Opera house bans water bottles for fear of gin

Opera house bans water bottles for fear of gin


norman lebrecht

May 07, 2018

What is keeping English National Opera alive these days is the musicals that occupy the stage for a couple of months each year.

Musicals, however, are not opera. They attract a different crowd. Sometimes less decorous.

Where operagoers might sip discreetly from a water bottle, dabbing their mouth with a silk handkerchief, these uncouth hedonists fill their plastic bottles with gin or vodka and experience the kind of release that is definitely not included in their ticket price.

So ENO has now banned water bottles from all performances except opera.

That’ll stop ’em.

Report here.

The day ENO does something right, we’ll let you know.


  • Allen says:

    Food and drink in a theatre must increase cleaning and general maintenance costs. Personally, I’d rather see the money spent on the performances.

    As for “dabbing their mouth with a silk handkerchief” – are actually trying to stir up prejudice?

  • Sue says:

    Actually, for safety and security reasons all liquids should be banned from venues that hold more than 1,000 people. The world has changed.

    • Jim says:

      I think that’s not enough. We need strip cavity searches too, for anyone who goes out in public.

  • Peter Smith says:

    This is stupid. Would people prefer that their neighbour sits and coughs for half an hour, or has a quick swig of water to get rid of the tickle?