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Table Manners


Everyday Etiquette

Chapter V: Theatre
Thai Social Etiquette, Ministry of Culture, by Sudchit Bhinyoying


From: Pensri Kiengsiri, Sudchit Bhinyoying, Malithat Promathatavedi, Thai Social Etiquette, Ministry of Culture, Bangkok 2007, ISBN 974-9681-45-2


Dress code depends on the type of the performance one is attending. For gala concert or performance presided over by members of the Royal Family, formal attire or evening dress should be worn, not T-shirts or jeans and sandals! If it is a rock concert, casual attire is permissible.

Do not wear jewellery that makes jingling noise when you move around.

Get to the theatre at least fifteen before the performance starts and be punctual. If you are late, try to be as quiet as possible when going to your seal. It is very rude and disturbing to hear the sounds of heels clicking against the steps. Be considerate to the rest of the audience. The best way is to wait until intermission to enter. If you have to walk past people to get to your seat, apologize to them for the inconvenience.



Turn off all kinds of communication devices. If you have some business to attend to, do it at home. The sound of a cell phone ringing during the performance, especially a classical concert, is intolerable and very offensive, most of all to the artist or the maestro.

Rise when the King's Anthem is played at the beginning or the end of the performance.

Wait for the dignitary to be seated before taking your seat.

Do not take any food or drink into a concert hall.

Do not disturb the person sitting in front of you by rapping his/her seat, or blocking the view of the person sitting behind you by constantly moving your head.

Photograph taking or taping is usually not allowed, as there is a matter of copyright involved. At least, no flash is to be used.


Do not talk during the performance. People around you do not need to hear your comment or explanation. A theatre is not a lecture room.

Children under five should not be taken to a performance. They are too young to understand or appreciate the aesthetic beauty of the art, and may disturb with their crying. The parents should make a sacrifice if they have small children. Let them stay home where they belong. It is a lot better for their health and the audience's peace of mind.


If you need to go to the restroom during a performance, try to be as quiet as possible. It is better to wait until the intermission.

Wait in line for the use of the restroom.

When you bear the buzzer signifying that the performance is to be resumed, return to your seat promptly. When you want to appreciate the performance by clapping, be sure to know when to clap. If you are attending a jazz concert,  it is all right to clap at certain moments when you feel that the performers are absolutely doing a great job. It is otherwise with classical music, especially a concerto which is divided into movements. You have to wait until the whole piece is over before clapping, not right after each movement. Clapping at the wrong moment shows ignorance on the part of the audience and also irritates the conductor whose job is unnecessarily interrupted. A safe way is to wait for other people to clap first or for the conductor to put down his baton and turn to bow to the audience.

Do not leave a performance until it is over even though you do not enjoy it, for the sake of courtesy to the artists.

Chapter V Theatre, taken from:
Pensri Kiengsiri, Sudchit Bhinyoying, Malithat Promathatavedi, Thai Social Etiquette, Ministry of Culture, Bangkok 2007, ISBN 974-9681-45-2


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