The Guardian is a particularly interesting source because it went from a paper platform to a solely online platform. Lyn Gardner’s culture blog is one in a million. Lyn Gardner certainly follows the Blogging Rules that are taught to journalism students today. Her posts are conversational yet educational; they are funny yet lean!
She wrote one post entitled “Is it Time to Teach Theatre Manners to Children?” which posed the question of who really needs to be lectured about theatre manners – children or adults?
After seeing Richard III on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, I was provoked to write a similar article. A man was sitting two seats away from me and asked me something that I could not understand due to his strong accent in the middle of Act I. Trying to be as polite to him as possible, I leaned over and asked him quietly to repeat it. He asked, “who is the actor playing Richard III?” I whispered the actor’s name in his ear. After this, he responded with the same question, this time much louder. It was clear that the man was just trying to understand the story so that he could appreciate the play, but he did not know the best way to come to this understanding. Two girls down the row shushed us. The man then brought out his phone and pointed to a picture he had taken (during the show) and asked if he was right about the actor being Richard. I responded with “We’ll talk during intermission.” For the rest of the act, this man was on his phone.
He was the talk of the green room for the next few hours because several theatre students who were also watching the performance had seen and heard him during the show. While I want more than anything for everyone in the community to experience theatre, I cannot help but be quite bothered by the lack of consideration for fellow theatre patrons from this man on Wednesday evening. I would be lying if I said that I was not silently wishing during the intermission (sorry, Lyn, “interval) that this man would chicken out and go home.