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It might have been helpful if the presenters of the live screening could have talked about this interlude and the importance of listening carefully to the music. An opportunity missed there.

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I think some tourists talk also, Bruce! We (loosely defined as the offenders detailed in previous posts) are not alone in talking during these 'music is playing' moments I'm sure.

 

Vigilant ushers can only do so much. At the first SB I watched in this run, an usher dashed down the stalls aisle three times to tell the same person to stop photographing or filming the show. Often the culprits don't care and carry on!

 

In China I read that they shine lasers on those talking, but it'd be like Woolf Works all over again if they did it in Sleeping Beauty! ????

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Yes, Mab, it was. I was in the SCS and the noise was incredible. A few seconds in I tried a fairly loud "ssshhh" but just got stared at incredulously..... the house lights should NOT go up at all.

 

I think that's key - if they didn't have the lights on the curtain, people wouldn't get the subliminal message that it's some sort of pause/intermission.

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It really was deafening last night. I started fantasising about whistling loudly and then shouting 'Quiet, orchestra playing'. I wonder whether I'd be thrown out if I did that. Restrained myself to a shush when the curtain went up.

 

I am imaginig this SO vividly now. :-D

 

I remember a Nutcracker matinee somewhere else where a lot of schoolchildren were so noisy during the ouverture that the conductor stopped and lectured the audience about what an ouverture is and why one has to sit silently and listen.

Then the music resumed and everybody was quiet.

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Wouldn't it be relatively straightforward to project very large and simple messages onto the curtain?  "Please switch all mobiles off now" 5 minutes before curtain up etc.  Or in extremis "The music is still paying for God's sake so just SHUT UP!!"

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I don't understand all this stuff about not turning off mobiles at the theatre and the ROH. It is mandatory at cinemas which always have a trailer in the advert. We now watch ballet via live link and I only look at my phone during the interval and only then to see if the ballet is trending on Twitter or what my ballet friends are saying about it.

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Was at BRBs lovely CInderella at The Lowry last night - a lot of very noisy sweet wrappings being rustled grrrrrr why can; they eat them in the interval and not at the quietest part of the music.

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I think it has been so bad at this current run of SB, that in the future, there should be a recorded announcement just before the curtain rises on Act 2, to say:  "There is no interval between Acts 2 & 3, the curtain will remain closed for 3 minutes (or whatever), the orchestra will continue to play, and that this is all part of the performance.  Members of the audience should refrain from talking, shouting, laughing, using mobile phones, throwing things at the people below, enjoying a picnic lunch or dinner, having sex or any of the other activities they normally do when they have three minutes to spare with nothing to see.".

 

Well, ok, maybe they could leave out the bit about having a picnic.  Might take longer than 3 minutes. 

Edited by Fonty
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Was at BRBs lovely CInderella at The Lowry last night - a lot of very noisy sweet wrappings being rustled grrrrrr why can; they eat them in the interval and not at the quietest part of the music.

 

I was there too and was surprised at the number of very young children at an evening performance. Also the number of people that came in late and were allowed to disrupt whole rows.

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Strawberyy I was there too and had the same thought as you about the number of very young children, especially considering the ballet didn't end until 10 pm. I've not seen so many children even at Nutcrackers. I imagine the title 'Cinderella' has connotations of Disney/Panto and might attract family audiences who don't quite know the ballet, and if that is the case, and some of them did not quite get what they expected, they may yet have enjoyed the brilliant performance. I must admit it was good to see the Lowry so full, and although I am naturally a disapproving grump, I did not see directly any bad behaviour from the children. Late arrivals in my section were dealt with discreetly by the Lowry volunteers and were not allowed to disturb full rows, sorry to hear this was not the case for you.

 

Indulging a bit more in my disapproval, the lack of rules and discipline, especially for children I must admit irritates me. Since the dawn of 24 hour supermarkets I often shop late (avoiding the hell of family rush hour with children running around the aisles) but nonetheless see adults with very young children there after 10 pm. I must confess this irritates me, it seems to be to show a casual disregard for discipline and a kind of selfish laziness. I try to remind myself that society is now very different to even 20 years ago, including economic pressures on parents leading to odd and difficult working patterns and knock on effects on childrens' upbringing. But then you see a child being allowed to play a loud harmonica as they are wheeled round the supermarket, with the adult seeming to have no concept that this might be annoying to other people .... I'd better not get started ... 

 

And yes Don Q Fan I was slightly aware of the rustling sweet wrappers but to be honest the ballet was so enthralling it hardly bothered me. And it's probably a case of confirmation bias, but why do the people who have seats in the middle of long rows always turn up last and make everyone stand up for them ?

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I asked the cashier in Asda why there were so many people very young children in the shop after midnight one night, when I was doing some late night shopping, and she said that it was because their benefits were paid online at midnight, and they had to come and get some food, and so had to bring the children. People really do live hand to mouth these days.... :(

Edited by cavycapers
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I witnessed some extremely selfish behaviour at the back of the Amphi in Sleeping Beauty last night. A large man kept leaning really far forwards and was obstructing the woman's view in the row behind him. She, her friend (they swapped places) and two ushers asked him politely to sit back. Having been asked a couple of  times he began to applaud with his hands held as far above his head as possible.The poor women ended up standing on the stairs so that they could see the last act. I was fascinated by Osipova's performance, but perhaps this and also a lady energetically fanning herself (it was warm up there) made the last act a bit of an anti- climax for me. I was just so distracted. There was a bit of chatter and 'shushes' during the pause. There were also some flashing mobile phones (despair!). The lyrics 'check your mobile phone, now!' fit in really well to the music here btw. I'm beginning to think that we will have to demand special performances where audience members sign contracts which include no phones, eating, drinking (unless cough has developed, but please no need to crunch your water bottle loudly and repeatedly as if you wish to help out the orchestra) etc. Okay, got that off my chest. Please don't get me started on the Coliseum audiences during ENB's sacred Giselle in January!

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Apropos back of the amphi, I have a question, also relating to last night SB but not only last night. At the start of the garland dance (not my favourite part of the ballet but that is another subject) there is introductory moving around, which finishes with the corps lined up in two diagonal rows. Last night - but not only last night - the back of the amphi, and no other part of the house, applauded this, even though it was not the end of anything, rather a brief break before "the start of the dance".

 

And when I say it was the back of the amphi, I don't mean eight people, I mean most of those rows, a whole section of the auditorium.

 

What is it that they are seeing - or think they are seeing - from back there that the rest of us are not seeing?

 

(Please move this to the SB thread if people feel that is the better place)

Edited by Geoff
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I don't understand all this stuff about not turning off mobiles at the theatre and the ROH. It is mandatory at cinemas which always have a trailer in the advert. We now watch ballet via live link and I only look at my phone during the interval and only then to see if the ballet is trending on Twitter or what my ballet friends are saying about it.

In my experience many leave their phone on at the cinema. They can't possibly miss out on that all important picture of someones dinner on Facebook.

 

We're in the throws of a zombie plague and it's only going to get worse!

 

10 Signs Of The Smartphone Zombie Plague - Listverse

Young people "get post-traumatic stress" when separated from their mobiles | Metro News

 

As a none mobile user, I feel quite blessed!

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Indulging a bit more in my disapproval, the lack of rules and discipline, especially for children I must admit irritates me. Since the dawn of 24 hour supermarkets I often shop late (avoiding the hell of family rush hour with children running around the aisles) but nonetheless see adults with very young children there after 10 pm. I must confess this irritates me, it seems to be to show a casual disregard for discipline and a kind of selfish laziness. I try to remind myself that society is now very different to even 20 years ago, including economic pressures on parents leading to odd and difficult working patterns and knock on effects on childrens' upbringing. But then you see a child being allowed to play a loud harmonica as they are wheeled round the supermarket, with the adult seeming to have no concept that this might be annoying to other people .... I'd better not get started ... 

 

Very young kids is ok, might be the only chance the parents and kids have to see each other after long shifts and long travel times, and depending on child minding arrangements the kids may very well be getting enough sleep during the day. School age kids is more worrying though, but again people end up with no good options. The joys of immensely rich societies who like to pretend to be too poor to look after our people. 

 

I can see why stressed, exhausted, slightly desperate (and shopping when you can't afford to buy the kids what you'd like is a horrible feeling even when it's temporary, never mind a permanent state) people might not be too tuned into how their children's musical talents are affecting others.

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Another member of Team Terpsichore, has just returned from Florida where she saw the Miami City Ballet perform a triple bill consisting of Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Wheeldon's Polyphonia and a new ballet specially commissioned for the company from Ratmansky called The Fairy's Kiss at West Palm Beach.

 

My colleague enjoyed the review very much and I have just posted her review to our blog but she complained that the auditorium emptied as the artists were taking their curtain call.  She was shocked as would I have been.   As she put it in her article:
 

"I can think of nothing more demoralizing for an artist who has danced his or her heart out than to face rows of empty seats or the backsides of retreating patrons. These are some of the best dancers in the world. They have spent years at ballet school giving up many of the pleasures that other children and teenagers enjoy in order to perfect their art. They have competed against the best in the world and somehow found their way into a very tough and very competitive profession. They deserve respect and in most other theatres of the world I am sure that they would get it."

 

I like to think the artists would get the respect they deserve in most theatres in North America but it is many years since I last visited the USA and things may have changed.  Is this a case of tempora and mores or is it just the way they do things in West Palm Beach?

Edited by terpsichore
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I have been thinking of ways the management of the theatre in West Palm Beach that I mentioned in my previous post could discourage its patrons from flouncing out of the auditorium while the dancers are still taking their curtain calls.

  • It could send its valet parking staff off for a coffee break until after the reverence had finished.
  • It could charge a supplemental fee for retrieval of a parked car before the performance had finished approximately equal to a generous bouquet of flowers and apply the proceeds of such fee for that purpose.

Any other suggestions?

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Good to see a letter in The Times today complaining about the antics of the phone users and photo takers at the ROH on 1 March. Not so good to read that the correspondent has received no response from Kevin O'Hare, to whom the letter was sent. I suspect that theatres have got to the stage where they accept there is little they can do.

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A contributor to coughing in the auditorium at Sadlers Wells must be the siting of the air conditioning inlets above where all the nicotine addicts rush out at the intervals to have a cigarette - it sucks the smoke straight into both the foyer and the auditorium. It really stank of smoke on my last visit.  It would make sense to have no smoking zones and explanatory notices that channel the smoke a short distance away from the immediate front of the theatre...

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[T]he auditorium emptied as the artists were taking their curtain call.  She was shocked as would I have been.   As she put it in her article:

 

s it just the way they do things in West Palm Beach?

 

My experience with Kravis Center in West Palm Beach is that many, if not most, of the patrons are elderly.  After all, West Palm Beach, as well as other Florida locations, have several retirement communities.  I simply assumed that the elderly leave for an early dinner or go home to rest.

 

I have been thinking of ways the management of the theatre in West Palm Beach that I mentioned in my previous post could discourage its patrons from flouncing out of the auditorium while the dancers are still taking their curtain calls.

  • It could send its valet parking staff off for a coffee break until after the reverence had finished.
  • It could charge a supplemental fee for retrieval of a parked car before the performance had finished approximately equal to a generous bouquet of flowers and apply the proceeds of such fee for that purpose.

Any other suggestions?

 

Often times, I, too, criticize those who leave a performance early.  But, in my mind, Kravis Center is an exception.  Live and let live in West Palm Beach.

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Is all of five minutes extra of the audience's time really so precious that they can't exercise basic courtesy, though? I don't see why that should apply more at one venue than another.

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Good to see a letter in The Times today complaining about the antics of the phone users and photo takers at the ROH on 1 March. Not so good to read that the correspondent has received no response from Kevin O'Hare, to whom the letter was sent. I suspect that theatres have got to the stage where they accept there is little they can do.

Can you give us the gist?  What was on March 1?

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Pleasantly surprised by a well behaved audience at the Sheffield Lyceum yesterday afternoon. Pretty much a full house I think. There was a pre curtain up crystal clear announcement about use of phones and cameras being forbidden, which could not have left anyone in any doubt, even the most determinedly entitled. There was a bit of coughing but I think the performance had people drawn in from the off. It was one of those times the atmosphere was obviously one of rapt attention. Even the woman next to me didn't touch her rustly sweets more than twice.

I was in the circle, watching people coming in as you do. Well, I do. A woman came in wearing a rather elaborate goth outfit, complete with top hat. Luckily she was seated somewhere behind me. Surely she would have been obliged to remove that hat for the benefit of whoever was unlucky enough to be sitting behind her.

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No doubt this has already been covered but what do you do when folk lean forward in ROH Stalls Circle, arms on finger boards and head in hands?  Immediately 50 per cent of the stage view is lost for those sitting close by and no doubt there is massive obstruction for those in rows B, C and D.  We had great Row A seats for Jewels Matinee, including an aisle seat, but folk the other side of the aisle seemed either to have no spatial awareness or considered that they could sit forward and obstruct others' views as of right.  

 

We we did ask them to sit back (which they did) but the glares were not pleasant.  Had we waited for an interval to ask front of house staff to intervene we would have missed virtually a whole Act.  Has rather spoiled what was a wonderful performance.

 

I have contacted the ROH to pass on my concerns and have suggested including messages on tickets or in situ about respecting others etc but it's disappointing that we now seem to have to remind folk of the need for common courtesies.

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