Theatre News

Horrors from the stalls: some of the 'best' so far

Read some of your examples of terrifying audience behaviour

Earlier this week we launched our theatre etiquette survey to find out what you think when it comes to audience behaviour in the theatre.

We've had an extraordinary response so far and so we thought, on this day of horrors, we'd share some of your most terrifying moments from the auditorium. You can take part in our theatre etiquette survey here.

1. Attempted murder

One of you told us how a fellow theatregoer threatened to throw someone off the balcony. Blimey.

2. Time for tea

There's been several reports of groups turning up with entire picnics. Examples have included McDonalds, KFC and incredibly, a full on Mexican take-away.

3. Budding musicians

Many have written to us about people singing along throughout the show. One of you even told us about a child playing the drums with his box of popcorn. Nope.


After someone threw an empty coke bottle into the audience a full on fist-fight ensued when it landed on the back of someone’s head.

5. Quick change

Apparently one mother found the aisle an appropriate place to change her toddler’s nappy during the show. Ew.

6. Hi-tech distractions

Several people have told us about instances when parents have given their kids games to play on iPhones/iPads sometimes with the sound turned up at full volume. Grrrrr.

7. Declarations of love

We all have admiration for the people who put together a show, but a few of you were, shall we say, perturbed by screams of "I love you Ronan" directed at Mr Keating during quiet moments in Once the Musical.

8. One too many

Another one that pops up regularly is people having one (or ten) drinks too many. Someone even told us they sat next to someone who was throwing up into a carrier bag as a result of being totally drunk.

9. Indecent exposure

Several actors have famously stopped a show to remonstrate with people whose phones are distracting them, but imagine the actor's surprise when a woman flashed her breasts at the lead performer.

10. NSFW (or the theatre)

It might be hard to believe but we've received a few reports of amorous audience members including one instance of full on hanky panky taking place in a box during a show at a West End theatre.