Suffering for art: The Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra
The Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra
© Scott Beale

A survey of theatregoers has revealed that checking mobile phones during performances is considered the most annoying audience bad habit.

The survey, conducted on behalf of Ticketmaster, also showed that taking photos, whispering and 'laughing when not intended' were high on the list of annoyances.

Although checking one's phone during a performance came highest on the list, with 92 percent calling it 'unacceptable' behaviour, nearly 30 percent admit to having it done it themselves.

Meanwhile, just over half (52%) of respondents felt that dressing 'casually' is acceptable at the theatre, increasing significantly among 16 to 19 year-olds (72%).

And close to one in four (24%) said they Tweet either before or after a performance (increasing to 47% of 16 to 19 year-olds), while two in five have bought music related to a performance after their attendance and 31% have read the script.

Audience code of conduct
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The report, based on Ticketmaster transactions and a survey of nearly 1500 people, also reveals that theatre is growing in popularity with young people, with a 71 percent increase in attendees in the 16-25 age bracket from 2009.

It found that most theatregoers primarily attend as a 'treat' (21%) or because of their interest in theatre (20%). Of those attending as a treat, 52% said they attended two or more times in the past year.

Encouragingly, it found that two in three of respondents planned to maintain or increase the number of musicals and plays they attend this year.

Read our full story on the report here