Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Phones in Theatres

O dear, it happened again, and this time at the venerable Old Vic Theatre. What happened? O yes, sorry but you weren't there were you? A woman decided it was fine to get out her phone to check for messages in the middle of the second half of the play. Admittedly she did it during a boring bit (and I have to say it was a boring song) but that's not really the point. At least she had the decency to apologise and put her phone away straight away.

When she got her phone out I initially kept calm for the few seconds it took to open her messages app and see there were no new messages but, when she closed that and opened another app, that was the sign for my tapping finger to become active. *Tap Tap Tap*. She said sorry and immediately put her phone away. But why did she feel it was OK to get her phone out in the first place and think it's OK to do so in the shared space of a theatre?

 I may be wrong, but I don't recall hearing any 'turn off your phones' announcement in the theatre and, even if there was an announcement, maybe it should be stronger? Maybe ushers out to be trained how to ush properly? There were two ushers behind me so they must have seen the light from the phone but neither stepped forward to say anything.

This happened to me in March and here we are at the start of June and it's happened again. What's suddenly changed in 2015 that people feel able to do this in a darkened theatre? At least she apologised immediately unlike the woman back in March that tried to justify it by saying she was a mother. *sigh*

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