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Shh! 'Silent snacks' are being trialled at London theatres

Andrzej Lukowski

The noise of rustling sweet wrappers in the theatre: the scourge of polite society? Or not really a big deal seeing as most theatres in fact sell packets of sweets?

It’s certainly a subject of some controversy, with the notoriously stringent Theatre Charter – a grassroots movement promoting a voluntary code of conduct for theatres – suggesting that you should ‘unwrap all sweets prior to lights down or during loud applause’.

Well in what is either a marketing gimmick or an actual attempt to stage a revolution in the aisles, TodayTix – basically an app for buying last-minute theatre tickets – has branched out into ‘silent snacks’, ie food you can munch in the theatre without making a noise.

And the Time Out office was sent some!

Packaged in fabric bags with drawstrings (as modelled by the #legend on the centre right of the accompanying picture), with the contents pointedly sans crunch, the snacks are… oookay? ‘Silent slices’ are strips of dehydrated pear that are so thin you can barely taste them; ‘silent popcorn’ is basically a ball of ground popcorn, cocoa butter and coconut butter and is quite pleasant but has little bearing on actual popcorn; pick of the bunch are the ‘muffled truffles’, which are basically just truffles. There’s also an alarmingly green mint drink that comes with a rubbery pint glass, and is pretty horrendous (mostly because you’re drinking out of rubber).

Are they going to radically alter the theatregoing snack experience? I mean the basic problem is that unless theatres stop selling conventional bags of crisps and chocolate then nothing is actually going to change, and bringing along your own silent nibbles will probably only make you more furious at everyone else (or get your snacks confiscated). But assuming for a second that silent snacks are a serious proposition, the fabric bags are actually a pretty decent idea, albeit one that might prove a bit of a hassle to roll out.

If you want to experience a world of silent snackage then they’re being trialled at tomorrow night’s performance of ‘American Idiot’ and Friday’s ‘In the Heights’, and cost £2 a go.

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