A recent trip to the theatre to see Quantum Leap youth dance was an interesting experience. We went to the matinee, and I was surprised to see that most attendees had kids with them. Including very small kids.
Predictably the toddlers in the audience cried, called out and chatted through the entire performance. At one point a child behind us was poking my friend in the head, another was calling out to someone on stage, and an older child was roaming up and down the row in front. It was pretty hard to pay full attention to the dancing on stage.
Afterwards I questioned Canberra Theatre on whether matinees are always full of children in the audience. They replied that this matinee had been recommended to relatives of the dancers. While I understand the relatives are keen to see their children perform, I think it would be fair to inform general ticket buyers that this is a ‘family friendly’ performance, before selling full price tickets.
The Theatre also commented that they have no control over the age of people buying tickets to their shows. I thought they may have had some policy on an appropriate age for kids in the theatre (like over five, and able to be quiet for an hour at a time), but it seems they don’t.
I will try another matinee, but next time I will go for something about murder, or an otherwise non child-friendly topic. Or perhaps just a more expensive performance. Because when I buy theatre tickets, usually I expect the action and sound to be on the stage, not in the seats all around me.