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So I might be going to see Two Pigeons at the ROH tonight. I've got a good offer for a cheap seat in the Ampitheatre. But it's slightly further back. It says online that there are a few other more expensive seats elsewhere that so far haven't sold. So I was just wondering if anyone knew if it was possible or had tried asking at the theatre whether they can sit somewhere better if there are seats still available tonight? So basically maybe upgrading my seat from further back to somewhere either further forward or lower down?

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It looks as though the official answer is not within three days of performance, according to the ROH website

http://www.roh.org.uk/visit/tickets#exchange :

" Can I exchange tickets?

 

For performances taking place at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden site, exchanges can be made to tickets within the same price band or higher and are subject to availability. You may only request an exchange by telephone or in person, for productions in a Season that is open for public sale. Successful exchanges are subject to a £2 fee per ticket exchanged plus the cost of the new tickets. The original tickets must be returned to the Box Office no later than three working days prior to the performance; these tickets would then be fully refunded to the original purchaser. Exchanges are not permitted within three working days prior to the performance. Please note that tickets to productions by The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera cannot be exchanged with tickets to productions by visiting companies.

 

If a production does not take place at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, please visit the host venue's website for their terms and conditions of sale and exchange policy.

 

If returning a ticket for a Saturday or Sunday / Bank Holiday performance, the ticket must reach us in the post on the Friday as we have no deliveries on weekends or Bank Holidays. Otherwise, customers need to return unwanted tickets in person."

 

The usual etiquette at London theatres is that you move only at the invitation of the ushers and they move people in a way that does not inconvenience or shortchange those who have paid more for their tickets.

 

You could try speaking to the House Manager who is usually at the desk between the front doors of the portico. Probably better to do this at the first interval rather than the start.

 

Hope you enjoy the show whatever happens!

Edited by Grand Tier Left
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I've known people who upgraded on the day of the performance.    As far as I remember, they were able to upgrade a cheaper ticket to a more expensive one..

Edited by Bluebird

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Doesn't answer your question in any way, but just wanted to say that the house manager came up to me and my friend in the first interval of a production at our side standing seats and took us round to the Royal Box - you might miss one side of the stage, but they were lovely ;)  :D

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I upgraded on the day some years ago.  The highlight was sitting in the grand tier behind Monica Mason and David Bintley, the lowlight was the dreadful production of Sleeping Beauty.

 

I just went to the box office when I arrived and there was no problem at all.  It was a few years ago though.

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If you go for an upgrade, don't you by definition have to pay the difference in price?

 

OTOH, I was going to say that perhaps on this occasion they might actually deign to make half-price standbys available, but now I look on the website it looks as though that option may no longer be available.

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Yes I was just sort of thinking if the seats are empty anyway, would they l accept a bit more but not the whole difference of the tickets.

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Munchkin, why don't you try to haggle. I'd be interested to know what the Box Office's reaction is.

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Way back in the 90s before the house closed and shortly after it re-opened when performances were often far from sold out, I remember some of the regulars having "upgrading themselves" down to a fine art. One lady could make it down from balcony standing to an empty stalls seat between the lights dimming and applause for the conductor subsiding. In a half empty amphitheatre it would have been considered an act of lunacy not to promote yourself to the front. If questioned the drill was to brazen it out with the ushers, claim confusion and only retreat to the original seat if the usher insisted - which they rarely did.

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Not necessarily pc some people just move to an empty seat in the interval. I've seen lots of people do it. I think it happens quite a bit in cases of low sales.

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Well. this can be tricky. I've sometimes moved from a standing to a seated place, usually at the prompting of an audience member who asks why on earth I'm standing when there are seats available. But I still feel a bit uncomfortable. Once, the person sitting next to me asked if I usually take things that I haven't paid for, and launched into a lecture on how she and the other people on that row had paid good money to be sitting in an exclusive area. She turned to the man sitting next to her to back her up and he mumbled something.... I then recalled that some minutes earlier, he had been standing next to me...

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In those cases, I usually wait until I'm asked - which is fine except that on one occasion a few years back the usher on duty told me I could go and sit down, so I did, only to be asked for my ticket by another usher in the next act while the other guy was on his tea break, or something.  That was rather embarrassing.  I guess someone must have complained.

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It can also be quite unpleasant when you move from a standing to a seated place, only to find that your standing place was actually much better. Then do you sit it out or ask everyone on the row to stand up so you can go back to where you were before? Sometimes the problem is a tall person sitting in front - but for me the worst is finding that the person in an adjacent seat has a streaming cold...

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I think it's really mean-spirited to complain about someone else taking a seat which is free.  Unless they are 6 foot 5 and blocking your view (which could have happened anyway if the performance was sold out) why begrudge them a lucky bonus?  

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It can also be quite unpleasant when you move from a standing to a seated place, only to find that your standing place was actually much better. Then do you sit it out or ask everyone on the row to stand up so you can go back to where you were before? Sometimes the problem is a tall person sitting in front - but for me the worst is finding that the person in an adjacent seat has a streaming cold...

or coughs persistently and loudly all the way through which I had last week and then there's the heavy breathers they really drive me nuts!  Oh the joys......

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It is indeed a tricky one and "mean-spirited" goes both ways.

In the commercial London theatres, it is recognised that a poorly-sold performance is dispiriting for both audience and cast, so a good house manager will  reallocate  in order of price paid, telling people to move without blocking the view of those already seated.  

Of course this strategy is harder to implement in the Royal Opera House and, sell-outs being the norm, unnecessary at most performances.  It is further complicated by the fact that many expensive seats there are reduced to "restricted view" when you have someone tall in front of you.  So while I personally have no problem with self-upgraders who do not block my view, I would be pretty upset if my own experience were to be downgraded by their moving.  From what I've seen, most ushers let it go if the self-upgrader is discreet - except in the Grand Tier, I've seen a few evicted from there.  

Has anyone RECENTLY, say in the last two years, managed to do a paid last-minute upgrade at the ROH box office or via the House Manager?  Common sense and commercial acumen should make it possible and it used to be simple but the procedure seemed to get more complicated recently, I think they tightened up their formal accounting processing. If it can be done, I think they should amend their website FAQ to cover this.

 

 

Edited by Grand Tier Left
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