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Box-Officing Day…

December 18, 2013

I do know several, all lovely people who are expert sales staff – as well as often highly talented performers, musicians and writers too. I also hear from them sad tales of the attitude a few members of the public have towards them (is it too much to ask that you actually speak to them, rather than into your phone when they are trying their utmost to take your booking?).

Having worked in reservations myself for a while (not theatre, though), I wondered how I (or indeed some others I’ve known) might react to some of the more regularly asked questions, even if I wouldn’t necessarily say them out loud (often…)…

 “Can you tell me where the cheapest seat to see “The Phantom Of The Opera” is?”
At your dressing table mirror, madam.

“What time does “Viva Forever” start, please?”
When can you get here?

“Do you have any tickets for tonight?”
No, I’m sitting in a box office with a seating chart in front of me because I’m selling second-hand Soviet weaponry… Mostly to those who are disturbed by mobile phone users seated in front of them (that bit to be muttered).

“Is it really sold out?”
No, the 30 people getting soaked outside by the “returns line” sign are all in town for the “Singin’ In The Rain Fan Club Re-union.”

“What’s the difference between the stalls and balcony?”
About £50, a heart attack walking up 200 stairs, and DVT from the legroom once you get there.

“Have you got anything nearer the front?”
My holiday flat in Brighton is for sale. (an old one, but a goodie).

“Or more central”
It is right by the Palace Pier, what more do you want? (joke for Brightonians there).

“Is the show any good?”
I hope so, I’ve got bills to pay…

“Do you take Credit Cards?”
If I don’t fancy you enough to come to some other arrangement.

(inspired by the actual poster in the box office) “Is this where “Cats” was on?”
Push Off, Methuselah.

“Is this the one with that one off “Britain’s Got Talent” in it?”
Yes… if only I’d degraded myself enough to go along to the audition that time…

“Is that really the price?”
Nope, but once you’ve handed over your cash, we’re all off to Brazil on what we’ve managed to get out of you and the rest of the queue.

“Is that really the price of tickets these days?”
Yes, if you expect to see more than sock puppets on the stage.

“Why can’t I get through on the phone to the actual theatre?”
‘Because there are 3 of us and several thousand of you – all asking the same questions.”

 “Do you have anything cheaper?”
To match your Christmas jumper, you mean?

“Can you see the stage from these seats?”
What else do you expect to see from a West End theatre seat, madam? Krakatowa erupting, herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically etc etc…

“Is it suitable for children?”
Of course Madam. Don’t kid’s shows always have posters of two naked Hell’s Angels cuddling axes?

 “I’d like two seats for the 20th July Matinee, please, in the £67.50 area of the stalls around rows H to L, near the middle if you have them, thank you. My card number is…”
Will you marry me?!

And, just for the real box office staff…

“’Theatremonkey’ says these seats are rubbish.”
Shoot the little ****%****!
Professional box office staff should feel free to use / add to any of the above.

And on that note, I’m off blogging for a few weeks, back on the 15th January, I hope. Wishing Christian readers, “Happy Christmas” and everybody else a good holiday season and all the best for 2014.

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