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Hot Tickets

May 30, 2012

Put another way, when it’s hot, theatre doesn’t sell as many. Put yet another way, as one famous impresario once said, “we work in the only business in the world where we wake up to a sunny day and think ‘*@$$!’”

I’ve always found there are good things about it, though. First, a better choice of seats available at the last moment… AND the box office staff are happy to see you so are even nicer to you than usual. The line at TKTS is often shorter too, and the wait is more pleasant in the sun than under an umbrella. The view when ‘weather-appropriate’ clothing is worn by the opposite sex is another bonus – that Mr P notes in particular. But as ever we don’t go there.

Best bet is to choose a theatre with full air-conditioning. Some are just “air cooled” – meaning they open the fridge door in the bar for an hour before the show and use a newspaper to fan a bit of air towards the closed doors. Sadly, the days of opening the sliding roofs at the Palladium and Victoria Palace (among others) has gone (though the Palladium’s access is used for “The Wizard of Oz” in fact). The Open Air Theatre’s air-conditioning is also pretty efficient, for the record.

In the theatre, there’s usually ways around the heat too. Sitting in the front few rows usually gives a little air as the curtain goes up. You also feel cooler just watching the cast sweat under the lights. Not sure why, but psychologically, it works.

Conversely, skipping the rear stalls and any circle seat under an overhang also works pretty well. Heat rises, and spreads if it’s trapped – so if the ceiling is high above you, no problem.

Personally, I’m no fan of bringing drinks into the auditorium, but theatre bars are nice to hang out in and you can test your credit-worthiness by trying to buy a single drink. Oh and places like the Garrick and National Theatre have outdoor balconies to use – the top ones at the National would have spectacular views of the river if it weren’t for the trees in the way.

Using one of those handheld fans is another no-no (and if somebody is annoying you by doing so, just ask them to switch their “Ann Summers” purchase off – works every time). Fanning with a programme is also pointless – and to deal with this one, just ask the offender to fan you as well…

Really, though, the thing to do (cleverly combining two themes of the week in one) is to pretend you are Royal. Think “What would HM do?” (not “What would HM’s other half do – that could get you into trouble, as Mr P would attest). That revered lady endures heat and cold and remains interested throughout anything she is invited to.

It’s a simple example of purest duty and dedication and is the reason I’d like to join in the cry of “Congratulations and Thank You” for 60 years of dedicated service.

 

And on that note, I wish everybody a good extended Jubilee break. I’m taking a week off from blogging, but hope the next one will appear some time the week after.

 

 

P.S. The “Comments” function on this blog is now switched on again.

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