People texting, phones going off, parents leaving soiled nappies and even drunken theatregoers vomiting from the balcony…when we asked Facebookers to vote for the most annoying habit in Theatres, we were stunned at just how appalling some behaviour can be. So which terrible traits did you vote as the worst? Here are your Top Ten:
Number 10 – EATING HOT FOOD
We’ve known patrons in the West End arrive with a full McDonalds and wonder why they’re not allowed to eat it during the show. We can understand why people get confused since many cinemas allow food inside the auditorium – but then again, movies have the trailers to allow you time to gobble up up your hot dog!
But that’s not nearly as annoying as….
Number 9 – SOMEONE TALL SITTING UP IN FRONT OF YOU
You’ll probably know the dread as you take your seat only to find you’re sitting behind Marge Simpson. People can’t help being tall, but taking off hats and not doing your hair up in a big blue beehive all helps the people behind. Seats looking down to the stage from circle/balcony/mezzanine are generally a better choice as they tend to be more sloped, allowing shorter people a far better view – whoever’s in front.
So…what’s your eight most hated audience trait?
Number 8 – BODY ODOUR/POOR PERSONAL HYGIENE
We should all apply a little sensitivity (as well as deodorant) here. Some people have personal hygiene issues that they can’t help, but it can be pretty difficult if you’re sat by someone who would send a skunk running for cover. Definitely worth asking the ushers if you can move seats!
Still, you didn’t think even that was quite as bad as….
Number 7 – BEING INTOXICATED
We’re not talking about those of us who might like a G&T or glass of Pinot Grigio to enjoy in a plastic cup. No, these are the people who arrive at the show already half-cut and behave like they’re on a stag or hen do, turning their row into a nightclub. Fair enough if you’re at Dreamboys watching male strippers, not so good if you’re at Dreamgirls watching a West End musical.
Number 6 – UNWRAPPING SWEETS
Some people can’t seem to get through Act One of Les Mis without also getting through at least two packets of Werther’s Originals. Perhaps it’s to take the edge off seeing all those french prostitutes selling their hair? If Willy Wonka could just have invented “shhhh sweets” that don’t make a sound when unwrapped, he’d have been every theatre-goer’s hero!
So…what’s your number 5 pet peeve?
Number 5 – ARRIVING LATE
You’ve paid good money to see the whole show, so try not to be late. Some people are held up unavoidably – broken down trains, family emergencies… but some simply stroll in late because they can. It’s quite distracting to have lots of heads bobbing up and down as people try to find their seats in the dark – especially when they expect the people around them to fill them in on the story so far!
Which leads neatly on to your 4th most complained about behaviour…
Number 4 – TAKING PHOTOS/FILMING THE SHOW
It’s so much more rewarding to watch the show with your actual eyes. It can also be quite a pain for the poor ushers to have to disrupt others enjoyment of the show as they try to wrestle the perpetrator to the ground…
But even that doesn’t annoy you quite as much as…
Number 3 – TEXTING/MESSAGING
When someone is texting, their whole face is illuminated. This not only annoys the hell out of everyone near the person with their phone out, it also hacks off the actors. It’s a big problem and it’s not reserved to kids – some adults who should know better are often the worst culprits!
But even that’s not as bad as….
Number 2 – MOBILE PHONES RINGING
Very nearly the most annoying thing that can happen as Romeo is clambering up Juliet’s clematis is the loud ringing of a device that won’t even be invented for another 400 years. Many people put their phone back on at the interval and then forget to switch it off. Disaster – especially if you can’t remember where you put it! But even that is trumped by people who actually answer it!
But, there’s still one thing, even worse than any of these, that bothers you more than any other behaviour:
Number 1 – TALKING DURING THE SHOW
You’ve paid a small fortune for tickets, only to find that when the show begins, a few people near you just won’t shut up. It can be incredibly frustrating – the people you WANT to hear are on the stage. The odd comment is okay, but when it becomes a complete commentary on what’s happening, it really is time to get out your best “SHHHH!” and just hope they take the hint!
Have you ever had a truly terrible experience at a show? Add a comment and get it off your chest!
A total of 1,602 votes were cast.
Love theatre as much as we do? Have you checked out our “must-see” shows of 2017?