I have never understood the desire by those attending a live performance to consume wrapped sweets. Why pay good money to watch performers and then distract them from doing their best?
Last weekend I attended the performance of Swan Lake, danced by the Imperial Russian Ballet, with some trepidation. Last time I went to this ballet a woman in the front row destroyed the magic by rustling her way through, what must have been a whole packet of sweets, in some of the more beautiful scenes. Having seen the headlines about the distractions endured by opera lovers on the first night of The Magic Flute, I wondered if I was in for another such evening.
The performance started with the usual chorus of wrapper rustling, coughing, sneezing and things being dropped. However it was not long before silence descended. The performance was charming and elegant and the sets beautiful and simple, the costumes a delight. By the time the swans arrived on stage even my neighbour, who had spent the first part of ballet sneezing, fixing her hair, delving into her pockets, checking her cell phone, consuming water from the ubiquitous water bottle, stretching and yawning, subsided and the ballet company had successfully subdued both the loud and the restless.
Perhaps this is the greatest of tributes in our modern restless age? Or have I simply become, in my old age, such a curmudgeon that I should stick to borrowing the Swan Lake CDs and DVDs from the library to enjoy in the peace and quiet of my own home? Perhaps I should check out the books on etiquette to see if it’s now acceptable behaviour to eat lollies at the ballet?