Theatre outing take 1

15 04 2010

On Monday, I had tickets to see Traces at the Olympia theatre in Dublin, a venue I have been to a few times this year. I have to admit that it’s not my favourite theatre to see a show because there are too many places where your view can be restricted, but that’s by the bye.

The seats we were allocated were at an angle to the stage with some of it not in view. So as soon as the lights went down we moved. Of course, half the audience turned up late so it wasn’t long until we was turfed out of the seats we’d commandeered.

The opening act was great – Fiona Melady played some beautiful songs which the audience revelled in. Each song received a rapturous round of applause and the audience listened in silence to each song. My only criticism would be, she didn’t say who she was at the end of her set, so those of us who were not paying attention at the beginning or people who arrived late didn’t know who to Google at the end of the night.

During the interval we had a few drinks in the theatre bar and the atmosphere was relaxed and fun. The main show, Traces, had been given such a build up it would be interesting to see if it lived up to expectation…and after my night – I couldn’t give you an honest answer.

What I saw of the show was amazing – beautiful dance and breathtaking acrobatics that had everyone oohing and aahing.

However…the row in front of where we were sitting arrived as the show was beginning. It was clear early on that these people decided a night at the theatre was the perfect excuse for a session and the smell of rancid alcohol wafted from them. They began to talk loudly over the show, and didn’t quiet down when they were shushed from all angles. The couple in front turned around and asked them to be quiet which resulted in giggles and swearing from the women in question.

I also asked for them to quiet down, but I was ignored. Then one turned around and accused me of kicking her seat and in her head that constituted assault. Then the people behind me got involved by fighting my corner and…well to cut a long story short my evening was ruined by these people.

I have never experienced anything like it! Why do people think it’s acceptable to go to the theatre off their faces then make everyone around them feel uncomfortable? I felt threatened for the rest of the performance and was worried what they were going to do next.

It was worrying that not one member of the Olympia staff was on hand to diffuse the situation and it was perfectly clear that there was an incident taking place. At the end of the show I made a complaint to the manager who offered tickets to another date of the same show, which I accepted, but as you can imagine this experienced has tarnished my opinion of the place.

None of this is a reflection on the show which deserves the glowing reviews it has received. I’m just shocked that people think it’s acceptable to behave like this in a theatre – especially when there were children present.

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