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The Northern Stage foyer/cafe bar area

House Rules

We think a visit to Northern Stage should always feel special.  Theatre offers a moment of togetherness – a short break from everyday life, in which you get to enjoy the very best theatrical experiences with people you know and others you don’t.

In order for this to work, though, we have to work together. The guidance below has been designed to ensure that every audience member and performer feels respected and comfortable in our auditorium. If everyone knows what to expect then we’ll be able to create a safe, welcoming space for all.

And we’re always listening. If you have any comments, good or bad, about your visit to Northern Stage, then let us know. We’re always looking for ways we can do things better. The welcome belongs to all of us.

Be an ally


Racism, homophobia, and other kinds of hateful behaviour have no place in our society, and will not be tolerated at Northern Stage. We ask you to stand with us, by helping us celebrate the diversity we have in our region

Enjoy the show


We want you to enjoy the show, and we know that strict expectations of total silence and stillness can sometimes stand in the way of that enjoyment. Theatre is here to move us, so here at Northern Stage you’re allowed to make that audible: things like cheering, gasping, enjoying the music, and otherwise showing your appreciation are all fine.

However, we also know that watching a performance together is an act of collective care, so please remember to always be considerate of both the performers and the people around you. For example, we’d really appreciate it if long conversations about the show (or anything else) were left to the end – we don’t want you to miss a thing! We may also ask you to move to a different space in the auditorium to stand and dance safely.

If your engagement is adding to that experience of collective enjoyment, we’re happy. If, however, it is obstructing the performance, detracting from performers’ work, or creating an unsafe environment for anyone, we will have to ask you to stop.

Forget your phone for a while


Once the show begins, we’d love for you to switch off and escape from the real world for a while.  Switch to silent, sit back, and enjoy the show.

But we know that life still goes on.

If you do need to take a call or send a message, feel free to pop outside and we’ll let you back in.

If you’re using your phone for access or translation purposes, then that’s fine. Please switch to dark mode, if possible, and let a member of staff know so that we can best support your needs.

We’re happy for you to take photos of the theatre and set both before and after the show, and would love for you to spread the word about your experience. However, using your phone during the performance itself can be a big distraction for others – and can even be dangerous for the performers themselves. If you just can’t help sharing your thoughts on the show, right there and then, please ask our Box Office for a ‘Tweet Seat’ when you book. These are seats right at the back of the auditorium.

An important part of collective care is remembering that the performers can see you – so please try not to put them off!

Eating and Drinking


Eating and drinking in the auditorium is fine. Our amazing café bar is open pre-show, as well as in the interval, to buy something there.

If you are bringing food and drink into the theatre then please be mindful of the people around you, and make sure your delicious treats won’t be a big distraction to them. Super loud or smelly foods are best saved until you get home!

If you are bringing your own drinks then no alcohol, please. Our alcohol licence allows drinks to be served by us, but to keep everyone safe it says you can’t bring your own.

What if I'm late?


If you miss the start of the show, don’t worry. We might ask you to wait a few minutes until there’s a good point for you to go in – for example, we don’t want to try and get you seated when the theatre is in complete darkness – but usually we’ll show you in as soon as you arrive.

When you've got to go, you've got to go.


We know that some people might have access needs that we cannot always see. For this reason, audience members should feel free to get up and use the toilets at any time during a show. Our team are around to direct you to the nearest loo, and we’ll let you back into the show as soon as we can. If you are seated in the auditorium and a fellow spectator needs to get past, please be kind and let them through without judgment.