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Para-Premium Tickets

September 5, 2012

Nothing to do with Stratford, what I’m talking about is a trend that the quiet summer of 2012 seems to have triggered… three shows – “Spamalot,” “The Mystery of Charles Dickens” and “Loserville” have hit on a revolutionary idea, and I love it.

This trio (though sadly “Spamalot” isn’t carrying the idea over to its transfer) have decided / have the experience to know / interpreted box office data cleverly / just have a producer with common sense to try something new.

What they are doing is pricing that special handful of the best central stalls and dress circle seats at “normal top price” – where elsewhere they would now usually be “premium price” tickets.

In other words, this happy trio is pricing them at exactly what the West End did before it caught Broadway greed and put those best seats out at prices that would feed a family for a month.

The great bit is that all the other seats around them, that might usually be “top” price are now a very reasonable second price instead.

It’s a double win for us customers for a change. Yes, you’ll pay more for the best seats – but only what you would have done before “premium pricing” was invented – and they may be discounted somewhere anyway. Better still, the best seats are easily marked out, so you can see them – so you will get exactly what you pay for. Want them? They are there for the taking, if you are willing to pay.

If you aren’t, no matter. Many seats around them are as good, but are FAR more fairly priced. In effect you are getting a “top price” ticket for “second price.” Near the very best seats, you’ll do well, while for those in the last rows at that price, you will be paying exactly what they are worth for the distance and view.

I sincerely hope that all three producers make those sums work for them, and that other producers take a look at what they are doing, and adopt the model. It has to be a win for them too, as we all know only a small number of tickets are usually sold at the full asking price, and this way the full asking price seems reasonable – the lower prices even more so.

It makes a nice change to put something positive up about seat prices, I think, and I’m delighted that I can do so.

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