertain terms what I thought of her, and in the next act her friend was back in the seat.  I don't understand how people can be so selfish and self-centred....."I don't care about anyone around me and if they are inconvenienced, as long as I can see who cares whether they can or not?"   Gggrrrrrr.

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Well done for speaking up.  It is tricky sometimes- I often feel, especially if with a friend,   a reluctance to  ' spoil the evening'  with any 'unpleasantness' but- of course this selfish behaviour is already spoiling the evening..and they need to be told.

I was very tempted to speak to the people whose little girl was sitting with her shoes on the seat in front yesterday- ! - but I was cowardly and didn't....

 

I saw the usher come and speak to the woman with a lot of hair which she was combing over the theatre in a bizarre fashion, bridiem- it was distracting even from the other side of the amphi!

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This,afternoon the little girl sitting a couple of seats as from me in Side SC leant forward a little bit. But she was perfectly well behaved and I will forgive it in a child. Adults should know better or at least understand the sight line problems in the ROH

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I think the trouble is that unless you go fairly regularly, and travel around the amphitheatre, you may not realize what the sightline problems are.

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So when the problem is politely pointed out, people should then sit back.  

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I'm breaking off whilst doing Links to insert this review of a performance of "Messiah" in Houston, conducted by the wonderful Dr Jane Glover.  A 'seating dispute' broke out during, of all things, 'I know that my Redeemer liveth.'  Who would perpetrate such a thing, and so late in the concert?

 

https://www.chron.com/entertainment/arts-theater/article/Houston-Symphony-delivers-magnificent-13488699.php

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Ian Macmillan said:

I'm breaking off whilst doing Links to insert this review of a performance of "Messiah" in Houston, conducted by the wonderful Dr Jane Glover.  A 'seating dispute' broke out during, of all things, 'I know that my Redeemer liveth.'  Who would perpetrate such a thing, and so late in the concert?

 

https://www.chron.com/entertainment/arts-theater/article/Houston-Symphony-delivers-magnificent-13488699.php

 

 

 

Thanks Ian - bizarre, but it's also a brilliant review of The Messiah! And thank you for doing the Links even on Christmas morning!

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Gosh how irreverent!  I always wondered what became of Jane Glover.  Thanks Ian!  

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Sim: I'm delighted to see she's still conducting - and writing.  Her "Handel in London" was published this year, and she was reading excerpts on Radio 4's 9-45 am book slot a couple of weeks ago.  I first saw her conducting a performance of Haydn's Seasons at the Festival Hall some 30 years ago - what a sinuous back!!

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I hate the urge of some spanish speaking people to communicate at decibels slightly louder than a freight train. Especially great when they surround you in a last minute reseating manoeuvre and then succeed in entirely drowning out the second act overture at ENB's swan lake, merry shouting across 2 rows.

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Examples of good and bad audience behaviour both witnessed on Monday in the front row of the stalls at the ROH (for La Traviata):

 

1) Before it started I became aware of the lady behind me to my left who was wearing noisy bangles.  Much to my astonishment, as the conductor entered she pushed them up onto her sleeves to keep them still and quiet!

 

2) During the scene change in Act 2, during which the conductor remains in place, the people immediately behind me were talking about what they thought of the various performers, including some quite critical remarks about the conductor, as if he wasn't well within earshot!  (Edited to add that he was literally directly in front of them.)

Edited by RuthE
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21 minutes ago, RuthE said:

Examples of good and bad audience behaviour both witnessed on Monday in the front row of the stalls at the ROH (for La Traviata):

 

1) Before it started I became aware of the lady behind me to my left who was wearing noisy bangles.  Much to my astonishment, as the conductor entered she pushed them up onto her sleeves to keep them still and quiet!

 

2) During the scene change in Act 2, during which the conductor remains in place, the people immediately behind me were talking about what they thought of the various performers, including some quite critical remarks about the conductor, as if he wasn't well within earshot!  (Edited to add that he was literally directly in front of them.)

 

That's a good example of people who are completely aware of where they are and considerate towards the people around them, and people who have no awareness or consideration at all and/or appear to think that they're still at home.

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A pity the conductor didn't turn around and ask if either of them would like to take over!!

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To the person sitting in the ROH amphitheatre on Wednesday (13th Feb) with the device that peep peeped an alarm loudly at regular intervals.

 

Next time, make sure you turn the bl***y thing off completely.  And consider yourself very lucky that I didn't track you down and crush the offending item under the substantial heel of my boot. 

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