To Applaud or not to Applaud? Skip to content

To Applaud or not to Applaud?

In an article in Morgunbladid today critic Ásgeir Ingvarsson complains that Icelanders in general do not know when to applaud at cultural events. More generally, he states that people should voice their approval or disapproval more freely, but at the right moment.

The biggest complaint is that people clap their hands in the middle of classical works. To those he gives very good advice:

a) Buy the program so you know when the piece is over

b) Never be the first one to applaud

Secondly, if you do applaud, don’t do so for an extended period of time. Never whistle or step your feet. That is very primitive. If someone performs well don’t hesitate to call: Bravó!, Brava! or Bravi! but this should only be done if the artist touches a special string in your heart. Only if someone has managed an extraordinary feat should the audience give a standing ovation, preferably only at premiers.

If you want to give flowers to the artist it is in very bad taste to bring the into the theatre and deliver them yourself. You should leave them at the ticket counter and let the theatre employees deliver them at the end of the show.

If the show is terrible you should not applaud, in case you did not walk out before the end of the show. And if someone has done badly, according to the article, it is spiritually purifying to boo the artist.

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