Recently, I saw the Original Broadway cast of Hair perform at London’s very own Gielgud Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. Luckily for me, I had seen the show once before, because little did I know my theatregoing experience was to be ruined by having THAT theatregoer sitting next to me.
I’m always pretty lucky with the people I end up sitting next to in theatres. Normally they’re Fairly calm, they applaud at the end of numbers and so and so forth. I think this particular patron was my comeuppance for all the other pleasant experiences.
I’m not going to talk about Hair itself in this blog - we will save that for another time - but for those of you who don’t know the show, it revolves around a tribe of hippies in the time of the Vietnam war. A plot synopsis is on the Hair Wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_(musical)
From the very beginning of the show, this woman would not so much as look at the stage. Her husband kept saying loudly “YOU’RE MISSING IT!” much to my distress. Once he had stopped telling her she was missing it she began fanning herself with a flyer from the show. Now I don’t know about you guys, but fanning is one of my major pet hates in a theatre, especially when you take into account the fact that we were sitting on the second row of the stalls (that’s Orchestra for any readers from over the pond). Really, does it matter how hot it is? Some of the theatres in London are over 100 years old, built before the time air conditioning existed, so I never do understand why people assume they will be air conditioned.
So after a first half of fanning and not looking at the stage and “YOU’RE MISSING IT!” they left without having applauded once in the whole show. This upset me because, and you’ll know this if you’ve seen Hair, those guys put their hearts and souls into every performance. As far as I’m concerned, I applaud whether or not I like the content of a show
Their exit line?
Wife : Where will we go? Husband : I don’t know. Anywhere but here.
Needless to say, that comedy moment made up for the fanning.
Let me know about the most annoying person you’ve ever sat next to at a show. Would love to hear everyones stories.