We love going to the theatre as much as we love putting on great shows. There’s always that hum of anticipation in the foyer and theatre before the audience bell rings and the lights dim. The excitement of seeing something new, or perhaps an old favourite.The opening number that makes you sit up straight and take notice. The murmurs of appreciation.

But … with the good comes the not-so-good. You know, the things other people do that irritate us while we’re watching or performing. We all have theatre pet peeves (we’re probably guilty of more than one), whether we are an audience member, employee or performer. And when we’re confronted with them, our response can range from mild snarkiness to seeing red.

We’ve compiled a list of theatre bugbears below – which of these set you off? What would you add?

  • People who talk during performances
  • Big hair
  • People rustling food packets and sweet wrappers
  • Crunching
  • Phones not turned on to silent
  • People texting
  • Flash photography
  • Sniffing
  • Intoxicated audience members
  • People singing along
  • Food smells
  • Loud breathing
  • Sleeping during the show
  • ‘What did she say?’ or ‘What just happened?’
  • People wearing earbuds during a performance
  • Public displays of affection
  • Seat tappers (or kickers)
  • Reflective clothing

Just in case you need reminding, we have also compiled a handy THEATRE ETIQUETTE guide. Each theatre has its own policies regarding food, drinks, mobile phones and photography, so it’s always best to make sure you know what to expect before you go. And if, on the off-chance you are allowed to bring in food or take photos, try to think about how you might be affecting the experience of those around you, as well as the performers.

Let us entertain you!

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