SHOULD MOBILE PHONES BE BANNED FROM THEATRES?

Constantly theatre lovers are encountering the same problem at nearly every show they attend, that severe reoccurring issue is another audience member taking out their phone and using it during a performance. This issue is currently the biggest problem facing theatres, and no matter how many times a show announces to the audience that mobile phones are not permitted or how many signs a theatre has, there is still that one audience member who doesn’t get the message.

Many people think that their phone is their life and that taking it out in the theatre is no biggy. However, they cannot be more wrong. If you are sitting on your phone during a show, you are no doubt going to irritate someone around you. And if you think that is bad, well the actor on stage will also be able to spot you. Yes, even at the back of the auditorium. Your face will be lit up like a Christmas tree.

So, the main suggestion would be that the ushers working this show should clamp down on said audience member and make sure that they put their phone away. Well, that’s not so easy. While visiting the theatre I have seen many an usher struggle with getting to someone in the middle of a 20 seat row and tell them to get their phone off. Or even that, I have also seen usher be ignored or on one occasion given a rude response by an audience member sitting next to me while they were filming the show. In today’s changing society, it’s not so easy to get someone off their phone in the theatre.

Or is it? Hannah Gadsby played Glasgow’s Theatre Royal on Thursday 21st November, and her show was phone free. How is this possible you ask? Well every audience member places their phones/smart watches into a thing called a yondr pouch. This pouch then locks and the audience are able to take their phones with them, and are only able to unlock their phone in zones outside the auditorium or just when they are leaving. This of course does means delays to exit and entrance to the theatre. But maybe it’s worth it to enjoy the shows we love without the disruption of a mobile phone.

What do you think? Do you think our theatres should be banning mobile phones within the auditorium?

Written by Lewis C. Baird