Is the standing ovation being devalued?

Is it just me or do standing ovations not mean the same thing as they used to?

People say ‘the show got a standing ovation’ but did it really? The backwards domino effect means that if the person sitting in front of you decides to give a standing ovation then the people sitting behind them will need to stand up (and the people behind them etc) or no one will be able to see.

I can count on on hand the amount of times I have witnessed an actual standing ovation. At this years Olivier Awards, when Angela Lansbury walked on stage to accept the award for Best Actress In A Supporting Role (for Blithe Spirit), more than 2,000 people all rose to their feet in complete unison, applauding the iconic actress. THAT was a standing ovation.

But when two or three people stand up around the audience, which then results in everyone standing up, that isn’t really the same thing. They were probably only standing up to put their coat on or make a swift exit.

I know some people will think I’m just being negative and I should just be happy that shows are getting the praise that they deserve (and I am) but are we taking the real meaning of a standing ovation away from those who genuinely deserve it?

West End Wilma 

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