Sarah Hemming: Theatre conditions send you to sleep

Help

The new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is the latest public figure to admit falling asleep in public.

During an address at Coventry Cathedral, he said it was "a pleasure beyond description to be back in this wonderful cathedral where I have fallen asleep so often".

Speaking to the Today programme, the Financial Times theatre critic Sarah Hemming said critics are often tempted to sleep during performances.

"If you think of the conditions of a conventional theatre - it's warm, it's dark, somebody's telling you a story, it's the conditions people put you in when you're a child to send you to sleep.

"If you go to see Skyfall and fall asleep, Daniel Craig is never going to know, whereas if somebody's on stage giving their Hamlet and they can hear the gentle purr of snores from the auditorium, that must be very disconcerting, because theatre is a two-way thing."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday, 4 March 2013.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.