Posts Tagged ‘ambassadors’

Ambassador’s Theatres tells me lies, tells me sweet little lies

April 14, 2009

So, I come home from my long visit to Sicily, and, while digging through the monstrous backlog of emails I’ve got, I see one from Ambassador Theatres, “Last Chance to see Graham Norton in La Cage Aux Folles,” well! “SPECIAL OFFER – BEST SEATS £25!” (Monday – Thursday performances until 30 April, using promotion code ATGLAST.)

How exciting! I’ve been wanting to see this for ages and now my chance has come. And I could get good seats in the stalls! So I went to the website, picked my date of choice (April 23rd), entered the promo code, then clicked on a swathe of four lovely seats, right there and row J, and found …

NO! I can’t have those seats, not for £25! And the best best seats, Cabaret Table D, are those available? No!

What are they willing to let me have? Stalls N2-N3. Dress circle row J (the back). Dress circle row A (“The safety rail may affect the view”). Are any of these the “best seats?” I think not. It says in the fine print of the ad that the discount can’t be used on premium seats, but, let’s be honest, BEST SEATS is not a way of saying “the best seats that have a restricted view” or “the best seats under the balcony,” it means the BEST seats. If they’re not willing to let the so-called premium seats go at this price, than, as far as I’m concerned they are engaged in false advertising. Ambassador Theatres/Ambassador Tickets / Ambassador Theatre group, I call you out here as LIARS for misrepresenting your wares. Don’t dress your sheep in ringlets and tell me it’s a spring lamb – this email was simply a LIE.

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Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – if only I could get some cheap seats!

March 19, 2009

It is frustrating to read a raving thumbs up like the West End Whingers’ review of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and realize it may be months, even a year, before I get to see the show. A solid gold hit in London can be really hard to crack if you’re a tight-fisted theater lover. Ambassadors is showing many of the shows as just completely sold out, which is bad as it means the TKTS booth is right out. That said, I can find semi-cheap tickets at places like WhatsOnStage and LastMinute. But this doesn’t really help solve the ultimate problem, which is that the show is taking place at the Palace, the single worst-configured theater in London. When I went there to see Spamalot, in the only seats I could afford – £25 balcony seats – I discovered once I got there that I could only see about 2/3 of the stage. Furthermore, the balcony seats – which were three further floors above the stalls, not just one or two – appeared to be stuffed into a converted attic, with low ceilings, uneven floors, and bizarrely configured seats. What a difference from the Wyndham’s Theatre, where my upper balcony £10 seat had gorgeously unrestricted sightlines! I felt being sold this crap ticket (for Spamalot) at the price I’d expect to pay for a normal theater ticket without being warned of the restricted view constituted false representation. I mean, at the Royal Opera House, they SAY “60% restricted view” and price the ticket accordingly!

What this means for me is that, sold out or not, I’m not buying tickets. Pay £60-£90 or miss half the show? It seems like blackmail. Meanwhile Madame de Sade and Dido, Queen of Carthage are being skewered; thankfully, I’ve only got tickets for one of them (and they’re returnable). Perhaps I should be looking at The 1959 Broadway Songbook, available for £15, and the Stovepipe walkabout show the National’s running (at £20 a pop). In fact, I note Stovepipe takes place on Sundays; I’m going to book tickets.

(Note it says re: The 1959 Broadway Songbook: “For the Poser Tables and Bar Stools at a reduction price of £15 per person, please call the reservations line – 08456027017.”)

(LATER: Yay, got tickets for Monday, March 29th from Last Minute for 40 quid! That’s silly expensive for me but hopefully they won’t be wretched and I can catch the show while the buzz is still hot.)