The rules of engagement

janet Bliss, 22 June 2012

Janet - convener
Participants: Vanessa, Kate, Sam, Lorraine, Annie, Chris and people who joined half way through

The title changed overnight, as the convener of the topic I had originally written ‘ban popcorn in cinemas’ and ‘ should people who snog in theatres be asked to leave?’. What I realised is that both of these subjects are about what is acceptable in a public space. Thus the title ‘the rules of engagement’ widen the discussion.

Use of mobile phones to make/take calls, text generally annoy people. The ‘jury’ was out on tweeting as this is encouraged in some situations.

People think they are in their own private space and seem unaware of the consequences of their actions i.e. could be disrespectful to the actors, the audience.

HOWEVER, there are big cultural differences for example, Bollywood films are long and the audience are used to taking a packed lunch with them/children. Comedy clubs expect you to drink during the performance, which may result in burping and farting!!

There are lots of unwritten rules attached to theatre, many of these are changing i.e. dress code, drinking during the performance.

Setting rules is seen as the thin end of the wedge, where to the rules apply to people who may be disabled and make spontaneous noises during a performances?

Relaxed performances are places where almost anything goes, but the audience buy their ticket knowing this.

To be inclusive theatres need to move with the times.


cultural differences, expectations