|Blurry stage photo by me|
Although I very much enjoyed the show, there were lots of little things I would have liked to know about the experience in advance to help put my anxious mind at ease. So, for all the other introverts venturing out to see Dan and Phil this summer, here's a spoiler-free guide of what to expect at the theater before, during, and after the show:
While our venue doors were scheduled to open at 7:00, they actually opened around 10 minutes later. By then a very long queue was stretching down the block, but the staff set up multiple security lines and had everyone moving through pretty quickly. I actually had no wait at all, since by the time we found a parking space a new line had just opened.
Pro tip: Wait to arrive until about 20 minutes after doors are scheduled to open, to account for delays and avoid any bottlenecks.
Security and Staff
I was nervous about the security check, but the staff was super nice and kept a positive, upbeat attitude throughout the process of checking in. Screening consisted of a brief check with a metal detector wand and a quick bag search, which together took only a few seconds. (Just make sure to check your venue's guidelines in advance to find out how big a bag you can bring and what you can take inside.)
Once we were through security there were staff members positioned throughout the theater to direct guests to their seats, giving more specific directions at each step along the way. After the show, they directed the flow of foot traffic and kept the exits unobstructed both inside and outside the theater.
Pro tip: Have your ticket in hand before getting in line and keep it out until you take your seat so staff members can quickly direct you where to go next.
People of all ages came to the show singly, with parents, and in groups. Dan and Phil fans really are a diverse bunch, so don't worry about feeling out of place--I'm in my late twenties and brought my dad along, and neither of us felt excluded or like we didn't belong. Our audience was enthusiastic without being frenzied, which kept the vibe fun and relaxed throughout the show.
Pro tip: The show is entertaining even if you're not familiar with Dan and Phil, so if you'd like to bring someone uninitiated, they'll still have a good time. (Though be prepared to explain a few inside jokes and references after the show!)
As someone with high-frequency hearing loss and a disorder that makes me sensitive to sound, I was concerned about the noise levels at the show. Be aware that the music, dialogue, and sound effects are all very loud--I wore earplugs and could still hear everything plus feel the sound thumping in my chest at times, like when fireworks go off nearby. The tour website also warns of strobe lights and smoke effects, but they were subtle and contained to the stage area.
Pro tip: If you're at all sensitive to sound or need to protect your hearing, wear earplugs.
Show Structure (No Spoilers)
Recorded music played from the time doors opened to the start of the show. Dan and Phil came out about 10 minutes after the slated start time of 8:00 and performed for about 1 hour before intermission. The break lasted about 30 minutes, and then Dan and Phil came back and performed for around another 30 minutes or so.
Pro-tip: From arrival to the show's end, expect to spend about 3 hours at the theater. Plan bathroom breaks and pre- and post-show meals and snacks accordingly!
Interaction (No Spoilers)
There were three kinds of audience interaction at our show: some based on the online survey on the tour website, some based on Dan and Phil gauging audience cheers for different options for what to do, and some based on direct participation. All of this is totally optional, so you can remain a non-interactive introvert if you prefer.
Pro tip: At our show, the guests seated on the ground floor in the rows nearest the stage had the best chance to take part during the segment with direct audience participation.
Only the special Interactive Introverts merchandise was available, not any of the general merchandise for sale at the Dan and Phil online shop. There wasn't really any time to shop before the show started, since the staff was working to get everyone promptly seated so the show could begin on time. However, the merchandise stand was open during intermission and after the show, though post-show the line stretched all the way up the stairs.
Pro tip: Those who bought merchandise during intermission got back to their seats pretty quickly, so pop out and do your shopping then instead of waiting until after the show's over.
I hope this information helps anyone nervous about seeing the show, especially those who have anxiety, sensory sensitivities, and other special considerations. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try my best to answer!