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Throwing a Monty

November 6, 2013

“Throwing a Monty” – in my day, that meant getting pretty irritated about something.

This week saw the launch of new musical “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” opening at the Savoy Theatre in Spring 2014.

As usual. I checked the ticket prices, and noticed that much of the stalls and dress circle will be “premium” seating – £90. Well, at least until they guage public reaction at that price.

Co-incidentally, I also noticed that “The Book Of Mormon” have THREE “premium” prices. £150 gets you central stalls, £125 central dress circle, plus some stalls if you book far enough ahead, and £95 a “sub-prime” premium seat that would otherwise be £72.50 if you booked far enough in advance.

With that happening, I’m rather pleased to see that for next year at least one West End producer has listened to what audiences have been saying for a few years now. That we are all pretty sick of every gimmick being pulled to try and increase income at the expense of common sense, decency and indeed price transparency.

All hail Mr Pugh and partner for declaring that “The Full Monty” in 2014 will have a simple three price ticket system, no “premium” seats and no booking fees.

Thus, we return to how theatregoing was when I started. You knew the prices, you knew that you could get a decent seat at a fair price, and you knew that the price the producer set was going to be the price you pay.

Add the new convenience of choosing your seat online (as “The Full Monty” allows), and we are getting back to how theatre reservations should be… a few minutes of thoughtful consideration of the seats available (those booking furthest before getting the best ones) and no shock when the final total is reached.

This is the way forward, I hope… that’s all.

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