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Stecyk

Etiquette - Eating During a Performance

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Just be thankful you don't come to theatres in the UK that belong to a particular group (although they are expanding into the US) - before the start and during the intervals they have ushers going up and down the aisles with trays of all sorts of drinks to buy. Many theatres now also offer plastic cups in the bar so you can take your drink inside.

I personally think it is disgraceful and dangerous (an elderly friend once slipped on a spilt drink in Sadler's Wells and only stayed upright because another friend caught her).

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The theatres in my US city also offer plastic sippy cups at the bar so you can bring your drink inside. I recently sat through a mixed rep program next to a group who clearly had enjoyed several before the show and continued to get new drinks at each intermission.

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I wrote about an uncomfortable situation last year where a woman behind me would often eat during a performance. It drove me nuts.

 

I haven't seen this couple during this season so far, which makes me believe that they didn't renew their subscription. So my problem is gone.

 

Today while listening to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, I heard an interesting discussion about misophonia, the hatred of certain sounds, during the first twelve and a half minutes of "Quirks and Quarks," a program about science. Misophonia afflicts about twenty percent of the population. Although I am not an extreme case of misophonia, I am certain that I am a proud member. So for those of you who are bothered by sounds of people eating or whatever, you might find the podcast interesting.

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On ‎11‎/‎1‎/‎2015 at 7:07 AM, cubanmiamiboy said:

I usually turn my whole body around and S T A R E with a long, hateful, Joan Crawford look right deep into the offender's eyes. It works more than not.

I've done that, but it doesn't seem to work for me.  Maybe I'm a crappy actor, or maybe people just don't care.  Who knows.  But this is one of my biggest pet peeves in the entire world.  I don't know why candy wrappers rankle my soul so much, but they do.  I get agitated, which then means I miss a portion of the performance, because I'm thinking about how annoyed I am. 

 

The funny thing is that I can tolerate more during some performances versus others.  Kids yapping during the Nutcracker is ok, because I've preconditioned myself to expect it.  But when I go to the Philadelphia Orchestra to hear Tchaikovsky's Violin concerto in D Major, and some person is sucking down a bag of sweets, the death star stares start.

 

I think I need to learn relaxation techniques, because proper manners are a thing of the past in this country.

Edited by Kaysta

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If you see a ballet at Segerstrom in Costa Mesa, you can only bring bottled water into the theater. So at the end of intermission you have people huddled around the trash cans trying to finish their wine before the final bell chimes. However, if you see a Broadway show there you can get a plastic top and little straw and bring your wine inside the theater. I find it interesting as there is no difference in sound or the ability of the patrons to control their tendency to spill. 

 

I can't abide snacking and crinkling. However, sometimes I wish people would risk quickly unwrapping lozenges rather than coughing constantly throughout a performance. 

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In most theatres I have been to in Germany and Austria (not cinemas, mind you - theatres with live shows) it is strictly prohibited to bring any food or drink into the auditorium, and of course strongly forbidden to consume any of it. That said, there are those audience members who do need a  cough lozenge or a sip of water to calm a throat, and that is usually O.K. 

I cannot imagine seeing anyone actually eating during a performance! (my husband once saw a woman in the first row knitting, which made him pretty angry, as he thought she should be paying more attention to the play hein which he was acting...we had quite a discussion on that, as I can sure see the point of an audience-member wanting to use their hands productively and quietly... but, I digress!) 

 

-d-

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8 hours ago, diane said:

In most theatres I have been to in Germany and Austria (not cinemas, mind you - theatres with live shows) it is strictly prohibited to bring any food or drink into the auditorium, and of course strongly forbidden to consume any of it. That said, there are those audience members who do need a  cough lozenge or a sip of water to calm a throat, and that is usually O.K. 

I cannot imagine seeing anyone actually eating during a performance! (my husband once saw a woman in the first row knitting, which made him pretty angry, as he thought she should be paying more attention to the play hein which he was acting...we had quite a discussion on that, as I can sure see the point of an audience-member wanting to use their hands productively and quietly... but, I digress!) 

 

-d-

 

Hi Diane - I love the image of the woman knitting though the performance. It's too funny to get mad about (unless you happen to be sitting beside her, I suppose). Your comment reminded me of the "little old lady" knitting away in the main illustrations of Hilary Knight's Where's Wallace?

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13 hours ago, diane said:

In most theatres I have been to in Germany and Austria (not cinemas, mind you - theatres with live shows) it is strictly prohibited to bring any food or drink into the auditorium, and of course strongly forbidden to consume any of it. That said, there are those audience members who do need a  cough lozenge or a sip of water to calm a throat, and that is usually O.K. 

I cannot imagine seeing anyone actually eating during a performance! (my husband once saw a woman in the first row knitting, which made him pretty angry, as he thought she should be paying more attention to the play hein which he was acting...we had quite a discussion on that, as I can sure see the point of an audience-member wanting to use their hands productively and quietly... but, I digress!) 

 

-d-

 

Several women of my mother's generation would talk about knitting socks while they were at the movies -- they were quite proud of the fact that they could knit without looking at their project (though some did need to wait till the lights came back up to turn the heel).  It was a war-time thing, I think -- they were encouraged to make socks for themselves and "their men."

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Pherenk and sandik, yes, those are good stories. My husband was quite miffed; but he has since come to see that it is not necessarily a sign that someone is not paying attention if they are doing something else with their hands while watching/listening to a play. (except eating - ha!)

In fact, isn't there some evidence that doing something physical whilst listentng /watching helps some /many people to concentrate? (in one of my DDs grade-school classes the students were encouraged to bring those large, rubber spherical things (one cannot type certain words here...) which they could sit and "bounce" on during lessons; they just had to have a small "ring" udnerneath so that the spherical objects would not roll away when the kids got up. :)  

 

Back to the topic: 

In some theatres here there is an intermission put into even the shortest of shows so that the folks who sell drinks and small snacks can make a bit of money. Of course, with an intermission one runs up agains the possibility that some people will LEAVE then.

 

-d-

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4 hours ago, diane said:

Back to the topic: 

In some theatres here there is an intermission put into even the shortest of shows so that the folks who sell drinks and small snacks can make a bit of money. Of course, with an intermission one runs up agains the possibility that some people will LEAVE then.

 

-d-

 

My sister's comment, after seeing a particularly unpleasant production performed without an intermission, was that when the presenter doesn't break at the traditional point, it's because they don't trust you to come back.

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