On June 1, I went to the Connaught Theatre to see the wonderful Globe Theatre’s tour company in ‘King Lear’. It was excellent, or should have been.
Prior to the start an announcement was made, as usual, requesting people to turn off their mobile phones, or put them on silent.
Approximately two-thirds of the way through the first half, the elderly lady sitting next to me had her iPhone ‘go off’.
After rummaging around her handbag she managed to find a button and stop the noise.
This was repeated three times, and then it was the interval. She and her neighbour then had a discussion about what they could and couldn’t do with their phones, and managed to turn her phone off... then turn it back on again!
I got up and walked out. The alternative was to be extremely rude to her.
On June 20, my friend and I went to the Ritz to see the excellent ‘Behind the Candelabra’.
Again a ‘please turn your phones off’ message was given, and again people in the row in front and behind us had phones that kept flicking on and off.
Why bother to go to the theatre if you have to have constant access to a mobile phone? What did people do before mobile phones? And why should you think it’s okay to disturb the rest of the audience, who sometimes have paid quite a bit of money to watch plays and/or films?
Perhaps the Connaught could ‘do a Richard Griffiths’ and ask people to leave if they are unable to agree to the request to turn off their phones.