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32 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

 a loudly ticking watch

 

At a recent performance of Romeo and Juliet I was standing next to someone with the loudest and most irritating watch I’ve ever heard. It didn’t help that they kept resting their head in their hands so the watch was basically tick-tocking in my ear the whole time. I have the hearing of a bat, though, so I put it down to that. 

On the other side of me was a girl who kept fiddling with her phone throughout. I don’t know if she was surreptitiously trying to take photos or film as she had it well hidden until all of a sudden it flashed! Then she got it out to check messages. I let it go the first time but the second time she got it out I reached for the phone and would have happily “confiscated” it if my reaction hadn’t made her quickly put it away. 

 

Other audible audience disruption doesn’t worry me so much but then I find it fairly easy to ignore; I know others don’t. There was a small child chattering away during another recent performance. I’d zoned the sound out until another audience member sitting many seats away from the child decided to shush them very loudly at a critical point in the ballet. I’m sure most of the auditorium heard it. It was that abrupt and loud reaction, rather than the ongoing sound of the child, that brought me right out of my reverie and completely ruined the moment. 

 

Do other audience members get annoyed by other audience members getting annoyed at other audience members? Or is it just me? 😤🤫😆 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Thalia said:

 Do other audience members get annoyed by other audience members getting annoyed at other audience members? Or is it just me? 😤🤫😆 

 

Not just you!

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36 minutes ago, Thalia said:

Do other audience members get annoyed by other audience members getting annoyed at other audience members? Or is it just me? 😤🤫😆 

 

 

 

I think that if you are unable to accurately throw somebody else's programme at them you should try not to end up startling even more people with your sudden outburst

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At yesterday's R&J matinee, the person sitting two away from me was taking photos throughout the performance. If they appear on Instagram I shall be tempted to call her out.

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6 minutes ago, capybara said:

At yesterday's R&J matinee, the person sitting two away from me was taking photos throughout the performance. If they appear on Instagram I shall be tempted to call her out.

 

 

Several performances ago, when I had a stalls circle standing place towards the back I did see someone near the back of the stalls trying to take a phone pic and the usher spotted it pretty quickly, but the would be snapper was quite central in the row so it took what felt like ages for the usher to get their attention

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Because of the prices (although the RB is catching up fast!) I'm watching The Bolshoi from an area of the ROH where I don't usually sit and which seems occupied by people who just HAVE to leave the moment the first curtain comes down. This is fair enough when one is on the end of a row and can do it surreptitiously but I can't get with all the pushing past which goes on around me.

OK - Spartacus is a long ballet, can overrun, and trains are calling. But Swan Lake and, especially, The Bright Stream are relatively short (only one interval), the latter finishing at least 10 minutes ahead of the website notification. And matinees - what's the rush? I don't like being 'required' to make way for people as I feel implicated in the discourtesy to the dancers. Indeed, such was the 'push' after one performance of The Bright Stream that I felt I had no alternative but to be swept out as well.

For me, sitting and applauding (and sometimes cheering) is part of the overall experience. I want to respect and acknowledge the dancers and there are occasions when I need a moment  to calm down or to reflect.  I feel that I have been deprived of that this Bolshoi season.

 

 

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I agree @capybara - it’s one thing discreetly leaving (still a bit rude to the dancers, at least stay a little bit even if you can’t for numerous red runs! But understand people have transport issues) but another to actively shove past and look annoyed at people/make others move who want to stay and clap. 

 

If you don’t want to stay till the curtain calls, I think you should book an aisle seat. Otherwise suck it up and stay (unless it is going on for much longer than planned in which case I think it’s ok to politely make a move to leave). 

 

I do think people don’t realise the way ballet curtain calls (RB in particular, I don’t think ENB ones are as long) work if you’re new. The ones in theatre productions are over fairly quickly, so ballet can seem an age for those unfamiliar. I have to say I thought the Bolshoi ones were over quickly in comparison to RB which can sometimes have numerous red runs. I have taken a friend once who complained how long they lasted and automatically moved to leave before they finished so I had to follow her and I felt really bad about it as I wanted to appreciate the dancers - but the only option was staying and letting her leave alone or ordering her to stay! (Although we didn’t have to move past people to leave at least.) Others I have taken to the ballet seem quite happy to stay till the end of curtain calls as they have appreciated the performance! 

 

I think ROH already do this but they should ensure that timing runs smoothly and end time includes curtain calls so people can plan ahead. I get annoyed when start times are delayed because people have seemingly not managed to take seats in time (although there may be other backstage things I’m not aware of) - I think of everyone is seated promptly after intervals too so the performance starts/finishes on time there is no reason why people shouldn’t stay for timed curtain calls. 

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Yes sometimes there are some annoying delays at intervals which I hope are due to technical probs or dancing issues as when that five or ten minute call  goes out I'm usually back in my seat reasonably promptly even when dashing from one part of the theatre to another if trying to meet friends etc 

But some are still sauntering in after its supposed to have started ....worse those who dash in as the lights are going down! At least thankfully at the ROH still you don't have to worry about people spilling drinks on you as they are doing last minute dashes to seats!

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1 hour ago, JNC said:

get annoyed when start times are delayed because people have seemingly not managed to take seats in time (although there may be other backstage things I’m not aware of) - I think of everyone is seated promptly after intervals too so the performance starts/finishes on time there is no reason why people shouldn’t stay for timed curtain calls. 

 

If this is getting worse, than I fear the ROH have only themselves to blame as they very rarely start on time even if everyone is seated. People get wise to this and cut it increasingly fine - I know this because I was one of those people in Moscow, where you could rely on any performance anywhere to start at least 5 minutes late.

 

2 hours ago, capybara said:

Because of the prices (although the RB is catching up fast!) I'm watching The Bolshoi from an area of the ROH where I don't usually sit and which seems occupied by people who just HAVE to leave the moment the first curtain comes down.

 

If it's the Amphi, this might be because the exits from most parts are woefully inadequate for the number of people and if they are mostly regulars they are trying to get ahead of the very slow-moving crowd. Not that this excuses it, but perhaps it might explain it.

 

1 hour ago, JNC said:

If you don’t want to stay till the curtain calls, I think you should book an aisle seat.

 

Not always possible, especially as finish times are seemingly becoming harder to come by with the RB and I don't think were available when booking opened for the Bolshoi either. (I seem to recall looking for guidance from the Bolshoi's own website.)

 

2 hours ago, capybara said:

But Swan Lake and, especially, The Bright Stream are relatively short (only one interval), the latter finishing at least 10 minutes ahead of the website notification.

 

When trains are infrequent (one an hour or fewer) if there's a chance to get an earlier one, you take it! I was one of those who legged it at the end of Bright Stream - though as I was standing I disturbed no-one and I checked in briefly at the lower levels to applaud - because I saw a rare opportunity to get home at half past midnight rather than two in the morning on a week night.

 

I understand the annoyance, and not everyone will have a good reason to leave so hastily, but some at least of us do it because it's the only way we can watch so frequently and be sentient at work the next day and/or avoid the expense of a hotel for the night.

 

 

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@Lizbie1 you raise a lot of valid points. I do take for granted sometimes I live in a central London area so it doesn’t take me as long to get home as others. 

 

I wonder why ballet/opera traditionally starts at 7.30 rather than 7pm for example? Surely 7pm still facilitates time for people to come from work and grab a quick bite to eat? And then it would finish half an hour earlier which would be appreciated by those travelling far, as well as those more local as presumably no one would complain about an earlier finish? Surely dancers/orchestra wouldn’t mind this either? 

 

I can understand if there is a weekday matinee and they want to give a bit more rest, but there aren’t that many matinees (?) and sometimes they do have early start performances at 7pm, so you could reverse it and say the norm would be a 7pm start and then have the odd ‘later’ start at 7.30pm if there’s a matinee (more likely on Saturdays meaning there is less of an issue for work the next day with a later finish?). 

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1 hour ago, LinMM said:

 At least thankfully at the ROH still you don't have to worry about people spilling drinks on you as they are doing last minute dashes to seats!

 

Quite! Very glad that ROH don’t allow food/drink into the theatre and hope this remains the policy indefinitely, I can’t bear those who rustle and eat during a performance and those drinks in plastic cups are a spillage risk as well as depressing me by being single use plastic creating unnecessary waste and making the auditorium of some theatres smell like booze and cheap nightclubs/pubs. Much nicer to have a drink in a proper glass at intervals (if you want one) I think. 

 

Sorry perhaps a bit harsh but I really think going to the ballet/theatre is a special experience and a ‘treat’ (even if you go regularly) and therefore try to appreciate and respect the performance and surrounding audience as much as possible. Most audience members at the ROH I will add are perfectly behaved (not that ones in other venues aren’t, I just tend to frequent the ROH most). 

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12 minutes ago, JNC said:

 

I wonder why ballet/opera traditionally starts at 7.30 rather than 7pm for example? Surely 7pm still facilitates time for people to come from work and grab a quick bite to eat? And then it would finish half an hour earlier which would be appreciated by those travelling far, as well as those more local as presumably no one would complain about an earlier finish? Surely dancers/orchestra wouldn’t mind this either? 

 

 

Perhaps its to give time to dancers to grab a bite to eat (or a quick nap!) between afternoon rehearsals finishing, and getting ready for a performance

 

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6 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

 

Perhaps its to give time to dancers to grab a bite to eat (or a quick nap!) between afternoon rehearsals finishing, and getting ready for a performance

 

 

Yes of course wouldn't want this time to be cut - but surely if the performances finished earlier the whole day (from their morning rehearsals etc) would start earlier, i.e. just shifting their entire schedule by 30 mins? Certainly am not suggesting we remove dancers' break/rest time! 

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No, I didn’t think you were. Just the day is structured that way, so they don’t have to commute at peak times (and after a late finish if there was a performance the night before) so class starts at 10.30 and they go on from there. Think operas start earlier if necessary, to end before 10.30pm to avoid orchestra overtime! 

Overall though, a 10.30pm finish isn’t that late compared to many things - when I went to gigs in Camden in my day, it was often a near midnight finish and a mad dash for the tube to get the train home at Victoria - and was often missed!

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10 hours ago, capybara said:

Because of the prices (although the RB is catching up fast!) I'm watching The Bolshoi from an area of the ROH where I don't usually sit and which seems occupied by people who just HAVE to leave the moment the first curtain comes down. This is fair enough when one is on the end of a row and can do it surreptitiously but I can't get with all the pushing past which goes on around me.

OK - Spartacus is a long ballet, can overrun, and trains are calling. But Swan Lake and, especially, The Bright Stream are relatively short (only one interval), the latter finishing at least 10 minutes ahead of the website notification. And matinees - what's the rush? I don't like being 'required' to make way for people as I feel implicated in the discourtesy to the dancers. Indeed, such was the 'push' after one performance of The Bright Stream that I felt I had no alternative but to be swept out as well.

For me, sitting and applauding (and sometimes cheering) is part of the overall experience. I want to respect and acknowledge the dancers and there are occasions when I need a moment  to calm down or to reflect.  I feel that I have been deprived of that this Bolshoi season.

 

 

I am one of those annoying people who have to leave promptly to catch a train. I don't like doing it. I would dearly love to stay to the end & show my appreciation to the dancers. I very rarely book mid week evening performances as my last train leaves at 10.15. However, the Bright Stream being a relatively short ballet was ideal  so I thought. The cast sheet stated that the performance would end at approximately 9.20 which would have given me plenty of time to reach Victoria. However it was 9.40 when I left the opera house. I ran all the way down to the Strand for a bus which took a long time to arrive. I got to Victoria at about 10.11 & it is a very long walk to the platform! I had to run to catch my train & I made it with about 2 minutes to spare. At the age of nearly 70 I do not need this stress. It would be so helpful if performances could start a little earlier. I know I am not the only one who has this problem. 

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I am extraordinarily lucky at the moment in that I can stay in a friend's flat in London if performances finish late.

If I had to get back to Brighton I would have to be on a 10.30 train latest or I miss the last bus connection....I live four and a half miles from the centre....and then would have a very expensive taxi fare back. 

It's just too stressful at my age to be running and worrying about catching trains it started to affect my health before I stopped all this rushing when I could stay.

i have no problems with early leavers if they do their dash and leave quickly .....it's the dawdle leavers who can be annoying who start walking out  and then decide to stop and clap right in front of you!! 

But at intervals there is really no excuse for getting back to seat when the lights are already going down!

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1 hour ago, SusanR said:

It would be so helpful if performances could start a little earlier. I know I am not the only one who has this problem. 

 

I completely agree with you, SusanR

 

11 minutes ago, LinMM said:

I have no problems with early leavers if they do their dash and leave quickly .................

 

I agree with you about this, also.

 

I'm wondering whether one of the problems with the Bolshoi is that the curtain goes up again more quickly than is usual for the RB and there is therefore less time for quick getaways?

 

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As I have been called out for the heinous crime of leaving the ballet early, I would like to tell you of things that annoyed me on Thursday. The woman in the row in front of me who had backcombed her hair, meaning there were times when I couldn't see the dancers feet because of her hair. The couple next to me ( bench seat in the stalls circle ), the woman invading my space, the man guffawing loudly & the pair of them making comments throughout! On other occasions I have had to put up with audience members breathing their garlic breath in my direction & once, a man tapping his feet & humming along to the orchestra.

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Susan, can you not use the tube?  I'd normally expect to be back at Victoria well within 20 minutes that way.  Embankment to Victoria takes 5 minutes normally, even if you don't want to use the Piccadilly line.

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Yes, Alison I do use the tube, but as I don't live in London, I only top up my oyster card as & when I need it. On Thursday I tried to top up but there was something wrong on the website & I couldn't do so! I made the decision to use the bus which was a mistake. I was very stressed as I live between Littlehampton & Worthing & I really needed to catch that last train. At my station there are no taxis or buses & I have a 20 minute walk home. I am dedicated to my art. I usually only go to evening performances on a Saturday, when there is a later train. Honestly, in the 21st century you would think that travelling a mere 50 odd miles home would be a breeze!

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There is a local taxi firm that if I wanted to get a taxi to meet a particular train I could forewarn them and they would be waiting ....they are marginally cheaper than the Brighton taxis at the station ....but still fifteen or sixteen pounds! 

I was just thinking SusanR that although there isn't a taxi rank as it were at your station if you know of some local firm that you could arrange to pick you up? Of course there would be the expense of a taxi but could be for those occasions when you've just had to be on a later train.

If I couldn't stay in London I would end up only doing the sat matinees especially in the winter.

So be great if on a bit more of a regular basis some performances could start at 7 pm and there was at least one matinee on a week day as well as Saturday. 

Gosh I do sound a bit of a grumpy old Jo ...well haven't slept properly for about four nights ......but people do come into London because otherwise they wouldn't see any ballet where they live or not much!! 

 

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To be honest I usually only go to matinees on a Saturday. It was unusual for me to go to ballet on a weekday evening but I had bought the ticket at the last minute from a forum member. I'm so glad I was able to see the Bright Stream. I absolutely loved it, getting home a different story! I agree LinMM earlier starts & midweek matinees would be good & accurate timings on cast sheets too! I do hope you sleep better tonight.

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9 hours ago, SusanR said:

. Honestly, in the 21st century you would think that travelling a mere 50 odd miles home would be a breeze!

 

A friend, who lives in Knaresborough, cannot get home on public transport after a matinee in Bradford!  To do so, she would have to get to Leeds and then come back out.  It's about a 25 minute drive or up to 2 hours on public transport!

 

It's many years since I have been able to get home from London after an evening performance which is why I tend to try for matinees - just as well the dancer I follow at the RB is doing a couple of matinee performances in the coming season!!

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I book aisle seats whenever possible in order to make a quick getaway - not necessarily in order to catch the last train home, but to avoid the infantile whooping and screeching that passes for applause nowadays. When did British audiences start to behave like this? 

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3 minutes ago, Alice Shortcake said:

I book aisle seats whenever possible in order to make a quick getaway - not necessarily in order to catch the last train home, but to avoid the infantile whooping and screeching that passes for applause nowadays. When did British audiences start to behave like this? 

The British character has changed a lot in the 40 years that I've been living here.  No such thing as an orderly queue anymore, especially at bus stops, that's for sure!!

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7 minutes ago, Sim said:

The British character has changed a lot in the 40 years that I've been living here.  No such thing as an orderly queue anymore, especially at bus stops, that's for sure!!

 

We still have them outside London!

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16 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

We still have them outside London!

I'm very glad to hear it!

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I haven't heard that so much at ROH but does happen more at Sadlers Wells.

 

Some bus stops are not that well designed for orderly queues more a mass gathering😉😬

Edited by LinMM

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Standing up during curtain calls is one thing: remaining standing - and thereby forcing those behind you to stand up or be prevented from being able to see at all - during an encore is another matter entirely (particularly if they are on the tall side and you're on the short side, or unable to stand easily, or ...) :( 

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