A Handy Guide On How (Not) To Watch a Play


A Handy Guide On How (Not) To Watch a Play

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


he auditorium is our temple, and the stage, our sanctum sanctorum. This holds true for most theatregoers. When the third bell rings, whispers are hushed, phones put away, and everyone waits with bated breath for the play to begin. But there’s the one guy among us “phoney intellectuals” who pretends to be interested in the play but can’t get his mind off popcorn. There’s also that person who cannot distinguish between “Action!” and “Act One”, Vijay Tendulkar and Sachin Tendulkar, Broadway and Broadband. If you’re this person, the sort who expects the play’s “hero” to make an “entry”, this is your guide on how to watch a play.

Arrive late. This is crucial. The best way to watch a play, is by not watching its first twenty minutes anyway. Wear a party outfit that articulates how much you’d rather be anywhere but here. Until my toes are skewered by your passing stilettos — appropriate footwear for a dark, silent room requiring barely any movement — I will not just be uncomfortable but also be forced to question my very existence. Punish us early nerds occupying the front seats for coming on time by distracting our attention with your eloquent rants about traffic and the long line at Starbucks. In fact, don’t even try to whisper. It’s not like the cast is in the middle of something, anyway. Be loud and bestow on them the honour to overhear.