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2 minutes ago, JNC said:

 

I think the clanging bells are effective (especially if it can be hard to hear the voice over) but I think it would be more effective if they started utilising bells at 5 mins rather than 10. People often have a tendency to start ignoring these things if they think they’re not as urgent and still have 10 minutes! 

 


I agree that ringing them at 5 minutes would be preferable, however I would rather they had a the ringing via speakers/sounders like they do in some other theatres. I find the hand bells far too harsh. 
And yes, I ignore the bells being rung at 10 minutes along with nearly everyone else! 
I think especially with a ballet the length of Sleeping Beauty they should give us a chance to stretch our legs/sit down/take a sip before starting to herd us back in! 

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13 minutes ago, JNC said:

The apple/smart watches certainly don’t help the mobile phone situation. ROH is one of the few places where other audience and ushers are quite good at clamping down on this thankfully. 


I’m not sure what the ushers can do about the smart watches as they tend to light up inadvertently; I just wish the wearers would be more aware of it and perhaps wear long sleeves!

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34 minutes ago, JNC said:

People often have a tendency to start ignoring these things if they think they’re not as urgent and still have 10 minutes! 

 

I think it more likely that people are getting used to late starts and re-starts at ROH and are adjusting their timing accordingly.

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All this talk of bells has made me wonder - are they phasing out the fanfares composed by schoolchildren? I don't recall having heard one recently.

 

At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I own I wasn't a fan.

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I like the 10 minute bell. It gives just the right amount of time to go to the loo & get back to my seat without having to rush too much!

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2 hours ago, Sim said:

Good!  As I say, I almost never see anyone being let in after lights out!

Happened in the Amphi the other night

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30 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

....fanfares composed by schoolchildren? ....

 

At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I own I wasn't a fan.

Me neither

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3 hours ago, zxDaveM said:

 

I don't think these were patrons - far too young (and Stalls Circle, not Grand Tier)!!! lol

This wan't just 'after lights dimmed' - the orchestra was in flow flow - but the curtain yet to rise, thank heavens


By the time they made it to their seats, the curtain was very much up.

 

The techies in the lighting box must have loved being suddenly stood in front of during the performance, too...

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50 minutes ago, RuthE said:


By the time they made it to their seats, the curtain was very much up.

 

The techies in the lighting box must have loved being suddenly stood in front of during the performance, too...

 

I didn't notice that! Makes it even worse!

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The current announcer (of time to be seated fame) reminds me of a Kaminoan Cloner from the Star Wars movies...

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46 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

The current announcer (of time to be seated fame) reminds me of a Kaminoan Cloner from the Star Wars movies...


It’s a bit of a shock to the system, isn’t it? I’m trying to work out why a woman with an American accent sounds so out of place to my ear in this context, as there’s really no reason why it should.

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50 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

 

I didn't notice that! Makes it even worse!


Clarification for the benefit of the general readership: zxDaveM and I were standing in adjacent positions last night.

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I was sat in the side amphi yesterday afternoon and an usher remained in the theatre most of the performance I saw (I missed the early part) presumably monitoring mobile phone use. In the evening one was actually sitting in the back row of the stalls and was very proactive in intervening with people using phones especially during the overture and the end of the short later performance break. 

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Regarding phones, I had a classic exchange at the proms in the summer. A woman sitting in the row in front of me had her  phone on, texting whilst the music was playing. I asked her politely, but firmly to 'turn you phone off please.' She ignored me, so I asked her again. She looked round at me furiously, and replied in no uncertain terms 'mind your own business!' She carried on arguing the toss, so I made sure she saw me reporting her to the stewards during the interval. Good as gold after that, although I think my mum had a similar exchange with the same woman at a prom a couple of nights later. Likewise, she was reported, and apparently started arguing the toss with the steward!  Unbelievable!

 

We also had someone reply 'why?' when we asked to turn her phone off. As she left at the end of the performance, let's just say if looks could kill, I don't think I would be sitting here now typing this!

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Not about turning a phone off but at the Proms a couple of years ago: a young-ish woman from the next box kept leaving and having very audible conversations (either on the phone or with an usher) in the corridor outside. When I eventually broke and went out myself to let her know - mildly! - that she could be heard inside, she said, "I don't give a ****, now **** off." (I can't remember whether there were any disruptions after that.)

 

There was obviously something going on, but still... And if it was that important or distressing, why keep returning to the concert?

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I really do not understand people who use phones in auditoriums. You have paid (usually a significant amount of) money to be in a theatre, given up your time too, in order to watch and listen to a live performance - a completely unique thing that no-one will ever see again in the exact same way (unless it's being filmed and you can buy a DVD). Can you not just appreciate it in the moment, or at least respect the actors/dancers on stage (and the orchestra of course), and audience members around you who don't want to be distracted by you texting or scrolling through webpages when they want to be in the atmosphere of reverence of everyone watching and sharing an experience.

 

If it really is that horribly boring for you - a bit of a respect to restrain yourself and then you can leave at an interval. I saw a woman recently checking her phone in a performance and 'hiding' it under a scarf or jacket (as if we can't see it - if she can see the light others around you also can!). 

 

I really am glad when people speak up about these kinds of things so thanks to everyone who does so - sadly if the behaviour goes unchecked, people will just more and more think it's 'ok' or the 'norm' and then it'll be an even harder battle to fight! I really do wonder what things will be like 10 or 50 years in the future...ROH is one of my safe havens for cracking down on this (massive credit to the ushers and the regular audience!) and also not caving to the whole allowing food and drink inside the theatre as well.

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I think the answer comes down to  - more money than sense - especially if it’s a top priced stalls ticket! I often feel like volunteering my services to occupy their seat for them whilst they can continue ‘enjoying’ their phone browsing. Wouldn’t want them to miss anything!

On a cheaper scale, it happens in the cinema too, which is why I will only go see films on a midweek afternoon, when if the paying audience goes into double figures, it’s a busy showing! And we ar3 all there to see the film, rather than socialise via a smart phone 

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it seems a part of our lives now that people photograph practically everthing. At a gallery they no longer look at the pictures, but photo them, they photo, or try to, performances, pets,food, each other,you name it! Do they ever look at these photos or  are they the modern equivalent of hunters trophies?

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At the matinee yesterday a woman sitting in the row in front of me in the Amphitheatre was looking at her phone all through Kaneko’s solo in the first act. Luckily it wasn’t too bright, although still distracting,  but I did wonder why she had come to the performance.

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A year or more ago when I was in the ROH amphi the woman in front of me was using her mobile. I hoped she would stop as I hate confrontations and you just don't know how people will react these days but she persisted and I knew I was going to have to mention it or have my evening ruined. Given how much time and effort it takes me just to get there it seemed an awful waste to let one selfish or thoughtless person ruin it. So I attracted her attention and asked her politely to switch off her phone. She looked at me as if I was mad and said 'but I've put it on silent' as if the noise was the only problem. When I said it was actually the glare of the screen that was distracting she looked totally disbelieving but did grudgingly switch it off. 

Obviously she'd no great interest in the amazing performance she was missing in trying to text someone that could have been done in the interval. For some people today their gratification has to be instant whether it's eating, drinking or using their mobile. Other people's needs don't count. At least at the ROH even though most of the building seems to be devoted to food and drink they do draw the line at allowing it in the auditorium. Long may this rule and the ushers vigilance against mobile phone use continue. 

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Hear, hear!

 

Standing in the Stalls yesterday afternoon a woman sitting in front of me kept checking her phone during the Prologue. It was in her handbag but she had to open it wide to see the phone, and the glare was distracting to those of us behind. The gentleman next to me asked her to switch it off, and then I did. She did...and didn’t come back after the interval. If she was bored, at least she had the decency not to come back and bug everyone else!

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13 hours ago, JNC said:

I really do not understand people who use phones in auditoriums. You have paid (usually a significant amount of) money to be in a theatre...

 

 

The same is true of gyms. You get idiots who do a set and then rest on the piece of equipment for 10 minutes, fiddling with their phone. They could do this for free at home. The body builders gym I use, doesn't really have much of a problem on that front, which is odd as body builders are generally the gentlest, politest and most helpful people around. At the community gym I go to sometimes, phone fiddling is a real problem, although it doesn't affect me too much. There is never anybody on the pull-up bar, and rarely on the dipping bars.

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No excuse for anyone not having their phone off from the moment the lights go down until they come up again but I did just want to point out that in the modern world some of us have jobs or run businesses where we are expected to be in contact and replying to email almost instantaneously at all kinds of unvicilised hours.  It can also be wholly unpredictable (which is why I find it hard to book tickets in advance) but sometimes I do 'sneak out' to go to a performance in the knowledge I will have to spend every second of the intervals typing away until the lights dim.  Again, I'm not saying it's ok to use your phone in any way during the overture or performance (and neither am I advocating for this being a positive development in workplace culture - I think it's a curse!) but I wanted to make the point that not all phone use is self-indulgent leisure time.    

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7 minutes ago, Lindsay said:

No excuse for anyone not having their phone off from the moment the lights go down until they come up again but I did just want to point out that in the modern world some of us have jobs or run businesses where we are expected to be in contact and replying to email almost instantaneously at all kinds of unvicilised hours.  It can also be wholly unpredictable (which is why I find it hard to book tickets in advance) but sometimes I do 'sneak out' to go to a performance in the knowledge I will have to spend every second of the intervals typing away until the lights dim.  Again, I'm not saying it's ok to use your phone in any way during the overture or performance (and neither am I advocating for this being a positive development in workplace culture - I think it's a curse!) but I wanted to make the point that not all phone use is self-indulgent leisure time.    

 

Yes; and it can be related to family/health issues where constant attention is needed. But, as Lindsay says, this should all be reserved strictly for intervals.

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I don’t think anyone should have to be on call or available 24/7 even for their job!

Another battle that needs fighting ...although some people do like it apparently. 

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Somehow the world kept turning before the invention of mobile phones...

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I expect if you’re self employed/own the business or are CEO it’s an occupational hazard.  If you have children who need to get hold of you urgently, mobiles are a godsend.  My brother was in a theatre when my niece had a car crash - if he hadn’t had his phone on, albeit silently, he wouldn’t have known until 2 hours later.  

 

With regard to checking phones in the intervals, I don’t have a problem with that at all.  The ROH encourage people to tweet their thoughts during live stream intervals so it clearly doesn’t worry them.  

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Well intervals are not a problem of course! 
 

But some people do ‘overreact’ to their phone. And in non theatre situations don’t seem to be even hold a small conversation with someone without getting their phone out 😩

Personally I hate it when certain friends ( luckily not most) do this a lot...especially if I’ve travelled some way to see them!! Even texts from well into adult children unless genuinely require an imminent response for some reason can wait for an hour at least....it’s usually not important news at all though! 
Anyway I’ve sort of accepted that you can’t turn the clock back but do think people should at least refrain in the theatre in the middle of a performance....though some are more discreet than others. 

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