Anti-social behaviour at the Playhouse - Your views online

The director of Edinburgh’s Playhouse theatre has hit out at audience members who abuse his staff when challenged over anti-social behaviour ranging from singing along to West End musicals to using their phones during performances at his venue. We asked for your views...

By The Newsroom
Monday, 28th February 2022, 2:40 pm
Playhouse director Colin Marr has criticised anti-social behaviour in his theatre
Playhouse director Colin Marr has criticised anti-social behaviour in his theatre

Ian Ross: I wholeheartedly agree with the Playhouse management. I have experienced much the same attitude from a minority of members of audiences at the theatre which I work at too.

Lynne Crawford Knight: I complained about very anti-social behaviour from the seats behind us during the first half of a performance last year and nothing was done. A bunch of mouthy, loud, sweary drunk adults with a stinking chippy at a kids’ Disney show. It tainted our whole experience, which at those prices was more than a treat; it was my birthday and Christmas presents for the family. If it was just folk being caught up in the magic and singing along I wouldn’t have had an issue – in fact I might have joined in!

Doreen Hunt: It's great to be able to sing along. Makes more fun as I like to appreciate the music. Worried now about going to Playhouse as I love to sing.

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Sarah Heeney: Maybe join a choir? I love to sing too so I do that on a Wednesday night. When I go to a show I want to hear the cast weave their magic over the audience. There is often an opportunity at the end of the show these days to stand up and sing as well if they add a "megamix" at the end.

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Graham Robinson: You can go to any gig and there will be a bunch of folk chatting away as if they are in their front rooms. Disrespectful to the artists.

Colin J Whitson: Surely people pay to hear the show and don't spend good money to hear the folk round about them drowning out the show with their horrible atonal karaoke attempts at “singing” along .

Emma Porter: Of course you want to sing along to a musical you have paid to see. However, it can be done in a respectful way. If you are intoxicated and acting in an overzealous way then naturally staff have the right to challenge you and possibly ask you to leave if needed.

Anne Rae: I was at Bat Out of Hell recently. There was a group of drunken women singing throughout the performance. They were disruptive but still remained until the end of the performance, presumably because they were so drunk they couldn't finish a song between them. One chap near me kept shouting at them and calling them morons, which was disruptive too.

Laird Ronald Simpson: It’s total disrespect. Yes, people want to sing along but there are designated shows that allow you to do this. Please do not spoil the art of the musicals.

Lorna Frier: I think some people forget they aren’t at home. I pay to hear the people onstage not the audience. My Mum had to stop a woman conducting “Les Ms once. Very distracting!

Debbie McConnell: When I went to see Wicked at the Playhouse, a few years back, I was horrified at how the general public acted during the performance. The aisles were like Charing Cross throughout the performance and by no means from children only – adults were up and down throughout the show. It was unbelievably distracting, with many talking and so much rustling etc. I'd never been to a show like it! Completely ruined it for me. I don't understand why people would pay all that money for tickets and then hardly bother to watch what's going on on-stage! Glad to hear that matters are being dealt with, but very sad that staff are suffering abuse because of it! They do a wonderful job!

Moira Todd: There are hours of rehearsal time involved in production of any kind. It is therefore so disrespectful to the cast and crew for all this disruption to take place. The stewards should mot have to be dealing with this, but the culture nowadays seemes to be that folks can't sit back and enjoy a show without drinks, eats etc. Selfish people who don't know how to behave in a theatre. It's just awful.

Lorna Gatens: Unless it's a "sing-a-long" showing, people should be aware of others' enjoyment and be respectful. Violence towards the staff is unacceptable and never to be tolerated.

Scottish Nic: I went to see Dirty Dancing at the Playhouse years ago and the crowd were awful. Large groups, really really drunk, folk being sick, arguing, shouting over the performers and heckling them. It was just all way over the top and spoiled the show .

Gavin McGuire: It's a theatre.. not a nightclub.

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