A theatre in Glasgow has been slammed by parents for setting unrealistic standards for keeping children and babies quiet during shows.
The Pavilion Theatre has released a set of guidelines for parents to direct them on the appropriate behaviour for their young children, including ‘babies crying must be removed from the auditorium as quickly as possible’.
But some parents have hit back at the new policy, calling the rules ‘ridiculous’ and the language used ‘unprofessional’.
Although users of the theatre can understand why babies shouldn’t be allowed in showings of adult only plays, many were shocked to discover that these rules also apply to children’s plays.
The theatre, which brands itself as Glasgow’s Family Theatre, has said that it had to create the ‘common-sense approach’ policy after receiving continuous complaints about noisy children over the years.
The introduction to the policy reads:
‘This has been made necessary due to the large number of inconsiderate parents with very young babies which has led to other customers’ enjoyment of the show being spoiled.’
‘It is unfortunate that we have to treat everybody the same but experiences over the past few years have given us no alternative.’
‘Changing of nappies must be carried out outwith the auditorium. This perhaps sounds bizarre but this has happened numerous times and can be disgusting to those surrounding this area.’
Emma Smith, from Clarkston in East Renfrewshire, spoke to the BBC about her disagreement with the theatre’s new policy, which she discovered when looking for tickets for Justin’s Party – a children’s show starring CBeebies’ Justin Fletcher.
The mother-of-two said, ‘I went onto the website to see what the theatre’s babes-in-arms policy was and I couldn’t believe it.’
‘Babies are not allowed to be sick or cry – it’s ridiculous.’
‘Some shows are just for adults and that’s fair enough, but this is for children. Most people have more than one child and are likely to be bringing babies.’
The primary school teacher also felt offended by some of the wording used by the theatre.
‘It uses the word ‘disgusting’ about changing nappies. Most parents would know not to change a nappy in the theatre, and take their baby out if it was crying. That’s pretty normal. It’s about common sense.’
‘Only a minority of parents wouldn’t do this.’
The policy was written by the theatre’s owner Iain Gordon, who claimed the rules were not a ‘new story’.
Iain told the BBC, ‘Today we have had 3,000 people through the theatre at two performances and I am sure that the large majority of people enjoyed the show and their visit,’ he added.
‘I must also add that most theatres in the country now adopt a similar policy and only recently cinemas have also had to take similar steps, so it’s hardly a new story.’
‘We try hard throughout the year and have always been known as Glasgow’s Family Theatre and we are proud that we try to ensure that everyone coming to the theatre, young and old, enjoys their visit.’