West End Theatre Etiquette Question

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jordangirl
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West End Theatre Etiquette Question#1
Posted: 2/11/08 at 4:21pm
Given the thread about tourists over on the Broadway board, I want to make sure I'm prepared for my trip this weekend. What is the proper etiquette at West End theatres ~ applause, ushers, etc. What should one know going in so as not to tick anyone off? I like to mingle nicely.

Thanks! :)
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#2
Posted: 2/11/08 at 4:28pm
i thought you were here last weekend? i was waiting for your report lol
Basically one to remember is that UK audiences hold back a little more on the applause than in NY. Its rare an usher will take you to your seat as in NY
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 2/11/08 at 04:28 PM
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#2
Posted: 2/11/08 at 4:38pm
Nope ~ it's this upcoming one. Leaving Friday after school gets out and my little darlings go on their buses! :) I'll report in late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

Thanks for the advice. I've been in so many mezzanines or off-Broadway houses where they kind of point you lately I'm not used to being shown to my seat anyway. Good advice on the applause. :) Thanks!
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#3
Posted: 2/11/08 at 4:39pm
Q. have you seen Sweeney yet?
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#4
Posted: 2/11/08 at 4:55pm
Not since we watched the video of the production with Angela and...I forget...when I was in college. It's not one of my favorites.
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
LIVE THAT LESSON!!!!!!
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#5
Posted: 2/11/08 at 5:48pm
The playbills are called programmes and don't come free; you'll be expected to pay for them. As discussed on the Broadway board good manners and common courtesy will see you through. It will be interesting to hear your thoughts on how audiences compare.

Do let us know what you think of Billy Elliott as well. It will be interesting to get an American perspective on this.
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#6
Posted: 2/11/08 at 6:03pm
Thanks scripps2. How much are they?

I'll definitely give a report when I get back! :)
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
LIVE THAT LESSON!!!!!!
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#7
Posted: 2/11/08 at 6:11pm
Programes (Playbills) are about £3 ($5), well worth it because they have so much more inside than Playbills and are of a far superior quality esp if your a collector. Musicals will have brochures which will cost up to £10 ($1re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question.
When i mentioned 'Sweney' i meant the new movie. If you havent and you have 1hr 30m spare from walking and walking i suggest you go to see it at the Odeon Leicester Sq -the screenings there are the best in the world and i know that NY has no cinemas of this size with this kind of presentation. I saw the premier there and it is stunning. Just a suggestion, i travel the world and sometimes a break of 2hrs in a movie theatre is just what i need
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#8
Posted: 2/11/08 at 6:13pm
The programmes can very between £3 and £5 and contain the sort of cast list/production team information you find in the central pages of Playbills but little of the wider coverage of what's going on in the theatre world that Playbills have.

Some productions also have Souvenir Brochures as well (Billy Elliott included) which can cost up to £10, contain less information than the programmes but more production photographs. The production photographs may be of various casts and not necessarily the cast you see on stage, they may also have a lot of advertising in so I would ask to look at one before I decided to buy it.
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#9
Posted: 2/11/08 at 6:24pm
Cool! Thanks all! I'm playing Sunday and Monday until I go to the airport by easr...see what I feel like ~ visiting wise. :) Since I've been to London before and done things like the Tower, so I can be more relaxed this time.
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
LIVE THAT LESSON!!!!!!
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#10
Posted: 2/11/08 at 9:11pm
To make things more clear. The things that we in NY call playbills are the smaller of the two programs ( the one that goes for about five bucks) is what has the more of the cast info. And the typical broadway programs are the larger of the two and just like on Broadway contain cast photos ect.


Also, don't forget to get the ice cream in the theatre at intermission. I wish they did that on broadway. Also, note in London that people can eat in the theatre and not be noisy or dirty about it. If I find out that they are selling popcorn in the Shaftsbury for hairspray like they do on broadway I will have a stroke.

My advice as a NY theatre goer. If your in London try not to see things you can see on Broadway. In both places there are a slew of shows you can only see on Broadway and the West End and don't have a lot of time. Don't waist it by seeing shows that are also playing on Broadway. That allowed me to enjoy my theatre going a lot more.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#11
Posted: 2/11/08 at 9:55pm
Thanks Winston! :)

The tickets are already bought ~ I want to see Billy before it comes here, and I am weird enough to want to see another take on The Vertical Hour. I loved it here...so we'll see.

Thanks for the advice!
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
LIVE THAT LESSON!!!!!!
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#12
Posted: 2/12/08 at 5:46am
Sorry if i didnt make things clear enough for you!!!
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#13
Posted: 2/12/08 at 6:08am
English audiences can be a little reserved, but not as reserved as those in Japan etc.

My advice, as long as you are behaving in a civilised manner, kick back and enjoy the show - clap when you want and laugh when you need to. An audience can't tell you how to enjoy something, as long as you aren't going "mad" !

Energy, life and response from an audience is always welcome I think if you are an performer in a big show.
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#14
Posted: 2/12/08 at 3:23pm
If you order a drink at the interval (intermission?) and don't have time to finish it before Act II starts, ask the bar staff to pour it into a plastic container and you can then take it back into the auditorium (glasses aren't allowed in the auditorium) and finish it whilst the show is on. I don't know if there is a similar rule on Broadway or not.

Having said that, drinks are prohibitively expensive in theatre bars and so you are probably better off having an ice cream and getting a drink elsewhere afterwards!
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#15
Posted: 2/12/08 at 3:35pm
True True True! but nearly every theatre has a pub next door or across the road that you can get your interval drinks in- and theyll remind you to get back in time for act 2!
Its funny the little habits you get into over 30 years of theare going! lol
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#16
Posted: 2/12/08 at 3:43pm
This only really affects girls... I find that West End theatres, with the exception of a few of the larger ones, tend to have hardly any toilets. You might want to try and go quickly at the end of Act 1, because a massive queue usually tends to form.
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#17
Posted: 2/12/08 at 3:45pm
True True True again! Another good reason for going to the pub in the interval.
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#18
Posted: 2/12/08 at 3:52pm
I'm always afraid of going into pubs if I'm not actually buying a drink, but I find cafés to be helpful sometimes. They're less intimidating.
Updated On: 2/12/08 at 03:52 PM
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#19
Posted: 2/12/08 at 4:43pm
When I first went to a British theatre I was amazed by the ushers selling Hagen Dass during intervals. Is it the same costume on Broadway?
Sarah bernhardt to a fellow actress: "Have you got stage fright, dear?" "No," the young lady aswered astonished. "Don't worry, it will come along with talent!"
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#20
Posted: 2/12/08 at 4:46pm
No, all you get are Milk Duds etc. The Novello theatre where Avenue Q is playing serves Gin and Tonic flavor ice cream, tho sadly not in double measures!!!



A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#21
Posted: 2/12/08 at 9:48pm
On Broadway they sell over priced candy and chips as well as soft drinks and wine ect.

Personally, on Broadway I NEVER ever get anything at the theatre. Only because it is over priced like mad and not worth it. If I am really hungry I will go to the corner and get a hot dog from the hot dog cart and eat it then. In times square there is a hot dog cart virtually on every corner if not every other corner.


Also, when I was in London I never found the intermission to be as rushed as it is in NYC. It could just be me etc. But, when I was in London a couple of years ago everyone took their time during the intermission and everyone was relaxed. On Broadway it is very rushed. You quickly go to the bar and get a drink or go to the bathroom and you only have fifteen minuets and it is VERY strictly timed.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#22
Posted: 2/12/08 at 11:06pm
You were fine WickedBoy2. :0 I read you loud and clear! :)
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
LIVE THAT LESSON!!!!!!
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#23
Posted: 2/13/08 at 5:57am
Im sure you now all about getting around London cheaply if your staying with a friend! BUT if not, If you use the bus and tube a lot in one day it can be very expensive- like $7 to go just one stop on the tube! -thats $7 to go from 45th St to 50th St in NY!!!
Just to get in a taxi before it moves is like $6 or 7!
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 2/13/08 at 05:57 AM
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re: West End Theatre Etiquette Question#24
Posted: 2/13/08 at 6:30am
I'd actually been told to just get the Oyster Card ~ that it was the chraper way to go. The only time I'll be outside the inner zones is going to and from Heathrow.
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
LIVE THAT LESSON!!!!!!