We’ve been having an interesting debate on the @ArtsPro Twitter account today, after the lovely Katie asked a question about whether it’s OK to Tweet at the theatre. Personally, I’m all for sharing experiences and opinions, but not during the show. No offence to anyone, but your opinion is not so important that it can’t wait until the interval/end of the show. By all means tweet about plays, and by all means tweet from inside theatre buildings, but during the actual play, phones off. And that includes iPhones, iPads, blackberries etc, too.
It’s not the noise I object to (although very few phones are silent), it’s the light. Back-lit screens are incredibly distracting when you’re sitting in the dark. So, by all means tell your followers if Jamie parker was fabulous as Prince Hal at the Globe (he was) or if Alan Bennett’s ‘The Habit of Art’ left you cold (it did). But wait until a suitable break. Please.
But, lots of people disagree, including this article, which I commented on when it first appeared (I’m @EllieFace, and I’m a curmudgeon). I reckon designated ‘tweet seats’ would be OK, so long as they were at the back of the stalls, where the audience can’t see. I don’t know how distracting it would be for the actors. What do you think?