In the same week I wrote about Broadway actress Caissie Levy calling-out an audience member in Frozen the Musical for filming the entire performance, West End audiences have gone to show that they are no better.
Hayley Tamaddon (Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Dancing On Ice and renowned Musical Theatre star) joined the cast of the London production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie last week, replacing RuPaul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage in the role of Miss Hedge. But at Saturday night’s performance, the show was apparently rudely interrupted and after the show, Hayley took to Twitter to remind people of a little thing called ‘theatre etiquette’.
Hayley said “To the lady in the audience who shouted “f**k you” at me during a very serious scene last night. Whilst I’m so grateful that you believed in my character – I’d like to remind you, you were in a theatre, not watching tv. Please respect the actors and the audience.
With kindness X”
Commenting on some replies to the message she continued “I thought she was just into the show, but heard from many other audience members she was on her phone throughout, talking loudly and causing disruption 🙄🙄🙄”
Theatre etiquette is a topic that comes up time and time again in this industry. I’ve written countless blogs on the subject but it seems we don’t appear to be making any progress in making things better. The theatre should be a form of escapism, where audience members can leave their troubles at the door and immerse themselves in the magic taking place on stage. But whilst many people say theatre is priced so high, only the elitist can afford to attend, this notion is squashed by the fact we always see people watching the show through their mobile phone, checking their social media accounts and occasionally thinking they are part of the show and allowed to heckle. Why would anyone pay hundreds of pounds to sit through something they have no interest in?! Theatre can be affordable, so much in fact it seems people like this audience member can quite happily afford to be acting like she’s sitting in front of the TV at home.
Whilst thankfully audiences have evolved out of Shakespearian times, when they would be crushed together in a pit, defecating on the floors and having to smell fruit to take away the stench, we have certainly moved away from fifty years ago when people saw going to the theatre as a special event and would act accordingly.
But here we are, another day, another blog about theatre etiquette!
West End Wilma
Check out this blast from the past when we interviewed Hayley back in 2012!
FOLLOW WEST END WILMA