You are in the middle of enjoying your evening’s entertainment when a toddler starts to cry or needs the toilet, spoiling the moment.
While some will empathise with a parent trying to enjoy a rare night out or keep their young family entertained, others will find it hard to hide their exasperation.
In a move that is likely to split opinion, theatre bosses have taken the unusual step of warning parents that they won’t be allowed into the Playhouse in Edinburgh for the visit of Disney’s best-loved family stage production.
Toddlers will be unable to join parents and older siblings in the stalls for the Lion King when the production arrives in the Capital later this year.
The Tony award-winning production – which features music from Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice – has been seen by more than 100 million people worldwide since it was first performed on Broadway in 1997.
And a further message on the official Disney.co.uk ticket site for the show states: “The Lion King is recommended for a general audience. As an advisory to adults who might bring young people, Disney recommends The Lion King for ages six and up. Children under the age of three will not be admitted into the theatre. All persons aged 16 or under must be accompanied by an adult and may not sit on their own within the auditorium. All persons entering the theatre, regardless of age, must have a ticket.”
It is not clear whether the move is intended to prevent other theatre-goers from being disturbed or to protect the best interests of younger children as the stage production features strobe lighting and loud music which can be harmful to tots.
The mother, who asked not to be named, said: “I can understand the need to keep some younger children protected from what is happening on the stage if it is not age appropriate while also making sure those who have paid for their tickets can enjoy the show.
“But I think it is short-sighted to ban all kids under the age of three from the performances.
“Many parents have more than one child and for some to miss out because their younger sibling is not allowed in the same theatre is unfair on both the children and the
Similar guidelines are also in place for the show at the Bristol Hippodrome – a venue also operated by the Amabassador Theatre Group which owns the Playhouse.
No one was available for comment when contacted by the Evening News.