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New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham.

The Regions Sahftesbury?

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#11 daniel.

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 01:43 AM

An interesting point I feel also is customer perception of the theatres in Birmingham - particularly between the Hipp and the Alex. We get a lot of comments from customers at the Hippodrome who have been to the Alex and had bad experiences (customer service often comes up) but also other factors such as the decor of the theatre itself - the Alex is looking rather tired at the moment comparative to the Hippodrome, and also ticket prices.  The Alex is part of ATG, who naturally charge "premier seating" prices (the whole concept really grinds my gears) and a restoration levy (seemingly not used for restoration) compared to the Hippodrome where top price is top price, simple as.  Maybe this is the effect of large, national, private company with shareholders to please, versus charity trust. Hm.

#12 sahunt

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:51 PM

The main thing I seem to get from this thread then is the level of local competition (Birmingham REP, Hippodrome, Wolverhampton Grand and RSC) However, there is a hell of a lot of touring product that isn't playing Birmingham this year (joseph, evita, starlight, cats, the 39steps, little voice, abigails party etc) whilst one or two may have dates in 2014 I find it amazing that many shows don't play or very rarely play Birmingham when the majority of these shows would fit the Alex. On a second point, the competition has been around for quite a while now yet the alex still manages to peak and trough...
I have see n in recent press that ATG have bought many shows to the alex, some of which would otherwise not have played there. I don't know the full stats but surely 90% of these shows are atg productions anyway so where are all the other producers and why are they not being offered the chance at the theatre?

#13 Dawnstar

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:35 PM

Evita finished its last tour at the Birmingham Hippodrome in September 2011 so maybe they think it's too soon for a re-visit or it didn't sell well enough last time?


#14 annette

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 08:45 PM

It could be that, plus one thing that has started at the hippodrome for the last few years is longer resident shows coming in for example this year lion king is here for over two months in the summer (29 june to 28 September) next year wicked is there for two months as well, (9 july to 6 September) and has been happening for some years now, so where as many shows tour around for a couple of weeks at most at venues surely having show)s there for a couple months at a time (and not to mention panto season which runs from mid December all the way to beginning of February there) doesn't help. I live in Birmingham and used to see shows at the hippodrome or alex every month or so, but sad to say I have actually seen more shows in London on day trips over the past few years as either one show is on so long or I don't fancy it.  and don't get me started on ticket prices as would love to know how the hip can justify the costs.  for instance if I was to book a seat for Saturday evening on 29 june would cost me £60 for as far back as row T (the back row of the stalls!  how cant that be justifiable when I managed to see the show a few years back in London on a Saturday evening for not even half the price!

#15 wickedgrin

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 09:50 PM

I agree about the prices at regional theatres - they have really gone up in the last 12 months or so - almost WE prices without the deals. Plus all the "premium seat" nonsense. I refuse to pay top dollar to sit at the back of the stalls.  Like Annette I see far more shows in London than I do at my regional theatre.

#16 Titan

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 05:03 AM

Im the opposite, im seeing more locally than i am in london these days as the production quality of some touring shows now is west end standard so i save money and see it locally. Even though london is only just over an hour away, the cost is increasing on the trains and i could pay for another show at the cost of a train ticket. I dont mind the big shows charging the fifty pounf mark if the production is west end standard but do object to premium. Luckily my venue isnt atg and hasnt started premium yet. Will be interesting to.see what happens with lion king and wicked to see if they start the trend.

As for the alex, friends in birmingham have just said the quality of productions there have been poor. I dont see how long runners at the hippadrome could be a bad thing as the alex in theory could pick up all the shows that thr hippadrome cant take due to a long run. Plus it will offer people variety

#17 annette

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 05:57 AM

View PostTitan, on 02 May 2013 - 05:03 AM, said:

Im the opposite, im seeing more locally than i am in london these days as the production quality of some touring shows now is west end standard so i save money and see it locally. Even though london is only just over an hour away, the cost is increasing on the trains and i could pay for another show at the cost of a train ticket. I dont mind the big shows charging the fifty pounf mark if the production is west end standard but do object to premium. Luckily my venue isnt atg and hasnt started premium yet. Will be interesting to.see what happens with lion king and wicked to see if they start the trend.

As for the alex, friends in birmingham have just said the quality of productions there have been poor. I dont see how long runners at the hippadrome could be a bad thing as the alex in theory could pick up all the shows that thr hippadrome cant take due to a long run. Plus it will offer people variety
  that's true.  The alex offerings lately are fairly week, a lot of one nighters, comedians etc, which do have their place but surely block the times for the other shows coming around.  I was looking the other day and there is so many one nighters there its ridiculous- everything from abba tributes, the chuckle brothers, derren brown, tommy cooper triubute, the carpenters tribute, pscyhics and burlesque shows are on therr way here over the next few months .  I am the opposite with travel costs, for instance I regularly go to London get return tickets for the train for under £20 return ( I can sometimes get as low as £10 return - book exactly 12 weeks ahead with virgin is usually cheaper, get a theatre ticket for £30-£40 or less (wether by a discount code, TKTS booth, Donmar Warehouse) have a nice day out, a mean and a matinee Saturday ticket for less than I would spend booking a Saturday night or matinee in Birmingham at the hippodrome.  I have friends membership for the hipp and whilst offers some value, can no longer use for Friday/Saturday eve  shows etc so can only use in the week.

#18 wickedgrin

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 06:12 AM

My local theatre is ATG - more and more seats at "premium" prices, so that the old top price now only buys you sides and back of stalls. The front 2 rows of the dress are premium too. Ridiculous - I am sure there must be price resistance to this. I can get to London for around £14 for a day return which would not buy me a gallery seat at my local theatre. I can get day seats for £10 ( most recently Merrily ) in London, see the NT for £12 etc. No contest.

#19 wickedgrin

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:19 AM

I see the Alex is getting Ghost for Christmas though. That should be a good alternative or addition to the panto at the Hipperdrome.

#20 Lover

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 09:02 AM

Ok - a little reversed view at them both.

Having company managed tours into BOTH the Hippo and the Alex, then I can say both theatres have their place for certain products, however the Alex, sadly is one of the HARDEST theatres in the entire of the UK to actually fit a show into (of its scale). The crew there are a smashing bunch of guys but the logistics, physics and restrictions placed actually make it very difficult to fit some shows in there. Even if they fit, you actually have to get it in there in the first place, and if you have never had a chance to see the dock door open you wont understand.

Having said that, I have always had a wonderful time in the Alex as well as the Hippo.




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