Jennie eggleton

The jackboot zealotry of ushers is ruining theatre

Southwark Playhouse has revived an American show, The Last Five Years, whose run was cancelled in March. In advance, I received an email outlining the theatre’s new rules, which appeared to exceed the minimum legal requirements. At the venue, I found that the main entrance had become the exit while the side door had become the main entrance. What for? Perhaps an unsubtle reminder that ‘everything’s changed now, pal, so get used to it’. The queue on the pavement moved at a turtle’s pace because the usher gave each playgoer a homily about the new regime before allowing them to pass through Checkpoint Charlie. Inside it was like an army