After the show starts, the foyer is suddenly quiet. Minutes pass. The stillness that descends on Lasdun’s harmonious interior of grey, purple and brown is broken only when the lift doors open and out race a family of late arrivals. The latecomers meet the benign figure of Laura Benson, a front-of-house manager. Her job at this moment is to “turn the experience around”. The latecomers are calmed, offered a glass of water, a cast list, shown where they can follow the play on the TV monitor and assured that they will be taken to their seats at the earliest break in the action.
"It’s London,” says Benson. "People are late. Transport’s let them down. We’re not here to tell people off. It might be someone’s first experience of the theatre.”