Last Saturday we went to the theatre to see Women In Black. The audience however was a different matter entirely.
The play hadn’t even got to its second line when the rustling started, bags of sweets being opened, individual sweets being unwrapped. There was a small attempt to do this silently however instead of managing this feat they merely amplified the action. There was one part of the audience where it sounded like they succeeded to get through an entire picnic. And as if the rustling wasn’t enough, the phist of fizzy bottles opening joined the party followed by a chorus of coughing.All of this combined became an annoying distraction from the live action on the stage.
At the interval I had a little moan to my partner who replied by reminding me that we were at the matinee- does this make a difference? Is there some law of theatre going that I was unaware of, where at a matinee you are able to make as much noise as you wish?
Although it didn’t ruin the play for me, it has become the talking point of the experience. I’d like to add that everyone I have mentioned it to let out a groan and agreed that there is nothing more frustrating- this made me feel a little less of a moaning minnie!
Before the play began a voice came over the PA system asking everyone to ensure all mobiles were turned off- as even the buzzing of vibrate mode can be distracting for the actors, how I wish they had mentioned leaving sweets until the interval or if you are that in need of a drink please bring water- there’s no sound effects when a bottle of water is opened!
I was secretly hoping, throughout the first half, that the actors would also find the noise a distraction and incorporate an audience reprimand within the play. ‘she is dead then sir’ ‘yes, died from sheer annoyance at the rudeness of her audience, rustling their sweets like they were at the cinema’.
I think that would have solved the problem nicely.