Selfish people on their phones at the theatre – talk about rude!


It was recently reported that during a performance of “A Christmas Carol” at the Old Vic, a female (I hope the gender neutral among you won’t object to me using that old-fashioned description) member of the audience used her mobile phone not once . . . but twice!

Then, unbelievably, when a male member of the audience asked her to stop talking on the phone (because it was distracting from what was happening on stage) the woman’s male partner turned around and hit the complainant!

To behave that rudely and disrespectfully in a theatre, the woman and her male partner were either drunk or were so dim they couldn’t grasp the concept that when you’re watching a play, a musical, a panto, an opera or a concert, you switch off your phone/tablet and refrain from using them until the show is over.

I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting the Old Vic, but know it has 1004 seats.

So you’d think more than one person would’ve been annoyed enough to tell the woman to desist from talking on her phone.

And as the often unpredictable Rhys Ifans was in the play, I’m surprised he didn’t stop the action, grab the phone from her and stick it up Bob Cratchit’s proverbial chimney.

People using mobiles and tablets in cinemas have been a right pain for years.

I have anecdotal evidence from a friend that when he saw ‘Gravity’ in 3D, the person in front of him was checking her tablet every 10 minutes . . . . and continually had to take off her 3D glasses to do so!

Yes, that’s how my friend described her, too.

But as this selfish behaviour has now spread to theatres, I’d like to provide a helpful, simple guide to anyone not completely sure whether they’re allowed to make phone calls or text during a live performance.