A dramatic new role has come up in the West End theatre - for bouncers.You wonder why this is now happening. Wasn’t the theatre one of the last bastions of quality entertainment?
Audience behaviour has become so bad that many producers are hiring security staff to throw out the worst offenders.
Well, no. Not any longer:
Ticket prices reduced to as little as £10 to attract younger audiences and a liberal attitude to alcohol in the auditorium have served to fuel the vulgar antics.Wow! Feel the authentic Shakespearian atmosphere!
Some customers have been seen to fight, fondle each other and even publicly urinate.
Problem being, this isn’t the Globe, and it isn’t Elizabethan times…
Nica Burns, who co-owns the Lyric Theatre, where Thriller is playing, and four other West End venues, is among those recruiting bouncers.I think that’s polite theatre code for ‘drunken sluts and chavs’…
'In a show like Thriller you may get people who have never been to the theatre before and may have been out for a drink before they arrive,' she said. 'It can get quite hectic and very boisterous.'
But then, that’s the problem with making things more affordable and trying to attract a ‘younger audience’ – a good portion of that demographic you are chasing have no idea how to behave, and you will wing up losing some of your other demographic (wealthy retirees) as a result:
Greta Scacchi, who appeared last year in Terence Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea, said someone in the audience called out during a particularly dramatic moment.This ties in with the post the other day on manners. Sobers and blueknight both commented on the behaviour of people joining a cricket club and going to the cinema respectively.
'Everyone told him to "Shush". But he just shouted back, "Chill out, I'm only having a bit of fun".'
We seem to have bred a generation incapable of enjoying anything in moderation or quiet contemplation, who demand instant gratification and ‘respect’, and who either don’t realise – or more likely, don’t care - that in hedonistic pursuit of their own desires, they ruin things for everyone else.
Hence we first need ‘quiet carriages’ in trains, then ASBOs and ‘drinking control areas’. Now, bouncers in theatres.
What’s next, I wonder?