Modern Etiquette: Finer points of the British Summer Season

Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:36am EDT
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By Jo Bryant

LONDON (Reuters) - The British Summer Season is here, and the next few months are packed with special days and evenings out at sporting and cultural events. Here is some essential advice on etiquette and manners for some of the summer's finest occasions.


Be sure to applaud only when the conductor takes to the podium (at the very beginning and after the interval), after the overture (the musical introduction before curtain-up), at the end of an act, after an impressive aria and at the final bows. Avoid whooping, whistling or braying. Feet stamping is a definite no-no.

Surtitles provide an electronic rolling text of a summary translation above the stage and can help you to keep up during the performance.

Country House Opera

Generally the dress code is black tie. Guests arrive in good time before the start of the performance to bag a picnic spot in the grounds and enjoy a pre-performance glass of bubbly.

Performances begin in the late afternoon or early evening, but usually a little earlier than conventional theatre. There is an extended interval (90 mins) during which the picnic is enjoyed. Be sure to take a warm shawl to fend off the chill of the British summer evening.

Theatre   Continued...

An attendant sets out deckchairs on a sunny day on Brighton Beach in southern England June 5, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor