By Zosia Eyres
Going to the theatre can be intimidating, there are so many traps you can fall into and so many faux pas that you can make in front of the people you’re trying to impress. I’ve therefore compiled some tips that could help get you in with the coolest of people, those lovely thesps.
1) Make sure you wear your best theatre clothes. I suggest that you start your outfit with your signature “I go to the theatre” beret as it suggests a certain continental charm and superiority.
2) Always buy the most expensive tickets and while you’re walking past the more affordable seats, discuss how you think it’s “so cute” that the people in them are having a nice day out from whatever they normally do.
3) If you’re going to see a Shakespeare, make sure you read the text a number of times in preparation to memorise every play on words (there will be a lot of these.) This is so you can start laughing a few seconds before the jokes are told on stage to show everyone how well-acquainted you are with the Bard and how the Renaissance language doesn’t ever mask the comic nuance for you.
4) If you’re going to a theatre where ice-cream sellers wander around you during the interval, do not buy anything from them. You’re not at a pantomime (God forbid.) While I’m discussing this point I must stress, never go to a pantomime.
5) Prepare an opinion about the play that you can loudly talk about during the interval and after the play. Make sure that it’s either sycophantically positive or disgustingly rude.
6) Another topic of discussion should be your own dabbling in the theatrical world. This is most likely amateur level drama and you should say how “of course, you know that it was just silly really but that you were actually highly critically acclaimed for your role” (don’t mention that this was by your parents and the student paper article written by your friend.)
7) If a member of the cast is a famous TV or film actor, pretend that you don’t know who they are because you “haven’t got time for that sort of thing.” The only acceptable exception for this rule is if the actor in question has been in a foreign language film or featured prominently on ‘The Culture Show.’
8) If anyone talks during the performance, look at them with the UTMOST disdain. I mean seriously, look at them as if they’d just punched a pensioner in the face right in front of you. I wouldn’t recommend extending this to shushing the individual because that could lead to awkward confrontation and you’re not very good with real life drama.
Illustration: Nicola Todhunter