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Once London


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#371 poster J

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:40 PM

Well all mega hit long runners started off as new shows, so I don't understand your logic at all.   Either way, I think your pessimism is completely pointless.  If it closes, it closes, but why do you have to be so negative about a simple booking extension which is neither a good sign nor a bad one - it's just a booking extension!

#372 Titan

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:52 PM

they generally dont start out with big extensions until they are more established. and as ive explained there is a history of shows doing just this which is why i say its not a great sign. im not just plucking this idea from thin air

im not being pessimistic its being realistic based on previous experience and history of other shows and while it may be 'just a booking extension', these things mean something. they dont just whack a load of tickets on sale for the hell of it.

and its a discussion forum, both positive and negative comments/judgements are made on all sorts of things including seemingly trivial things such as booking extensions, 30 second trailers and so on.


#373 Matthew Winn

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 05:15 AM

View Postposter J, on 03 July 2013 - 08:40 PM, said:

why do you have to be so negative about a simple booking extension which is neither a good sign nor a bad one - it's just a booking extension!

An unnecessarily long extension is almost always a bad sign.

Setting the length of a booking period is a balancing act. If you sell tickets far in advance it restricts your flexibility: if you subsequently decide to raise prices you've lost money on the tickets already sold, if you decide to cut prices you get bad publicity from the complaints of the people who have already paid, if you want to change performance times or venues then you need to contact all the ticket holders, and so on. A booking period restricts your options for changing the show, so from the point of view of managing the production the shorter the booking period the better.

Against that you have the problem that if the booking period is too short there won't be sufficient free seats available, and if that's the case potential audience members may be unable to buy seats that suit them and leave the box office empty handed and full walleted. So the booking period needs to be set at a point far enough ahead that all but an insignificant number of people are able to buy the tickets they want, but not so far ahead that it impedes the management of the show.

You'll generally observe that for the average doing-well-but-not-sold-out show the booking period is advanced in blocks of three to six months, two to three months ahead of it running out. For example, when the end of a show's booking period is two months in the future they will add another three months to take it five months ahead, and then three months later when they're back to a two-month limit they'll add another three months, and so on. The main exception to this is when a show is selling so well that it's sold out for months in advance, in which case they'll announce an extended booking period in order to prevent people being unable to buy tickets.

But the other situation when you'll see an excessively extended booking period is when a show is doing really badly. So badly, in fact, that they're desperate for any money to help keep them going while they try to drum up more business, effectively borrowing from next year's sales in an attempt to keep the show going long enough for a last ditch advertising campaign to go into action. That's why people take it as a bad sign when a show extends far into the future without any obvious need to do so. If the extension is accompanied by an announcement that the extension shows that the producers have faith in the production then you can pretty much take it for granted that the theatre will be clear within weeks.

Having said all that, the end of May next year is unusually long but not that unusually long. Had it been August 2014 I'd have put my money on the show being gone by August 2013.
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#374 Boob

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:50 AM

It's also worth noting that Once's producers were responsible for Chariots of Fire which extended its booking period 'due to overwhelming public demand' and closed a month early.

Not that I don't wish this show well - I'd love it to be around for a lot longer.  But I think they need to look at ticket prices for that to become a reality.

#375 Steffi

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:03 AM

I'd be seriously gutted if this show closed anytime soon. I adore Once. But I do understand the general public might not be drawn to it. Hopefully word of mouth and a few more public appearances will help with ticket sales (which have improved a lot already according to what Declan told me the other week).



#376 wickedgrin

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:05 AM

Once has a very strange policy with ticket prices. There seems to be a policy of keeping the show at "full price" to the public. The show was at full price at TKTS the other day I noticed at £62.50 I think - where every other musical (almost) was half price at £35 ish. No way to encourage the casual theatre goer to try an unknown show. But then there are huge discounts available for odd performances at short notice. I received an offer for £25 top price seats for one eve performance last week. The producers really do seem to be nursing this along.

I have to say this show does not appeal to me (after watching the film) at any price. It's good some shows don't appeal as it helps the wallet. There are so many shows I DO want to see.

#377 Titan

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:12 AM

I received a  A4  card flyer for Once yesterday in the post promoting it, but no offer just standard pricing.  At first I didnt realise it was promoting a show, until I took a proper look

#378 Jon

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 01:41 PM

View PostMatthew Winn, on 04 July 2013 - 05:15 AM, said:


You'll generally observe that for the average doing-well-but-not-sold-out show the booking period is advanced in blocks of three to six months, two to three months ahead of it running out. For example, when the end of a show's booking period is two months in the future they will add another three months to take it five months ahead, and then three months later when they're back to a two-month limit they'll add another three months, and so on. The main exception to this is when a show is selling so well that it's sold out for months in advance, in which case they'll announce an extended booking period in order to prevent people being unable to buy tickets.

But the other situation when you'll see an excessively extended booking period is when a show is doing really badly. So badly, in fact, that they're desperate for any money to help keep them going while they try to drum up more business, effectively borrowing from next year's sales in an attempt to keep the show going long enough for a last ditch advertising campaign to go into action. That's why people take it as a bad sign when a show extends far into the future without any obvious need to do so. If the extension is accompanied by an announcement that the extension shows that the producers have faith in the production then you can pretty much take it for granted that the theatre will be clear within weeks.

Having said all that, the end of May next year is unusually long but not that unusually long. Had it been August 2014 I'd have put my money on the show being gone by August 2013.

Curious Incident is booking until October next year but that's selling really well, most shows seem to be booking until Spring or Summer, Charlie extended to May 2014 but they were only booking until November before the extension while Billy Elliot is booking until June 2014 but both shows have children in it so they need to gauge tickets sales before they start auditioning or plan to wind down the show.

Some shows tend to have long closing periods while for some it can be merely two weeks, I guess it depends on the producers.

#379 Alf

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:42 PM

Anyone dayseated for a Saturday matinee of late? Thinking of giving it a shot tomorrow..
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#380 Jamiem

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:58 PM

View PostJon, on 04 July 2013 - 01:41 PM, said:



Curious Incident is booking until October next year but that's selling really well, most shows seem to be booking until Spring or Summer, Charlie extended to May 2014 but they were only booking until November before the extension while Billy Elliot is booking until June 2014 but both shows have children in it so they need to gauge tickets sales before they start auditioning or plan to wind down the show.

Some shows tend to have long closing periods while for some it can be merely two weeks, I guess it depends on the producers.

More likely the theatre owner!




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