I was all set to grumble about tonight's audience for Butterfly. Nine billion throats cleared, at least three sets of people who clattered out before it was over, a whining child, laughter in the sad bits, a couple in front of me who arrived after interval and spent the rest of the night falling asleep on each other and the place crawling with tourists. However, I take it all back. I am immensely proud of tonight's audience.
Because we stood. For Cheryl. Not for the whole cast. For Cheryl, alone on the stage, as she took her final bow. And it was a proper standing ovation, too, none of this half-hearted straggling, a few people standing because they want and everyone else following suite because they think they ought. She stepped forward and within two seconds, the entire audience was on its feet. And I've racked my brain trying to think if I've ever seen this happen here before, and do you know what? I haven't. Emma got a scattered standing ovation for her Lucia, but some of those people were just caught out on the way to catch their buses. I gave Cheryl a standing ovation of one from my loge for one of her Otellos, and four or five of us stood for her on opening night. And that's it.
In San Francisco everyone stood on every night I attended, apparently as a matter of course. Here, it isn't like that. They barely let you finish clapping before the house lights go up and you're swept out the door. So this was a bit special. Congratulations, audience. All is forgiven. You have excellent taste.
(And yes, I've got myself all out of order. Real(ish) post on Butterfly coming soon. Well, sooner than Pinkerton at any rate.)