Get this, the theatre is wonderful. It’s an experience like none else. However, there are still some severe pet peeves that really threaten to drive me to my deathbed.

Yeah, I am going to be that guy and bicker about theatre etiquette.

1. Coming In Late.
You know when the show starts, try and be at the theatre at least 30 minutes before the show starts. Nobody is going to wait for you and no one wants to see you crouch down as your shadow crosses the stage or worse, squeeze between people to get to your seat.

2. Taking up way too much room.
Sit on your seat like a normal person. Don’t stretch your arms out, cross your legs or do any other weird crap. And under no circumstances take up both armrests. One each. Stay in your lane. Personal space is important, even in the theatre.

3. Being on your phone.
I don’t care what emergency you are having; turning your phone on is an atmosphere killer. It’s distracting and irritating. Turn. It. Off.

4. Talking.
I don’t want to hear about what you had for dinner or what you think of the plot so far. Shut your trap. The actors are talking, that’s what’s important. As soon as you enter the auditorium, shut it. Don’t wait for the show to start. Just shut up.

5. Public Display of Affection or PDA
Why? Going to see a play might be an excellent idea for a date, but please, get a room. I’m here to watch people pretend to be in love, not see you two lusting in front of my face. Move!

6. Taking bathroom breaks.
Bathroom breaks are for people 13 and younger. Or probably old people, because obviously; ageing has its ups and downs. Young adults, I don’t need to keep pressing against my chair to let you navigate back and forth. Use the bathroom before the show or during intervals. If there are no intervals, suck it up.

7. Discussing the plot.
This is live theatre with actual bodies performing on a stage. Don’t be that person who keeps explaining the plot, or revealing the ending, because you may saw it already. You are disturbing the audience and spoiling the play for other people behind/next to you.

8. Aggressive applause.
In the theatre, everyone appreciates good applause. But, wow, don’t be Raggedy Ann and Andy. You are in a room. Try and compose yourself. It bothers me when people are outrageous with their cheering. Also, NEVER ‘boooo’ in theatre. Wait for the curtain call and give the performers the appreciation they deserve.


Written by Zuleit Matthys

Zuleit Matthys is a film & theatre Blogger and Journalist, Playwright & Theatre Director. Twitter: @zuleitmatthys Instagram:@zuleit_matthys eMail:

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