Friday, September 19, 2008

Audience Bad Behaviour

We've commented a lot on this in the past. How poorly behaved audiences can have a real impact on everyone's enjoyment of a show. Most of the time I like to think that people are simply oblivious to the annoyance they are causing. They just aren't aware of the irritation to other audience members (or even the cast) caused by their sweetie wrapper rustling, passing comment to their neighbour or fidgeting in their seat . In cases like that front of house has a difficult job - if they act they could become part of the disruption, if they don't then the behaviour of those who are being inconsiderate won't change. How tolerant should they be? They want people to have a good time, but if it's to the detriment of others' enjoyment they should definitely be acting.

The National Theatre of Scotland's London production of "365" encountered the other side of bad behaviour this week. The deliberately disruptive.
According to The Herald a section of the audience just wasn't interested in being there. As a result the enjoyment of many others was spoiled, the play was interupted and a sour taste was left in everyones mouth. We weren't there so we don't know whether swifter action by ushers would have averted the punch up that followed. What we do know is that most theatres (especially with allocated seating) will know who bought those tickets. They should take a leaf out of football clubs by banning anyone who has behaved so poorly.

1 Heckle

Bluedog said...

It must have been a nightmare, and tricky for the young cast to cope with. Someone should have intervened earlier, but it is a difficult call for theatre staff to make.

I wish I had seen 365, and am disappointed that it is having a huge run in London after only a couple of days in Edinburgh. I know it has had mixed reviews, and I rather think David Harrower was not totally happy with the process as well as end product.

Perhaps NTS will revive it in Scotland, although they might quietly bury it if it has not been a positive experience.