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Shutterbugs in the spotlight

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-13 07:14

While it is bad to point one's camera to the screen or stage, it is equally rude to use one's phone for texting. In the dark the greenish lights from small screens is very distracting. From the stage it probably looks like a blinking shop of horrors.

For almost every show I attend, live or filmed, there is always a person or two, usually young in this case, who never stops checking her WeChat account.

In my opinion, they are much worse than the photo takers. The latter at least love your show; they just do not know how to express that affection in an appropriate way. The former, by contrast, carry an air of condescension or even disdain, as if to say: "You see, I'm such a big shot that I have to attend to matters of great importance all the time. But I still bought a ticket for your show. However, the world will not survive if I stop issuing orders for two hours."

Perhaps the busy WeChat user is either madly in love or has just been jilted by her lover. If so, she should not be in the theater in the first place. "A show is not as important as your love life," I have really wanted to shout to them on many occasions.

If violations such as snapping photos in a show are commonplace, rules and etiquette need to be re-examined. If disturbances can be managed, wouldn't it be a good and free tool of publicity for the show? Honestly, I feel a strict no-photo policy is passe.

I have noticed that several stage shows, including the touring production of Mama Mia! and Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's Water Moon, reserved the encore or the last number for audience shutterbugs or other forms of participation.

Having been informed that this opportunity would come, they behaved extremely well during the performance.

Movies, especially comedies, can leave the end credits for a similar purpose. This part nowadays often incorporates outtakes or factoids. It could be a fun way to end a moviegoing experience if Eddie Peng addressed his female fans like Qin, either in or out of character, and facilitated a Kodak moment.

Contact the writer at raymondzhou@chinadaily.com.cn

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