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WIU to ask her to sit still?

(16 Posts)
Narnia72 Thu 11-Aug-16 19:59:29

Went to see a west end musical with the kids go free offer last night. Took my 2 daughters (8 and 6). We were in the dress circle, so despite the offer the tickets were still £100 in total. A lot of money and a special treat for us.

The rake is quite steep in this theatre, and it means that if everyone sits back in their seats the view is fine, but if you lean forward it really impedes the view of the people behind.

Anyway, in front of us was a large family, and directly in front of me was the mum. She did not sit still once. She kept leaning forward reaching into her bag, across to chat to her kids (which was also bloody irritating), and also kept re-tying her hair, which involved her holding it above her head and twisting it and then fastening it with a clip. It really spoilt the first half for me and one of my daughters, as it really blocked her view depending on where the action was on the stage.

At the interval I asked her very politely if she could sit still as it was causing my daughter viewing problems. I didn't say it loudly or impolitely. The woman looked at me incredulously and said "what?" I explained the problem, again as politely as I could, and then said "but she (your daughter) isn't sitting behind me". I tried to explain and then the woman sitting behind me got stuck in and said "but you're moving about all over the place too, you can't talk". I turned round and apologised and explained I was having to move because of this woman's movements. Anyway, then her husband got involved and told his wife off (essentially taking my side)- she ended up crying, and the woman in front, who clearly thought I was making a massive fuss about nothing, shrugged her shoulders and said she'd try.

I sat as still as a stone throughout the second half so as to avoid causing further arguments in the row behind, luckily the woman in front also sat much stiller, and we all had a much better view. I felt mortified though! The family behind us left before the lights went up, presumably to avoid further discussions...

Don't people understand theatre etiquette though? Both families (in front and behind) also had taken small boys with them (under 5) who were bored and were also distracting, although I get that's par for the course when these offers are on.

So WIBU to ask? Should I have just accepted it as part and parcel of the theatre experience? We probably go to London about 3 or 4 times a year and I've never had such a bad experience before. I felt like what I'd intended to be a quiet word ended up causing 3 families angst.

Champagneformyrealfriends Thu 11-Aug-16 20:06:06

I actually don't know who I feel most sorry for in this scenario! I bet you were mortified!

Champagneformyrealfriends Thu 11-Aug-16 20:07:50

But I don't think you were unreasonable

Hassled Thu 11-Aug-16 20:13:40

That does sound truly hideous for probably all of you. I always manage to sit behind the world's tallest man and spend the evening wondering how he hasn't noticed the death stares I'm giving the back of his neck.

PunkrockerGirl Thu 11-Aug-16 20:19:56

Yanbu. She sounds batshit.
Some people have no idea how to behave in theatres/cinemas and are completely oblivious to the people sitting behind them, because everything is all about them confused
I think you had a bad experience OP. Personally, I'd make adults sit an entrance test before they were allowed into a theatre - if they cant sit still for 5 minutes without fidgeting or talking they'd be out on the pavement wink
And if it's a musical or opera, the ignorant twats who talk all the way throughout the overture should also be chucked out onto the same pavement.

TheRealKimmySchmidt63 Thu 11-Aug-16 20:35:08

YANBU some people are so wrapped up n themselves they cannot give a moments thought to how their actions impact on others

MothertotheLordsofmisrule Thu 11-Aug-16 20:38:09

not at the theatre but at s concert guy turns up late.

Sits next to me, starts questioning if a particular song has been played, why he was late and the fact he is waiting for his mate.

After the 3rd death stare from me, he then decided to phone his mate and chat about the fact he was there and the mate wasn't, and that his favourite song hadn't been played.

The guy behind him politely told to STFU.

At which point he asked me if he was being loud!?!! angryconfusedangry

JenLindley Thu 11-Aug-16 20:41:29

She sounds batshit.

confused who does?

Eglantyne Thu 11-Aug-16 20:42:20

Hassled - what do you expect the world's tallest man to do?! Not go the the theatre? Only sit at the very back? As the world's tallest woman, I HATE it when I walk in, sit down in my seat that I have paid for like everyone else, and immediately hear tutting or "FFS" from behind me.

GloGirl Thu 11-Aug-16 20:47:44

Yabu. Obviously it's better for everybody if we can have an immerse experience and not be distracted by other people but she has a large family and was presumably not shifting around for fun. I'm a bit horrified how disruptive I can be now with 2 very young ones and I do try and minimise that and I wouldn't take them to thr theatre bur what if I had the little ones and older ones.

It sounds like the woman wasn't being awful and it's jus tough that you had to sit behind her. Presumably she needs to leave the house sometimes.

liz70 Thu 11-Aug-16 20:53:18

Some people are unreal. I went to see Cats in Liverpool with DM, DH and three DDs recently. I swear to God I saw the same people over and over again getting up and walking in and out of the auditorium, distracting everyone, blocking others' view. They weren't children either; they were teenagers and young adults in their twenties and thirties. What the fuck were they doing every fifteen fucking minutes?! How many times do you need the loo in two hours? Nicotine addict? Get a frigging patch. Unbelievable. angry

Hassled Thu 11-Aug-16 20:57:47

Eglantyne - sorry, I can see how my post must have come across to you. Of course tall people have every right to sit where the hell they like. My post was meant to be about how I (very short) seem to have some sort of "tall person sit in front of me" sign - it happens disproportionately often. But sorry - it was phrased pretty thoughtlessly.

CigarsofthePharoahs Thu 11-Aug-16 21:19:58

I think PunkrockerGirl sums it up perfectly.
I spent one whole theatre performance trying to angle myself to see around the person in front of me who spent the whole time leaning quite a long way forwards in her chair. Annoying.
Don't get me started on the people who browse on phones the whole time. If you're not interested - don't go! Or find a less obvious and annoying way to entertain yourself.
Then there was the cinema trip where the lady two seats down from DH jiggled her leg throughout the whole film. We were in a crappy Vue cinema and it made the whole row of seats shake. Still, we were only going to see The Hobbit, so it's not like watching the ruination of a classic could have made me any more annoyed.
I wonder why she felt the need to mess with her hair constantly?

Madcats Thu 11-Aug-16 21:26:07

I think I and DD (now 9) are in year 4 of our Kids Week treat. I started with simple stuff (like the Tiger that Came to Tea) precisely because I was a bit anxious about annoying others. We've also done "my First Ballet"s.

Maybe it is because we are always in the (still not especially) cheap seats, but surrounding parents have always been massively cooperative. By that I mean we have juggled kids/parents in rows in front/behind to help children see and one unelected parent has in variably legged it to get multiple booster sits for what were complete strangers.

If you are in a position to choose your seats next time, always select "end of diagonal rows" so there is nobody in front of your child.

Kids Week has worked brilliantly for us. We are so lucky to have so much choice in the UK.

Eglantyne Thu 11-Aug-16 21:47:04

Hassled No problem! I don't think I used enough exclamation marks in my post to you smile It's just a bit raw as it happened again just yesterday. At the BFG!! Oh the irony...

Narnia72 Thu 11-Aug-16 23:22:21

Madcats - one child was on the end of the row, so she could lean out no problem. I normally have been lucky enough to get good stalls seats and not had this kind of problem before. People move a bit, but not to her level.

Glogirl - she wasn't shifting around sorting her kids out. It was a large Spanish family, one 4 yr old boy on one side of her,which i was understanding of, but next to her on the other side was a teenage boy and the 2 other grown ups and 2 more teenagers. She was fiddling in her bag for a drink for her, then twisting her hair up, then leaning forward, then gesturing along. The row to another adult, then back into the bag etc. I had to move at times to cuddle my kids in the scary bits, or help them find their water bottles, that's all to be expected. She personally couldn't sit still. She was average size and height so no obvious issues there, I think she was just a fidgeter by nature.

Ive been lucky enough to go to the theatre from a young age and my parents always drilled in good theatre manners. No talking, no rustling, loo before the show, sit still. It's no rocket science and you'd think when presumably everyone has paid a lot of money for the event they'd want to concentrate and enjoy it too.

We have 2 more shows to go to this summer, hopefully they will be better!

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