Sometimes life is a collection of Agatha Christie novels – full of mysteries.
Like, where does Channel Five find their terrible weekday afternoon films with idiotic titles like “Deadly Bereavement” and “Fatal Murder” ‘starring’ actors you’ve never heard of?
The appeal of the stage musical is a mystery to some people.
Where musicals are concerned, I sit on the fence – admittedly a very uncomfortable position from which to watch Les Miserables for three hours.
Those who loathe musicals argue that it’s ridiculous for characters to be talking one minute, then suddenly bursting into song the next.
The same people will watch a horror film in which characters are talking one minute and then being attacked by a possessed, carnivorous doll the next – but they don’t consider that’s ridiculous!
I’ve seen many hit West End shows – and some stinkers. I won’t name them because the list would stretch From Here To Eternity.
In the 90s, tickets weren’t cheap, but were definitely more affordable than they are now.
Then, some of the older theatres started charging a ‘restoration fee’, which went towards improvements of the building.
We had no choice but to pay it, even though we thought “Surely some of the money I spent on this ticket already goes to the theatre?”
This was on top of the ludicrous ‘booking fee’, which most venues seem to think is alright to charge. It’s like they’re saying “Because you want to see a show at our theatre, we’ll charge you extra for the privilege!”
Apart from enormous price increases, which meant some West End theatre tickets went soaring to £90 and more in the past 10 years, we now have the phenomenon known as ‘premium seats’ – some as high as £200 each!
A ‘premium seat’ is one that the management guarantees gives you ‘the best view in the house’. Meaning you can clearly see the stage!
But, surely, whatever amount you spend, you expect to be able to see the stage? Otherwise what’s the point of buying the ticket?
Next year, a new Harry Potter stage play written by J.K. Rowling opens in London and if you have children or grandchildren who want to see it, now’s the time to approach your bank manager for a loan.
Including train fares, hotels, taxis, meals and theatre tickets, I reckon £5000 should cover it.
Although, if you want ‘premium seats’… add on another £1000!