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‘Theater etiquette’ tweets surge after YouTuber cast in ‘Waitress’

YouTube fans go to the theater, too.


Rachel Kiley

Internet Culture

Popular YouTube star Joe Sugg is moving from the computer screen to the West End stage. Next month, he’ll be joining the cast of Waitress, a musical that follows a pregnant waitress as she eyes a pie contest as a way out of a life she doesn’t want. Sugg will play Ogie, the love interest of another waitress at the diner where much of the show is set.

The vlogger’s fans are understandably thrilled at the opportunity to see him in this new role, but theater fans are a little nervous about how this may reshape the experience of attending a production.

The concern seems to revolve around the idea that YouTube fans, or fans that are going to see the show just for Joe, may not have very much experience going to the theater.

“I can’t wait for y’all to fall in love with it,” one person tweeted. “Just put your phones away during the show.”

Another user went so far as to make a quick guide to theater etiquette for anyone who might be attending a show for the first time in response to Sugg’s casting.

“Remember it’s not the Joe Sugg show,” she wrote, reminding people to only clap or cheer for his presence when appropriate.

It’s no secret that online influencers often have a devoted and enthusiastic fanbase. Just take one look at videos from conventions like VidCon or Summer in the City and you can understand why patrons of an outing that requires a quieter audience might be at least a tad bit concerned at the possibility that fans might bring that same convention energy to the theater.

But that concern isn’t going unchallenged, with a number of Sugg stans slamming Waitress fans as condescending for assuming all the people who watch Joe’s videos are screaming teens who don’t know anything about manners.

“OMG can people stop being so patronising to Joe Sugg fans?” one YouTuber tweeted. “Like, they’re not all animals let out of a zoo.”

“You’d be surprised at how many audience members don’t [have manners]!!” the person who tweeted the etiquette list countered. “This isn’t a personal jab at Joe fans. It’s more just that a new audience may have never been to the theatre/know what’s expected and have only been to big loud concert where audience participation is encouraged.”

But at the end of the day, Waitress fans and Joe Sugg fans still have one thing they can agree on—it’s going to be a show worth seeing. And hopefully one without any iPhone cameras going off mid-performance.


The Daily Dot