Jump to content

Recommended Posts

39 minutes ago, Sim said:

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

It did Sim but they are here now, like it or not, and it seems a little unfair for those who have benefited from a more civilised work culture in the past to be making critical assumptions about the mobile phone habits of workers today.  I am thankful to be old and senior enough to have some control over my communications (although if I choose to disappear offline it often means dropping more junior people into additional work/trouble) but I know lots of 20 and 30 somethings trying to make their way in the 'gig economy' - not least in the arts world - who cannot afford to miss an single opportunity.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, LinMM said:

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! 

 

Yes - it amazes me how parents now seem to keep a constant tab on exactly where their adult children are and exactly what they're doing, AND the children don't seem to mind! When I was a young adult my parents would generally have had no idea where I was or what I was doing (just as well, some of the time...). It's good that (some) families are so close, but it seems a bit odd to me.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not making critical assumptions;  of course I understand that things move on.  All I am saying is that I am sure there is very little that can't wait for half an hour until an interval.  And let's face it, if you are so busy with work that you can't switch off for half an hour or an hour in the evening or on a Saturday during an act of a performance then perhaps you would be better off staying at home and getting the work done, or being on constant call.  I am saying this as someone who engages a lot with social media and uses my mobile a lot out of hours...but I can manage without it for one act of a ballet.  Like most other people, I then check it during the interval and if anything needs responding to I do it then...not during a performance.

 

I am reminded of this poem:

 

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh God Sim my mother was always quoting from that poem!!

 

Look I now have an iPhone and can spend more than enough time than is good for me on it ......but one thing I don't do is get it out when in full conversation with friends .....over a meal say and start scrolling!

 

I have some younger friends who are self employed but if they need to take a call etc which they may be semi expecting .... always say Oh Linda do you mind if I just take this call ....it's work....and of course I don't mind. 

But some people just act as if you are not there. 

 

Once on a train up to London I bumped  into a friend....not a close one but someone I knew quite well ....and we hadn't seen each other for a while. Anyway we started chatting and I was just telling her something....that she wanted me to tell her....when she got her phone out and started scrolling. So I just stopped talking and after about a minute or two she said ....carry on I'm listening.... but I said perhaps you need to finish checking your messages first though I can wait.  She then put the phone away! 

 

Recently my partner and I were in a pub and decided to see how long it was before people arriving to meet others etc got their phones out.....this was when I had just got my iPhone and was massively into it!

Anyway whether young or old nobody lasted more than ten minutes!! Most were under that ....nearer five mins!! None of these people were on their own.

Well enough probably too much  said from me ....I know old person....but just a little discipline in company and of course in theatres and the like.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the various clips that are posted online from both here and abroad, some audience members are obviously more concerned to film a sequence than to watch it.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something positive to mention - 

 

Last night at ROH it seems someone was having difficulty up in the amphi during Act 3. I saw St John's Ambulance arrive and sadly the person ended up being taken out, but the ushers and ambulance staff managed it so quietly and smoothly as to not disrupt the audience. 

 

Again, another credit to ROH staff. (And I hope the person is in question is ok.) 

 

Also much of the same of ushers clamping down on mobile phone use too. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JNC said:

Again, another credit to ROH staff. (And I hope the person is in question is ok.) 

 

Also much of the same of ushers clamping down on mobile phone use too. 

 

I actually emailed Customer Services after Thursday's performance to commend the ushering, in particular the lady on rear stalls right who had her hands constantly full with phone users.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Sim said:

It’s so sad what is happening to this country. 😢

 

It's not possible to ask someone to sit back in their seat (if they're leaning forward when a performance starts, as sometimes happens) without touching their shoulder (lightly). I've done this many times (and I then ask politely if they could sit back, and say thank you if/when they do). I'm probably lucky I haven't been knocked to the floor subsequently... Terrifying.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or told to eff off, as happened to a friend of mine standing in the Stalls circle recently.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone seen this Mumsnet thread? A friend sent it to me, as she's heard me rant about badly-behaved audience members. Warning: Mumsnet seems to have an ethos of pretty direct & <ahem> earthy language. But it's also very very funny - not least the person who starts the thread. I can't believe it's not a complete wind up. Because is anyone that combination of stupid, rude, and aggressive?

 

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3748621-singing-along-at-a-musical-to-cause-such-upset

Edited by Kate_N
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(This was in response to Sim’s post.)
 

There was a similar ‘spat’ behind me when I was in the ROH Stalls Circle recently. It was very tempting to get involved.

In contrast, I’ve been at Milton Keynes this week and there hasn’t been any sign of phones being on during Le Corsaire. Even in the interval, the one phone I saw in use was to read the ballet synopsis!!!!


 

Edited by capybara
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Kate_N said:

 I can't believe it's not a complete wind up. Because is anyone that combination of stupid, rude, and aggressive?

 

I'm afraid they are - the self entitled believe they can sing along/hum along because they recognise the tune as it "harmless". But not if they're drowning out the people you have paid handsomely to hear singing said familiar tunes, it is instead intensely annoying. In this mumsnet instance, it sounds like the lady in front was actually quite restrained in her annoyance, until the guilty party started causing a scene

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Ian Macmillan said:

The first three paragraphs of Graham Watts' review of a performance at The Place are very pertinent to this long-running thread:

 

https://dancetabs.com/2019/11/ace-dance-and-music-skin-reimagined-blind-trip-letlalo-london/

 

 

I think I saw Graham post on twitter about this. 

 

Utterly selfish behaviour. You either have a choice of sitting silently, but your appreciation of the performance and enjoyment of it either being somewhat dampened to nearly ruined (depending on how much the behaviour irritates you), or you have to say something and risk either causing further disturbance, or personal unpleasantness if they ignore you/get abusive. It could be an evening ruining experience so I increasingly see why more and more people don't intervene. 

 

I try to let the odd thing go (if it's the odd word here and there, as opposed to a full on conversation, or the odd little bit of humming), but if it continues I feel I must say something otherwise I just sit there growing increasingly irritated. The problem is, if the person is not immediately next to you, it is pretty much impossible to do so. And now also with the growing risk of having abuse thrown back at you...utterly disgusting. 

 

I wonder if theatres (and ROH in particular) have banned people for some behaviours. 

 

It truly is sad there seems to be a lack of basic education/understanding/self-awareness about what behaviour is/isn't acceptable in a theatre, and theatres/ushers increasingly letting things slide (or actively encouraging in the case of food/drink inside the auditorium!) for risk of losing custom. ROH is an exception to this, and why I love it so much. I remember growing up when my parents would take me to the theatre for a really special treat, and being told exactly how I must behave (nothing super strict, just to be quiet, sit properly etc) and being warned if I wasn't able to behave like a grown-up I would be taken home! I always find it lovely to see well behaved children who at theatres and the ROH, and wonder why if a 7 year old is capable of knowing what behaviour is acceptable, and following the 'rules', why those who are older do not...

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an article in today’s ES magazine (the free magazine given away with the Evening Standard in London) which might interest contributors to this thread. Written by journalist Simon Mills, it purports to detail 12 “rules” for being an “exemplary theatre-goer”.

 

Based on research - Joe Stilgoe is quoted a couple of times, for example - some of the rules are self-evident (“put your phone away”) but it was surprising to see how many of his rules, despite my years of professional experience in theatre, film and television, I didn’t agree with. 

 

The article will have been skewed by the sample Mills spoke to (a few performers and managements maybe?) and though seemingly all very sensible, I wanted to argue back a fair bit (as would, for example, most critics, another group with an interest in “exemplary theatre going”) So maybe worth picking up a copy today if you see it at the station or wherever, and checking it against what you think. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a good read whether one agrees or not. Thanks to Geoff and Ian for drawing attention to it.

I do agree with the "don't discuss the show at the theatre" mantra. There are patrons of the ROH (small p but might be big P too) who proclaim their views very loudly (and sometimes argumentatively) and risk spoiling the enjoyment of those around them. I am occasionally guilty in this respect but I say anything which may be construed as negative very quietly. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently gave up on being an impeccably behaved audience member and now use my pub closing time voice to tell persistent offenders to switch off their phone. Who would have thought that the 'finish your drinks, please' cadence (unspoken implication:  or the landlord will throw you through a closed window) acquired in a part time job 20 years ago works perfectly for a well aimed 'switch off your phone please'. 

 

Even achieved a 2 for 1 at Modanse yesterday - successfully asked the woman 3 rows down who was constantly filming to desist, and  the guy 2 rows down who had just switched his mobile on for a browse nearly dropped it in his haste to switch it off. 

 

Edited by Coated
  • Like 18

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not terribly keen on the ES rules for wannabe luvvies. I'm exceedingly unlikely to tell Ratmansky how to choreograph better, or know what director X even looks like, but creatives who wish to not overhear the hoi polloi talking amongst themselves surely can find an audience free zone to admire their master piece. 

 

Don't cross your arms? Huh? I'm not there to babysit the feelings of a tender soul, but even the most delicate of actors must have sat in an uncomfortable seat trying to not shove their limbs into their neighbour's kidney and perhaps understand that not everything is a reflection on their genius.

 

Don't get me started on the 'do eat' part. 

 

And I fondly remember returned theatre tickets based on reviews (from trusted sources) where hardier friends ground their teeth and went regardless - and continue hating the play for years to come. I've also learned to return some opera tickets when a particular section of Twitter gets very very excited about the production.

Edited by Coated
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Coated said:

Not terribly keen on the ES rules for wannabe luvvies. I'm exceedingly unlikely to tell Ratmansky how to choreograph better, or know what director X even looks like, but creatives who wish to not overhear the hoi polloi talking amongst themselves surely can find an audience free zone to admire their master piece. 

 

Completely agree that 'creatives' need no protection from audience views - they've created something FOR an audience (one hopes) and need to be robust about whether or not it's worked. But I'm with capybara about not expressing very negative views loudly, especially if everyone else appears to be really enjoying it. I have to say that occasionally I have done this if I think something is so bad that I'm actually incensed about it, but I do then feel guilty; I don't want to risk spoiling the enjoyment of the people around me, which would be mean and would serve no purpose. (And now, of course, if it's a ballet I can let off steam afterwards on this forum if necessary!! Which DOES serve a purpose.)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Coated, was it your voice that rang out, telling someone to Turn off the phone at the opening night of Coppelia?

 

Good for you for speaking out.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎07‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 08:47, Mary said:

So Coated, was it your voice that rang out, telling someone to Turn off the phone at the opening night of Coppelia?

 

Good for you for speaking out.

 

If it was in Stalls Circle Standing Right, I think it was me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎06‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 18:32, capybara said:

I do agree with the "don't discuss the show at the theatre" mantra. There are patrons of the ROH (small p but might be big P too) who proclaim their views very loudly (and sometimes argumentatively) and risk spoiling the enjoyment of those around them.

 

One thing I really hate is when people - including people I know - take the opportunity of a 2-minute scene change, or the moment after the applause starts at the end, to say related but irrelevant things, like asking me if I saw such-and-such a cast last week or last run. Kindly let me focus on what I'm currently at, and maybe we can talk about the other casts later!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dd and I were sat in stalls circle side on Saturday evening and the lady next to me kept talking to her partner - not only while the orchestra was playing but repeatedly during the dancing.  By the the Rose Adagio when I had missed Naghdi’s first balances by glaring at the couple, I’d had enough and hissed “Shhh”.  

 

I’m accustomed to elderly and seemingly hearing-impaired people talking during cinema broadcasts because I’ve only paid a few quid for my ticket, but not at the ROH.  Why can’t people watch ballet without discussing it during the performance? 😒

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last week there was a child (perhaps around 8-10?) at the ballet. She was frequently talking to what I assume was her mother during the performance, and the mother instead of telling her to be quiet would engage her in conversation. Sometimes from the looks of things it was often the mother starting the talking by saying something like "look there's the prince" and explaining the plot! I can understand it may be difficult sometimes for children to follow a story, but firstly most children who are interested will intuitively figure out who is who, or even if they don't they can still enjoy the performance. No one seems to want to shush a child as I suppose they don't really know they are doing anything wrong sometimes (especially if the parent is encouraging this behaviour!). But I'm wondering what would have been the best way forward - to shush, to perhaps have a quick word in an interval, or just leave it and resign yourself to these things happening now...would be interested to know what others do/think. 

 

To say my personal opinion, I fully support those who shush and am one myself when I identify someone close by. But in this case I felt I couldn't shush a child...but would have been grateful if someone else had! 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too have been near a mother and young daughter where it was the mother who kept initiating the conversation. I did quite a bit of glaring (at the mother!), which seemed to work eventually.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

I too have been near a mother and young daughter where it was the mother who kept initiating the conversation. I did quite a bit of glaring (at the mother!), which seemed to work eventually.

 

But then you have to miss part of the performance for this! Which is why I think shushing is quicker/more effective sometimes, although it does cause slightly more disturbance than glaring. Also the glares only work if you are sat in front/at the side and turn around, if you're sat behind it's really only a shush or a tap/choice words. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, RuthE said:

 

If it was in Stalls Circle Standing Right, I think it was me.

Tag team, one for each side!. I was on SCS left that night asking a woman to switch off her mobile after she ignored several valiant attempts by people closer to her. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JNC said:

Last week there was a child (perhaps around 8-10?) at the ballet. She was frequently talking to what I assume was her mother during the performance, and the mother instead of telling her to be quiet would engage her in conversation. Sometimes from the looks of things it was often the mother starting the talking by saying something like "look there's the prince" and explaining the plot! 

 

 

That sounds quite old for that kind of behaviour on both sides.  I would expect that from a parent of a 5 year old.  Is it possible the child had learning difficulties of some sort?  Not that it makes it any less irritating, but it might explain it.

I was at the theatre once, and I remember being extremely annoyed by a woman talking constantly, describing everything that was taking place.  When I turned round to express my annoyance, I realised her companion was blind.  After that, I felt I couldn't say anything, although I still found it dreadfully off putting.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...