beginners

who pretends it's not his corny ringtone disrupting the show mid-performance. We know it's you. 4 SKIP THE FOOD AND DRINKS. Tough as it may be, try to sit ...
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MAN OPINION

Rules 7beginners for theatre

What can you learn from attending over 120 performances every year? Quite a lot, writes Eugene Yiga 1 Dress the part

You don’t have to go all out, but at least make an effort. Don’t be the hipster who spends an hour getting ready and still looks like a hobo, either. Banish your beanie and fire hazard of a beard. It’s the theatre, not a soup kitchen.

5 Shut up

The actors don’t need to hear your ‘hmms’, ‘sjoes!’, and inappropriate laughter because you’re uncomfortable with swear words or heavy truths. Nor do you need to exchange thoughts with your companions. Even in stand-up comedy, where some heckling might be okay, keep it appropriate. People are trying to work. 6 Clap when it’s over

Unless you want to ruin a performance by inter-movement applause, wait until the people on stage are taking a bow. And if it’s a sombre show, don’t be like the soccer moms who think yoga is a workout that needs thunderous clapping at the end. If nobody around you is applauding, your claps might get you klapped. 7 Stand at your discretion

2 Arrive on time

Know where you’re going and make sure your plus-one is prompt. And, if you arrive late, forget about your assigned seats and sneak in through the back to find a private corner to hang your head in shame.

Unless you’re at a TED conference, where standing ovations are as common as Top Billing’s use of the word ‘glitz’, exercise some restraint. Too many standing ovations make them somewhat meaningless. And the theatre is where meaning matters most.

3 Put away your phone

Don’t be the guy who keeps checking the score online. Don’t be the guy who doesn’t understand what ‘no audiovisual recordings’ means, or the one who pretends it’s not his corny ringtone disrupting the show mid-performance. We know it’s you. 4 Skip the food and drinks

Tough as it may be, try to sit still and be present for something in the real world. Stick to a bottle of water lest you shatter a wine glass at your feet. And don’t unwrap

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candies – always too slow, always too loud – during a performance. You can survive for hours, if not days, without a snack.