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Big Hair? Not at the Theatre, PLEASE

November 5, 2009

I sat down in my seat at the Almeida last night to watch Mrs Klein, a play about a psychoanalyst mother-daughter duo, and found myself in a familiar situation. My view was blocked. Usually it’s by inconsiderately tall men with bald heads – I suppose anyone over 6ft presents a problem. But last night, the offenders could have helped themselves. They were two women with statement hair. Statement, because it must have taken them a good deal of effort to get it as it was: one had clearly spent a large amount of time with the curling tongs (or was it the mousse?) and had given herself an explosion of wide-bodied curls that stood up and to the sides. Her friend, who also happened to be 6ft or close, had taken a hairdryer and backward combed – teased – her hair from the nape of her neck upwards so that it presented a pillowy mass of pineappular hair. Between the wide-bodied curls and the sky-scraper, three-d bouffant, I had to contort myself into all kinds of unnatural positions to see the stage.

Now, as those who know me might well point out, I am not the most modest of haired. But one thing I don’t do is grab the enlargement tools and have a blast before I head out to the theatre. I tie it back, in fact, and compress it as best I can.

But wait, there’s more

The other thing I noticed about last night is that people’s coughing has taken on ludicrous proporitons. Is there some big inside joke I’m not in on, where everyone gangs up on the actors and the non-coughers in the audience and makes it as hard as possible to concentrate? Are so many of London’s well-heeled, theatre-going types really suffering the early stages of TB and pneumonia as it sounds? I doubt it, particularly as most coughs are set off by other coughs. People are suggestible with their barks of inconsiderateness, like sheep –someone else coughs, they all do. Or like babies and crying. But these are grown-ups! What gives, people?

Eventually, after the nuts, crisps and wine had been digested, the coughing did die down. Or perhaps it was because people were more engrossed in the play, which just goes to show, it is possible to control.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 8, 2009 4:50 pm

    Oh yes – it’s too bad that we are all so well nourished these days so that we become so tall. Time to bring back some serious malnutrition, and also compulsory hair-top trimmings at the door.

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