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Trivial whinge - The Ex-Communicator

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September 26th, 2010


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07:50 am - Trivial whinge
This is a very silly post. A couple of women sitting behind us at the Hamlet matinee ate noisily for the full three and a half hours. WTF? I'm not overly sensitive to noise in the theatre. If the same amount of rustling and munching had been distributed among 100 people, the actual sound wouldn't have bothered me. It was just that after a couple of hours of listening to them eat, you felt like saying 'You can't still be hungry?'

One of our friends said afterwards you expected them to fire up a barbecue and start grilling themselves a few burgers. It was literally getting funny by the end, as they popped Pringles lids, and unwrapped toffees and scraped away at ice cream cartons. I don't know how they carried that much food with them.

Anyway, I assume the problem was that they had no interest in that silly business on the stage, so food was all that they had to get them through the long afternoon. I could have smacked 'em.

(ETA - my comment on the play itself is here)

(31 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:lamentables
Date:September 26th, 2010 06:54 am (UTC)
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a) WTF?
b) I probably would have smacked 'em
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From:communicator
Date:September 26th, 2010 06:57 am (UTC)
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I was imagining the satisfyingly harsh stare I would give them when the lights came up, but in the event I just felt embarrassed for them, and had to turn away. Idiots.
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From:azdak
Date:September 26th, 2010 07:30 am (UTC)
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Eating in a theatre is unforgivable. It's bad enough at the cinema, but at least you can watch the film again later. Theatre is all about the alchemical connection between the audience and the actors, and it can only happen in the here and now. Anything that breaks the concetration, on either side, destroys the experience.

People caught eating during a performance should be subject to a compulsory strip search before they're allowed in to another play.
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From:communicator
Date:September 26th, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)
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Excellent point about the concentration.

BTW On the whole I thought the audience was good - quite a few fangirls (ahem, like me) but sincerely appreciative and respectful. It always amuses me when I'm in an audience that gasps in shock at events like Gertrude drinking the poison. It's immediate and unforced tribute to the play and the actors.
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From:del_c
Date:September 26th, 2010 12:20 pm (UTC)
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People making noise is my problem, not people eating. People eating without noise: no problem (as long as it doesn't smell). People making noise without eating: problem, even though there's no eating.
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From:quillori
Date:September 26th, 2010 08:44 am (UTC)
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Perhaps they were under the impression they were in their own home watching TV? Seriously, that's extremely inconsiderate and unjustifiable behaviour - I'm surprised they weren't getting death glares from everyone around them (or perhaps they were but were too busy with their food to notice). Unfortunately, people who behave like that generally don't feel at all embarrassed, and everyone else reflects how embarrassed they would be about being so publicly inconsiderate and then can't bring themselves to say anything due to feeling bad on the inconsiderate party's behalf.
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From:communicator
Date:September 26th, 2010 09:31 am (UTC)
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I guess it is their TV-watching habit. But, to be honest, I have eaten a big cooked dinner in front of the telly and not made that much noise for so long. I think you are right that they remained oblivious to all shame or self-consciousness, despite one of our party making loud remarks as we left. Water off a duck's back.
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From:del_c
Date:September 26th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)
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But eating in the theatre is as old as the theatre, so it can't be the television effect. In any case, you can eat in front of the telly without making noise (and had better, if you're with someone who's trying to listen).
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From:executrix
Date:September 26th, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
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The SPECIAL Hell!

I really like Branagh's In the Bleak Midwinter/A Midwinter's Tale because when they finally get their performance on its feet, the audience thoroughly enjoys it because they don't know what's going to happen.
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From:matildabj
Date:September 26th, 2010 12:49 pm (UTC)
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I loudly mentioned the SPECIAL hell on our way out of the auditorium. :)
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From:communicator
Date:September 26th, 2010 12:51 pm (UTC)
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I must see that
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From:watervole
Date:September 26th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
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Not trivial. I would probably have turned round and asked them to stop. I find being direct is far more effective than evil looks after the play is over.

It doesn't make you popular, but it can mean you actually get to enjoy the play.

I remember once getting quite cross with a couple who thought they could hold a conversation during the overture to a G+S performance.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:September 26th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
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I was discussing with matildabj that perhaps the lure of celebrities brought folks into the theatre who really didn't want to be there.
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From:hafren
Date:September 26th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
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I suppose, to be fair, this notion of sitting watching a play or concert in complete silence and concentration is relatively new - didn't people in Shakespeare's own time wander about, eat, chat and do much as they liked? And in Nell Gwyn's day they presumably ate, or she'd have had no sales for her oranges...
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From:communicator
Date:September 26th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
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Yeah. I wonder if they used to eat non-stop? Some did I suppose, and plenty drank non-stop no doubt. How I would love to go back in time and experience it first hand.

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