Theatre launches campaign to address "worsening" audience behaviour.

    A new campaign from Mayflower Theatre, Southampton is designed to remind audiences to remain respectful to staff and venues.

      • Sector News
    • 13.12.23

    Theatres across the country have noticed a shift in audience behaviour, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. In the case of the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton, conflicts have arisen over bar queues, with performances suffering from phone call interruptions and audience members singing along with performers. 

    The new campaign features posters urging respect towards front-of-house staff by portraying them as ordinary members of society.

    Chief Executive of the theatre, Mr Ockwell said half a dozen people had to be removed from the theatre in the last year. Reports from front-of-house staff indicated that alcohol was a key factor in much of the disruptive and sometimes violent behaviour. 

    Bectu, which conducted a survey on anti-social behaviour from theatregoers, said:

    Half of UK theatre staff consider quitting over audience behaviour

    Aggressive behaviour was found across the performing arts in locations around the country.

    With over 25 years of specialist training and guidance within the leisure, entertainment and hospitality sectors, Maybo has experienced many of these challenges before. But the increase in worrying behaviour since the pandemic has reiterated the need to make sure staff are prepared and equipped to handle these complex and often emotional situations.

    Alongside being a partner member of UK Theatre, Maybo provides cost-effective training relevant to each role performed and situations experienced. The training is flexible, utilising both eLearning and practical courses (delivered by our trainers or yours) for key roles and ‘hotspots’, with tailoring options for your specific needs.

    To learn more about the challenges theatres are facing, read the BBC’s article here. Further information was gathered from The Guardian’s article here

    Find out about Maybo's conflict management and personal safety training programme for theatre staff here.

    Maybo perspective

    With the rising number of challenges theatre staff are facing when it comes to disruption and abuse, it is more important than ever to manage conflict as it occurs while having the skills to defuse potentially dangerous scenarios before they even happen.

    Maybo’s experts have the skills and knowledge to provide your organisation’s staff with the techniques to reduce these incidents, as well as Supervisors and Managers with the tools to respond when incidents occur.

    Get in touch

    If you would like to discuss how we can help you please get in touch with one of our experts today

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