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April 24, 2013

Nothing to do with North Korea, but as devastating to the West End as his “social care” plans, really. In that both concepts result in damaging those they intend to benefit.

Obviously, I’m not comparing what happens over there with a night on the town in London, I’m just trying to point out the odd “unintended consequence” at it were.

So, according to a recent article in “The Stage” newspaper, the producer of “The Audience” admits that he put the remaining “premium” seats up to £125 on the grounds that if the touts were getting it, he may as well have it. You have to admit a certain logic.

First off, though, you can’t then claim any moral high-ground if that’s your attitude. Why bother attempting to do something to end touting, if a producer can make more cash out of it by imitating their activities? That’s a terrible long-term argument, I think, that could devastate the flow of tickets to legitimate customers in the future.

Second,  it actually screams “disaster.” If the public ‘catch on’ that a popular show raises the price of all remaining seats to “premium,” they know that buying them will result in the “ticket tout experience” of paying too much for a lousy seat.

Going further, had these now so-called “premium” seats been left at a more reasonable price, they may have been sold already. A chance to fill seats with people who will become the best possible advert for a show by talking about it. An old argument, amplified, I fancy.

Third, it changed my own buying habit. Would I have spent £59.50, the original top price, on a stalls seat if there was one. I’d have considered it for sure – and may well have been tempted up a bit from what I did pay.

Would I pay £125? No chance. For a kick off, I just couldn’t afford it. Second, I couldn’t justify it. That’s practically a month’s grocery bill, with a bit left over for the leccy, depending on the ‘dented can’ bargains available!

Interestingly, at the time of writing this, there’s still “premium” seats left for the day I’m going. Would there have been, had the producer been reasonable… interesting question, isn’t it…


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