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Theatre Etiquette

Here are a few things to bear in mind. Being British we won't point out your faults, but you will get a few raised eyebrows if you break some of these rules.

Tipping theatre ushers
This is not necessary and not expected unless they perform a task not normally expected of them. Ushers will probably be confused and embarrassed if you offer them money.

Mobile phones
The scourge on modern society, yes you guessed it I don't like them. Turn them OFF, people haven't paid good money to listen to your conversation; no call to you is that important.

Cameras and camcorders
Photographic cameras and camcorders should not be taken into the theatre. Flash photography is not allowed as it distracts both the cast and the audience. If you want something to remember there are always official photos on sale.

We Brits don't like to overstate our enthusiasm. Applause is reserved for the end of a scene or act or when something truly amazing happens. Americans beware, if you clap or cheer without good reason for example when someone walks on stage you will be in the minority. If you are not sure, don't start applauding till everyone else does, not very spontaneous but you won't be the odd one out.

Standing ovation may or may not happen at the end of the show or when the cast take their final bows. Personally, I follow the crowd. If other stand up I do too, otherwise my bum stays on the seat till it's time to leave.

Talking and Unwelcome noises
It goes without saying that talking during a show is not welcome. Singing along or, my pet hate, humming along are a definite no, no. Despite my British upbringing I WILL tell someone to keep quiet if I am trying to hear a show.

Eating crisps and other noisy food is just as bad. If you need to eat wait till the interval or after the show.

Get to your seat on time
A warning bell may ring or an announcement made shortly before the start of the show or the end of the interval. Make your way to your seats. Don't wait till the last minute as the curtain goes up and then interrupt everyone in your own row and rows behind who are watching the show whilst you get to your seat.

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