It is World Theatre Day, and while it has been a horrible year with theatres closed, for the most part, I want to celebrate and look forward to when we can enjoy live performance again.
So here are 47 things I love about going to the theatre:
1. The familiarity of the walk up to a theatre I've visited many times before.
2. Patiently listening to the front of house staff telling me where the loos are and the directions for my seat even though I'm a regular and know the theatre layout like my own flat.
3. The sound of the 2-minute warning bell.
4. The fact that it isn't really 2 minutes, and it's just to chivvy people along.
5. The buzz of the auditorium before the lights go down.
6. The way the chatter quickly dies down when they do.
7. The £10 Monday crowd.
8. Getting a fantastic day seat deal for something you really want to see.
9. Getting front-row seats.
10. The difference between the weekday audience and the weekend audience.
11. Not wanting to stare when the actors are already on stage but feeling it's rude to ignore them.
12. Seeing the set for the first time (if there is a curtain).
13. Entering the auditorium and not knowing where the stage will be because it's a flexible performance space.
14. Missing the first few lines because you are still busy taking it all in.
15. Getting completely lost in the performance, you gasp or cry.
16. Watching something that makes you feel angry.
17. Watching something that makes you grin or laugh.
18. Enjoying the reaction of those sitting around you.
19. The excitement of seeing a new play by a favourite playwright.