London is a city full of theatre. When I moved to UK, I thought that plays and musicals were very popular, that people usually go to see something from time to time. I can’t understand why there are shows performing every day for many years. It means that lot of people fills the theatres day by day. That’s something unimaginable for me, coming from Spain.
But I realised that it’s true, lot of people go to theatre, but a lot more don’t know anything or are not interested. But I guess that London is an overpopulated city, so you can find different people, with different hobbies. For example, I sometimes feel quite different from my workmates, because they are in this city to work and have fun going out, having some drinks. It’s a bit disappointing for me, because I moved to London to learn, have a good experience and, as a priority, to go as much as I can to the theatre. So I need to go quite often to see something and some people don’t understand it. Of course I don’t care.
Anyway, let’s focus, I thought that people is used to go to the theatre, so they know how to behave, basically. In this post I want to share with you some experiences that have proved me that some people should stay at home forever because they don’t know how to behave. You know I’m joking, not everybody is like that, of course, but sometimes you would like to punch someone in the face and say “what’s wrong with you?”.
- You are not alone:
Some people think that they are all alone on the theatre, so they can talk, make as much noise as possible, because they don’t realise that there are more people next to them. That’s selfish and real, I’ve been sitting watching a show and being quite annoyed because people is talking next to me very loud. Come on, this is live, stop talking and enjoy it!
I also hate the people who sing. I’m glad you enjoy the songs, but I want to hear the voice of the actors and actresses, that’s why I paid for, not yours! Yesterday night I went to see the musical ‘Gypsy‘ at the Savoy Theatre (a review soon) and there was a woman next to me humming some of the songs. It was very annoying for me, but thanks God she stopped early. Apparently, she knew very well the song ‘Together Wherever We Go‘, so she started to sing a bit too loud for me. The worst was the fact that she had halitosis, it was so hard for me to breath.
- You are not allowed to take pictures:
Also, when I remember when I went to see ‘The Lion King’ at the Lyceum Theatre I was open-mouthed by the behaviour of people; I couldn’t believe what was going on there. I understand that it’s a show that most of the audience are kids, but I can’t tell you that adults are worst. Is comprehensible (annoying too, but you have no choice) that some parents need to take their children every few minutes to the toilet. So you are watching the stage with lot of people waking up to go to the toilet every 5 minutes. But as I said, you must understand that they are kids. The worst was with ‘The Circle Of Life’ and the ending, ‘King Of Pride Rock / Circle Of Life (Reprise)’. Everybody was taking pictures with their phones, so the staff had to run from row to row trying to stop people. I didn’t hear the song; I only heard the staff asking to not take pictures. It’s ridiculous that these things happen (and twice in the same performance).
- You can drink alcohol while watching the performance:
That’s something I don’t understand, but I guess it’s something cultural, very different from Spain. In my country, you can have a drink during the break, but not bring your cup inside the theatre. I don’t fancy to drink when I’m going to the theatre, because I want to be 100% focused on the stage. But I understand that some people fancy to have a pint. But it’s true that some people drink too much. I remember watching ‘Spamalot’ at the Playhouse Theatre and next to me were three fat-as-whales men who were completely drunk. They were singing loud (you can imagine trying to sing like the Lady of the Lake, that was painful for my ears), repeating some jokes and drinking all the time. I had to deal with their noises, the smell of alcohol and the feeling of being trapped. They definitely ruined the show, this behaviour was rude, but I did my best to enjoy the performance.
But I don’t think that is a problem of the people, that’s a mistake of the theatre. They try to make so much money that sell lot of alcohol even minutes before the second act is starting. So, sometimes, the show is starting after the break and people are coming back slowly to their seats. They also don’t mind if the person who is buying alcohol maybe is too drunk. That’s something that managers should care about, because a drunken person inside the theatre means ruining the performance for many people who has paid a lot of money to be there. As far as I know, it’s true that the staff and managers can take actions if there is a person making a lot of noise because of the alcohol. But this wouldn’t happen if the people had more education and were more respectful.
- You can come anytime:
That’s quite surprising and annoying for me. In Barcelona, once you are late, if the performance has already started, you can’t get inside the theatre. That’s quite frustrating because you can be late because of bad traffic, for example, or because of delays on trains. You should be able to come in later, but not at anytime like London.
I don’t understand why people plan to go to the theatre if they are going late anyway. I have a friend who worked as a staff in a theatre in London and she said that one day a woman arrived 20 minutes before the performance was finished. Really? You are 2 hours late! That’s not being late for any reason, she didn’t prioritise going to the theatre, but you paid for the ticket (which is OK because it’s not my money). Another day, a couple arrived to the theatre with a ticket one year in advance, thinking that the performance was that day. I must recognise that that’s very unlucky and funny!
When I went to see ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ at the Phoenix Theatre I was so happy because nobody was sitting next to me. I was on the front row because I bought a Day Seat and I was so excited to have space to leave my jacket and bag. But no, there was a group who arrived on the second act, during the break. Seriously, is it necessary to be that late? You’ve missed half of the show! They were drinking, they were stinking alcohol and they were talking and being very rude. One of the guys even offered me some beer and biscuits, which I said ‘No, thank you’.
But not everything is wrong. I’ve had good experiences too, like meeting a very nice girl watching ‘Once’ at the Phoenix Theatre. She is from Australia and she is coming to London from time to time only to catch all the best shows from the West End. Or in ‘Memphis’ at the Shaftesbury Theatre, a girl was surprised by the book I was reading, while we were waiting to get some Day Seats.
But it’s true that some people don’t know how to behave in public and should stay at home instead of annoying the rest. Have you got any bad experience too?