Now as a regular theatre-goer I’m aware of how annoying it can be just sitting in the audience when a phone goes off. But it must be ten times worse for an actor trying to put on a fantastic performance and then being rudely interrupted and that is why I have to applaud mr Cumberbatch’s attempts to stop people from filming or taking photographs or answering their phones during their performance.
But how can people’s attitudes to switching their phones off be changed? Well sadly in this growing digital age we can’t seem to do without knowing what is going on the world for a couple of hours or trying to keep a memory alive by taking a picture during a performance. But as Benedict says it should be memorable in a way that can’t be captured by a photograph – whether or not it is a great, bad or indifferent production.
Sadly it is a growing problem and it could be argued that theatres need to take a sterner line with it: even by throwing people out of the theatre if caught. It may seem harsh but it seems that it would be the only way that people will learn. At the moment having ushers just show a sign saying no photography or filming and even an announcement doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference.
But people should also have more common sense as well. You are there to enjoy the production not to sit on your phone. If you want interact with people through technology then do it away from the theatre. It is down to good manners, courtesy and respect for everyone who has worked hard to make the production what it is.
So please people have some respect for those sitting near to you as well as the actors performing because you are really spoiling what could be a great night with your need to be attached to your phone!
Hear what Mr Cumberbatch had to say here: