LETTER: Noises off spoil our enjoyment

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It was good to see so many (and attentive) young children at the matinee performance of Swan Lake at The Capitol theatre on Saturday (8th November). A pity that a number of the younger generation of grown-ups were unable to match them in knowing how to behave during a theatre performance.

If Tchaikovsky had wanted his ballet to be accompanied by the rustling of popcorn bags and crunching of crisps, he would have surely written this into the score? Throughout the auditorium there was the constant distraction of confectionery grazing, particularly from the people behind and beside us who munched, crunched, rustled and guzzled their way through the performance, oblivious that this was spoiling the enjoyment of those sitting within audible range.

Much can be attributed to a generation of adults, some of whom do not seem to know how to conduct themselves in public and who treat a live performance as if they were sitting on their settee at home watching a DVD.

Blame can equally, however, be attributed to The Capitol’s policy of allowing food and drink into the auditorium.

Agreed this is fine during the pantomime season where anything goes (and usually does). But, as we have noticed on previous visits, are some theatre-goers not able to enjoy two 60 minute sessions without having to bring in quantities of lager in flimsy plastic beakers and armfuls of sweets in rustling bags? Intervals are provided for refreshment. But then that would of course put a serious dent in The Capitol’s kiosk sales. And don’t get us started about latecomers being admitted after the performance has begun because that’s another letter.

Are we just unlucky in our seat selections, or is this becoming commonplace? Do we have the support of other theatre-goers or are we just old fogeys who ought to stay in more?

ANNE and GRAHAM RUMNEY

Beaver Close, Horsham