How to make theatre trips work when you have fibromyalgia

Going to the theatre was one thing I promised myself I would do more of this year. It’s not cheap and it’s not that easy, but I always love going and so have developed various hints and tips that turn it into a fibro-friendly experience. 

In the last few months I’ve seen Fiddler on the Roof, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The Scottsoboro Boys, Cirque du Soleil, Twleve Angry Men and Phantom of the Oprah. Almost all were wonderful, and for the one that wasn’t (Phantom) I still feel pleased to have seen it – if only to be able to question what all the fuss was about. 

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Theatres are such stunning buildings, and I always get so excited as I approach the theatre and catch sight of the large poster advertising the play I’m about to see. I get dressed up and have a glass of wine in the bar at the beginning – it’s all so civilised! One day I’m going to be rich enough for the best seats in the house; unfortunately, until then, restricted view it is.

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So here are my fibro-friendly tips, just in case you don’t enjoy the theatre quite as much as you could.  

#1 – Wear layers. It’s always cold in the theatre and the colder I get, the worse my pain gets.  You can also use some of those layers to sit on and make yourself more comfortable. 

#2 – Wear a scarf. A stiff neck is always painful, so I make sure I always have my scarf to keep it warm.

#3 – Wear a stick on heat pad. These aren’t cheap as disposable items go but ThermaCare do some great ones that last the duration of the play and long into the evening. 

#4 – Drink wine. It’s all part of the experience.

#5 – If possible, avoid the Grand Circle and therefore the many flights of stairs to get to it. And if possible, book a seat near the toilets so you can be front of the cue at the interval. The seating plan is an important tool when booking tickets, so use it to your best advantage. 

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There aren’t many shows on my waiting list, so I turn to my loyal readers to ask for your hints and tips. What should I absolutely make sure I see this year? My recommendation to you is: Quidam. The Royal Albert Hall was spectacular, the acrobatics were incredible, and I felt part of an exciting secret that no one else knew about. I realise that’s not the case, but that’s how I felt. I urge you to see it. What do you urge me to see?

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