This isn't a review site, but I do like to mention some shows and movies I see that I think are notable. In this case, while the production was fine (and some might say superior, what with the voice of Darth Vader playing a lead role) the audience was far more remarkable.
First of all, about fifteen minutes into the first act, when the house was in silent thrall of the drama being enacted on the stage, they let in more people. These people moved through the rows in front of us, behind us and even right up in front of the stage, saying, "Sorry," "Excuse me," and making people stand up to block and drown out the acting.
I'm surprised James Earl Jones didn't stop what he was doing and say, "Okay, you folks take your time getting to your seats and settling in. We'll wait."
As far as I knew, if you showed up late for a performance, tough shit. Wait until the interval, give them a synopsis of the action and then let them in. That will teach them to catch an earlier train next time. My wife and I were an hour early and we came from Sussex.
As if this intrusion wasn't enough, a while later, a mobile phone began to ring, and it belonged to the lady sitting next to us. It was one of those obnoxious musical ring-tones that gets louder and louder and this woman rooted through no less than three bags in a frantic scavenger hunt for it as more and more people became aware of the noise and turned their attention from the stage to where we were sitting.
"Hell-o,” she said. “I'm in a theatre, I can't talk."
What the FUCK? She just DID talk!
This left me shaking my head in awe, convinced nothing else could surprise me. But then, during a 5-minute pause between scenes, a stand-up row erupted in the front row.
At least that's what I think it was. There was a sudden and alarming amount of shouting in front of the stage, then everyone in front of us stood up to get a better look. All I got to see was a knot of people surrounding the action and a gaggle of usherettes running around talking into hand mics and listening to earphones as if they were Secret Service members in charge of protecting the President.
If War Horse gave me the best overall theatrical experience I have ever had, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof provided the most interesting audience I have ever had the misfortune of sitting through.
At least the show was good.