Theatre etiquette: How not to act at the theatre

We all know what it’s like when we go to the theatre. When we arrive at the venue we collect our tickets at the box office (if you haven’t already had them posted to you) grab a drink (perhaps a gin and tonic) buy an overpriced programme or picture book (seriously, what’s the difference?) and go to our seats.

So much drama 

At least, that’s what’s supposed to happen. Sometimes you can experience drama before you’ve even watched a piece of drama. I like to think that when you’re at the theatre, you act in a sensible and classy manner and around a formal setting we act accordingly – not like a group of toddlers at a birthday party.

Yes, this sometimes does happen when one goes to the theatre. As I arrive at the venue already I see couples squabbling over what drinks they are going to have and fighting over the tickets, “no, we are sitting in the stalls and no, we are not the front…”


That’s what the ushers are there for, guys, so don’t sweat!

When audiences do eventually find their seats, you won’t believe the people who count the seats and continually walk up and down aisles to find where they’re supposed to be. It’s those people who are sure they know where they’re going. That’s a show in itself, just watching people wander around the auditorium for a while till they find their places. It’s rather humorous.

Talking during the performance 

So, now the show has started and everyone is quiet…. though, wait, what’s this? People talking whilst the performance is going on. Sorry, did you not see the lights go down and the curtain rise? That generally signals for the audience to sssh and for the performers to do their thing. It irritates me when people talk; it’s really rude and disrespectful to fellow audience members and the actors. 

Interval, not half time 

It gets worse. From talking they move on to the rustling of sweets – of which you’re supposed to open before the show or wait until the interval.  Yep, that’s right, that’s the correct terminology to use. It’s an interval, not half time – we are not at a football match, thank you very much. If I had a pound for every time I heard, “does anyone want an ice cream at half time,” I would be rich.

Keep calm and carry on 

Anyway, once the show has finished, everyone usually calmly collects their belongings and walks out of the theatre with class and grace. However, some audiences choose to act as if were a derby match, kicking and screaming and fighting to get out of the venue as if it were a race. Don’t worry, we will all get out eventually if you just be patient.

I know there are not strict guidelines when it comes to the audience acting at the theatre, but come on, let’s have some decency and some sort of etiquette when it comes to going to the theatre.

*Rant over*

What are your pet hates about theatre audiences? Let us know in the comments below!