phrase

  • Act in an exaggerated or theatrical manner, especially to appeal to popular taste.

    • ‘He was not the sort of person who played to the gallery and loved the adulation of the crowd.’
    • ‘From this, it can be surmised that the Forum is more interested in playing to the gallery via television and radio appearances than resolving whatever differences they may have with Government.’
    • ‘Far be it from me to suspect him of playing to the gallery, lest it be interpreted that I find the idea of Bulgarian journalists being magnetic marriage prospects not entirely credible.’
    • ‘It's true that East Timor has been blatantly playing to the gallery.’
    • ‘In playing to the gallery - or to be more precise to the press table - some councillors with ambitions of rising to a higher chamber can stray from the business of the day.’
    • ‘This was not a bunch of amateurs playing to the gallery, or a politically correct, student debating club, but a sober and serious assembly of grown-up legislators trying to negotiate a moral minefield.’
    • ‘But now there is nothing in place; everyone plays to the gallery.’
    • ‘It seems most unfortunate that on this occasion we seem to have played to the gallery and finished up costing the council tax payers a lot of money, plus putting us all in a somewhat invidious position.’
    • ‘Every producer and director has played to the gallery and used ‘sex appeal’ to sell their product albeit in their own ways.’
    • ‘We posture, strike poses, we play to the gallery or say things for effect.’