Stott's Eviction Request a Bridge Too Far???
Date: 30 March 2009
An incident last week in which Ken Stott stopped a performance of A View From the Bridge to demand the eviction of a school party has divided opinion among audience members.
Stott stopped the performance at the Duke of York's theatre last Thursday (30 Mar 2009) midway through the first half to request the schoolchildren, who were sitting at the front of the stalls and were reportedly “giggling at a few inappropriate moments”, to leave. According to the Evening Standard, there then followed a “15-minute stand-off” as the supervising teacher sprung to the defence of the children. However, following further protests by Stott, who was supported by chants of “Out! Out! Out!” from other audience members, the teacher eventually escorted the party away.
The event has sparked a heated debate on our Whatsonstage.com discussion board. One member described the “mob mentality” of the audience as “scary”, while a few denounced Stott's actions as “unacceptable”. However, most have come out in staunch support of the actor. “For such an intense role, why should he have to put up with disruption?” writes one, while another concludes: “Since he (Stott) is a professional, it's safe to assume he didn't do that lightly”.
The event followed another incident last week (21 March) in which a couple were evicted from a performance of John Godber's Bouncers at the Lincoln Drill Hall for laughing too much. According to the Lincolnshire Echo, the middle-aged pair were the subject of audience complaints after “laughing at moments that weren't funny, kicking the seats in front and being loud”. It proved an unfortunate irony considering the show was billed as being capable of making you "laugh until they throw you out".Got some goss? Contact email@example.com
|The problem is of course an audience brought up on television and CD's where chatting your way through an entire performance has no effect on the performance. Don't just blame the young. I performed in a play called US and Them set in a teacher's common room. My role as the nasty required me to sit for most of the time seemingly doing nothing. The front row chatted the entire time, commenting on the performance. I've also directed a play in the round where a young woman enjoyed the performance so much that she brought a group of friends to see it for a second time. They sat within touching distance of the actors while she provided a running comment on what was going to happen next.
This sort of thing is bound to happen if we're lucky enough to be able to entice people to see live theatre who haven't any concept of how their actions may affect the actors and the rest of the audience. Nic - Alex Nicol||08 Apr 09|
|Couldn't agree more! why give free seats to the young, anyway - why not to the cash-strapped pensioner, like me? - Tina||01 Apr 09|
|I agree with ken Stott, why should unruly people disrupt his performance and glad he had the guts to stop the play and stand up to them. - Joe Spiteri||01 Apr 09|
|Firstly i completely agree with the fact that people who are going to see such serious performances should behave with some(no, a lot)of decency, the actors do need the right ''condiditions'' to get into and sustain a role, although Ken Stott is supposed to a professional and should have continued and let the people whos job it is (the ushers and etc) to escort them out, not stop the whole performance for the sake of a couple of irresponsible people. - Anonymous||31 Mar 09|
|I think it is not only schoolchildren who need to learn how to behave at the theatre it is, as someone has already said, the persisitent coughers, talkers, sweet rustlers and, what was new to me this year, people who open bottles of fizzy drinks which go pfzzzz everytime. I was amazed when watching Hamlet last year how for a while during the soliloquies everyone was silent but as soon as there was more than one actor on the stage the coughing started. And people who come in late after the production has started and strt to chat to their friends. - J Hains||31 Mar 09|
|i think that ken stott should be applauded for what he did. i remember that richard griffiths stoppped a performance of heros (which also starred ken stott) to tell a woman whose mobile kept ringing to get out
there was also an incident years ago in the peter hall production of ideal husband when it first opened at the globe and they refused to come back after the interval because of the amount of coughing in the auditrium
i was at a performance on an inspector calls last week in wimbledon which was riddled with school parties, and the girl behind us yakked and yakked. my friend stood up in front of her to obstruct her view. in her best lauren accent she told him to sit down. he said he would sit down if she shut up
the price of theatre tickets these days i think it is only right that people should shut up or get out. there was a woman next to me last night at spring awakening who kept texting during the show - every 30 seconds there was a flashing light - stay at home love and watch eastenders or corrie if its all to much for you!!
if i had been ken stott i would have asked the audience - do you want them out?????
good on you ken!!!!! - Paul||31 Mar 09|
|I fully agree that people should behave respectfully and not distract others in the audience - or, in some ways more appallingly - distract those on stage from doing their job and entertaining the patrons of the event. I would also like to state that I am only 24 years old - and very much WANT to be at the theatre; being that I'm a University Lecturer in Performing Arts. Not everyone who is under 26 is a moron. - Mad-Hatter||31 Mar 09|
|It was only a matter of time. If theatres refuse to demand that audiences behave(not just children but coughers, talkers, water-bottle cracking twits,twitterers,etc)what do they expect? Now if you dare to commit the crime of being over 26 you are expected to pay full price whilst the morons (who don't even want to be there) get in FREE! - Joesmith||31 Mar 09|
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