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Premium Seats


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#11 Leopard

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:11 PM

QUOTE(Guest @ Mar 19 2009, 09:04 PM) View Post
Broadway has been doing Premium seats for ages. It is something that is used only for sell-out shows which people can;t book for at the last minute and are prepared to pay over the odds for. In other words it plays ticket touts at their own game. In the West End premium seats have always existed in the form of ....ticket touts!

You may not like it - but Producers DO know what they are doing!



Sorry - I didn't make my post clear enough - I know premium seats will always exist in sold out shows and yes, I'd rather the theatre itself was touting rather than the touts getting the money but I was making a comment re: general pricing.

I mean Priscilla is quite high really pricing-wise - pretty much any decent seat is about 65 on a Friday / Sat - that used to be the premium price - I just think it is too high. You will get people going for a bit but it certainly isn't planning for the long term. Itjust seems really short sighted in these difficult times.

I am also unconvinced producers necessarily know what they are doing in all cases too. Sometimes there is a little greed I think in shows that are predicted to do well and this can come back to haunt them...

#12 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:57 PM

QUOTE(Leopard @ Mar 19 2009, 09:11 PM) View Post
Sorry - I didn't make my post clear enough - I know premium seats will always exist in sold out shows and yes, I'd rather the theatre itself was touting rather than the touts getting the money but I was making a comment re: general pricing.

I mean Priscilla is quite high really pricing-wise - pretty much any decent seat is about 65 on a Friday / Sat - that used to be the premium price - I just think it is too high. You will get people going for a bit but it certainly isn't planning for the long term. Itjust seems really short sighted in these difficult times.

I am also unconvinced producers necessarily know what they are doing in all cases too. Sometimes there is a little greed I think in shows that are predicted to do well and this can come back to haunt them...


Oliver is 67.75 for Fri/Sat and selling fast at that price. This is how it is going to be for sell-out shows in the future


#13 Leopard

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 10:13 PM

QUOTE(Guest @ Mar 19 2009, 09:57 PM) View Post
Oliver is 67.75 for Fri/Sat and selling fast at that price. This is how it is going to be for sell-out shows in the future



True - but I do think Oliver is in a much different position to Priscilla, to any show in fact - I just don't think Priscilla can command the kind of audiences Oliver can - I mean Rowan Atkinson, Jodie and Burn Gorman are a huge draw combined with a genuinely well loved musical. Priscilla is fun, with catchy tunes but is it one people are going to go out of the way to see? I'm not so sure - I also don't think Jason Donavon is a draw at all for most people.

I guess you're right though - prices are going up as shows are more expensive to put on - wages (which is fair enough), production, everything - I just hope producers don't kill the wonderful interest in the west end at the moment by putting theatre out of the price range of everyone!

Edit: after thought - true, Priscilla is selling well at the moment but I have heard on the grapevine that whilst the near future advance is good, the advance on the whole is not as good as was hoped - this may be a "sell-out show" at the moment but when the preview prices are no more - who knows?!

#14 Guest_ruislipguy_*

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 10:32 PM

I agree that the premium seat is a complete rip off.  The adverts for priscilla quote top price seats at 65.00.  I went to the box office a few months ago and when i was then told the seats of my choice were 95.00 i simply left without purchasing.  On arrival home i e mailed the production team via the website politely telling them of my experience and refusal to pay more than the advertised price.  I received a prompt response and tickets in the premium zone at 55.00 each for Saturday night.  It pays to complain (politely).

#15 Leopard

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 08:57 AM

QUOTE(ruislipguy @ Mar 19 2009, 10:32 PM) View Post
I agree that the premium seat is a complete rip off. The adverts for priscilla quote top price seats at 65.00. I went to the box office a few months ago and when i was then told the seats of my choice were 95.00 i simply left without purchasing. On arrival home i e mailed the production team via the website politely telling them of my experience and refusal to pay more than the advertised price. I received a prompt response and tickets in the premium zone at 55.00 each for Saturday night. It pays to complain (politely).



Wow - really? That is impressive!

What struck me was the size of the premium zone for Priscilla - surely not that many people will pay 95!!

Good work on the complaint though!

#16 Guest_Lurker_*

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 01:23 PM

To be honest the producers know exactly what they're doing.  By putting the tickets on sale at expensive prices they make a killing if the show takes off and it sells out every performance, therefore recouping quickly.  If the show doesn't sell out, and they have to start offering discounts, even at half price they're still making 32.50 on a 65 seat.  But in most cases they will start by offering meal deals and packages, then start discounting tickets at 10-20 to see if the public will  bite at that.  From what I've heard so far about Priscilla, it's getting fabulous word of mouth so there's every likelihood that the producers see the opportunity to recoup quickly and good luck to them.

Where I have an issue with premium seating is in the fact that there is nothing better about the seats than the regular top price seats.  It may be in a better position for seeing the show but if someone tall sits in front, you will still be looking at the back of a head.  There is invariably no more leg room in the seats than there are in the rest of the theatre so what makes the seat a premium seat?  Many cinemas offer premium seating, however this usually involves a comfier seat, more leg room, in some cases use of a private lounge area with snacks. chocolates, tea and coffee thrown in to your premium price.  I don't know if the premium seats for Priscilla offer anything else in the price but I can't find anything on the SEE Tickets site to suggest that it does, but at 34 more than the regular top price I would be expecting something pretty outstanding to justify the increased price.  

I suspect that if they struggle to sell all 120 seats at premium prices, they will revert them back to normal prices on the day of the performance so they don't have great swathes of empty seats in prime locations.  


#17 Weez

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 01:32 PM

Don't premium seats get released as normal priced ones shortly before curtain up? I'm sure I've read stories of people going in on the offchance there'll be tickets for that evening, and ending up in a premium zone next to someone who's paid three times what they did. smile.gif

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#18 Guest_CarrieDunn_*

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 02:55 PM

QUOTE(Weez @ Mar 20 2009, 01:32 PM) View Post
Don't premium seats get released as normal priced ones shortly before curtain up? I'm sure I've read stories of people going in on the offchance there'll be tickets for that evening, and ending up in a premium zone next to someone who's paid three times what they did. smile.gif


Hi all, I'm going to blog about this premium rate debacle for the Guardian's theatre site on Monday - would any of you be happy to be quoted or email me your thoughts? carrie DOT dunn AT gmail DOT com.  Thanks! x

#19 wickedgrin

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 08:41 AM

Personally I would never pay these "premium" prices, but people do. Tourists who want "the best seats" and corporate business who "entertain clients" etc. Market forces prevail and as long as people pay these prices producers will charge them.

On the subject of general "high" ticket prices in the WE I wonder if producers are aware of all the offers they have to make for marketing purposes and the success of TKTS in Leicester Square and keep the prices high so that at "half price" they are still getting a reasonable sum. It's like the furniture adverts on TV - it's always "half price " or less to get sales although I suspect the higher full prices are never acheived but people only buy when they think they are getting a bargain!!

#20 Smiley

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 08:44 PM

Who in their right mind would pay 95.00 for a sigle theatre ticket. For the price of that one single ticket you could get tickets to Madame de Sade (I'm going despite those reviews, but that's a different topic altogether), Hamlet and the original Menier revival of A Little Night Music.

The prices these people charge in a recession is sickening.

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