Saturday, 31 January 2009

It's going to be a cold week next week!

London is bracing itself for yet more snow this winter! Do you remember that it snowed in the October half-term this year? And they say that Global Warming is a myth! Yes, of course it is!

Anyway, yes it is meant to snow again this coming week - how exciting! I love snow, whether I am in the mountains or a city. In the mountains, it is just beautiful, fresh and very white and one can ski on it in many places and in cities it just causes so much chaos and commotion!

Of course, snow also brings lots of cold with it or should I say that snow comes when it gets very cold? Either way, while I like being out in it during the day, I would rather be indoors in the evening.

In places like London, that does not leave a huge number of options if one wants to spend an evening away from home. Pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs, theatre and that’s it! My preference is nearly always theatre. Somehow, I feel there is something I can learn from theatre that I cannot at the other venues and this while being entertained at the same time.

Next week, I think I will go and watch We Will Rock You. I know what you’re thinking – that has been out for a very long time, how come you have not been to watch it yet? The short answer is – I don’t know, I suppose I never got down to it! This may sound even more strange if I told you that I have always been a fan of Freddie Mercury and his band Queen, but anyway…

We Will Rock You has been showing at the Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road (c/w New Oxford Street) for several years now. I remember that when it first started showing, some critics said it would not last – how wrong they were!

Anyway, I will tell you more about it after I have been to watch We Will Rock You next week.

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How do I get to the theatre?

London is a super congested city, day and night and I cannot recommend using public transport more strongly!

I have listed all the major theatres and how to get to them below for your convenience:

Dominion Theatre - Tottenham Court Road (We Will Rock You)
The closest tube station is (you guessed) Tottenham Court Road, which is on the Northern Line and the Central Line and one day it will be on Crossrail. Several busses go through the area including the 73 and 134 (serving North London) and the 25 (serving East London).

The Palace Theatre - Charing Cross Road

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Cheap London Theatre Tickets

I keep reading posts on the web about where is the best place to get cheap tickets for London's West End shows - musicals and plays. I think I come across about one article every day on average. Needless to say, different people have different views and this depends largely on their own personal experience.

I have read about going to Leicester Square in the early evening to buy tickets from booths there or recommending going to the theatre box office itself about 30 minutes before the show starts, etc.

Some also recommend buying from prominent (and not so prominent) websites giving various reasons for the various sites they recommend.

If one searches for London theatre material online, one comes across a myriad of sites offering information and tickets for London musicals and plays. One is led to believe that there are many stakeholders in the London theatre industry. The truth is that the London theatre ticket scene is controlled by a very small number of organisations.

In fact, it is dominated by literally a handful of them. Please do not make the mistake of confusing ticket re-sellers with theatre business stakeholders. There are tons of ticket re-sellers but very few who actually ‘own’ the tickets.

In most cases, the ticket ‘owners’ are the theatre owners themselves or the musical or play producers themselves, who are sometimes the same people. Major ticket brokers buy tickets from the theatre or producer and distribute them, either directly or through re-sellers, of which there are hundreds.

Nearly everyone, theatres/producers, ticket brokers and ticket re-sellers sell the same tickets for the same shows at the same prices. With this in mind, the biggest winners are those who can get the best exposure and can inspire the best confidence in the visitor.

Time (lots of it) has led me to conclude that it is not really worth shopping around for cheap tickets as most sources sell the same tickets at the same prices. By the way, the above applies to all musicals including top sellers like Sound of Music, Grease, Hairspray and Dirty Dancing or classics like Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera.

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