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Bluebird

New Linbury Theatre seating plan - and sightlines

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My husband has just received an invitation to name a seat in the new LInbury Theatre.  He will not be accepting the invitation (the minimum price is £1000!) but the advantage of this mailing is that it  came with a seating plan for the new theatre.  I found it very interesting and thought it worth scanning so that you could all see it. 

 

Linbury new layout screen shot.JPG

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Thanks for this, Bluebird.  They most certainly have reduced the standing room - No question of that.  

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27 minutes ago, Bruce Wall said:

Thanks for this, Bluebird.  They most certainly have reduced the standing room - No question of that.  

 

You're absolutely right, Bruce.  I have a hard copy of an old seating plan.  It was printed around 15 years ago so might have changed between then and the closure of the old Linbury.  On this old plan there are 34 standing places in the 'middle gallery' and 10 in the 'upper gallery'.

 

On the new plan, it looks like the standing places are situated at the sides of the Upper Circle (B1-6 and B 41-46) and at the back of the Circle (D22 - 28). If these are, indeed, the standing places, there will be only 19 of them.  

 

Having said that, there is, of course,  no way of knowing whether or not these are, indeed, the standing places

 

Edited to say that I've just had another look at the new plan and now realise that the places I mention above are definitely the standing places as they have a different symbol to the seated places.

 

 

Edited by Bluebird
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Have only been to Linbury a couple of times...what is the main improvement can anybody tell me?

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4 hours ago, Bruce Wall said:

Thanks for this, Bluebird.  They most certainly have reduced the standing room - No question of that.  

 

:(  Well, if they have, I hope they've factored in some cheaper seats, without excruciatingly poor legroom.  I lost count of the number of shows I didn't go to see in there because the seat prices were out of my range.

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Lin: My recollection when the work was announced is that the Linbury would become more of a 'proper' theatre.  My Seat-naming missive arrived today and, in that regard, the word 'Studio' is dropped - it will henceforth be simply the Linbury Theatre, "a wonderful new theatre to improve the experience for staff, performers and for you, our audience."  It will also be "much more flexible, enhancing the viewpoint and audience experience for different types of productions and we have improved the acoustics to make performances even more enjoyable aurally."  How can anyone resist paying £1000, £2500 or even £5000 for naming a seat in such a place?  And not for evermore, be it noted, but simply "for a generation: 25 years."

 

And for whatever its worth in terms of likely future usage of the enhanced facility, the letter is signed by a "Creative Producer, The Royal Ballet."  Does that portend the RB as the theatre's main user, or is there simply a parallel mailing with a Royal Opera signature Block?  Oops, just noticed, the first 5 rows of Stalls seats may be removed where a production requires an orchestra, so who knows?

 

 

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I see from the plan that there are 5 spaces for wheelchairs - is that more or less than there were previously ? They are all a side-on view rather than a clear view of the stage. 

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Copying over this discussion from elsewhere, as it seems highly pertinent:

 

3 hours ago, Quintus said:

Given the comments above about poor views, are there particular seats we should avoid booking in future? 

 

2 hours ago, alison said:

I'd urge caution with the sides in general, I think.

 

2 hours ago, Bluebird said:

 

I would say that many of the seats at the side would definitely be problematic.  Unfortunately, I can only give an idea about some of these areas.

People sitting in the front row of the Side Stalls seemed to have the best side view.  I’ve had no reports of what it’s like in the second row of the Side Stalls.

Circle and Upper Circle side seats should be booked with caution.  I was seated at the side of the Circle, in the front row and only just round the curve i.e. on the seat nearest to the ones which are directly opposite the stage.  I was able to see almost all the stage but a hanging light prevented me from seeing a dancer when she was at the extreme side of the stage.  Those who were in the same row but much nearer the stage reported missing what happened at that side of the stage.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had any reports of what the view is like in the second row of the Side Circle.

As for standing places, row D in the Circle is, apparently, excellent.  As has been reported elsewhere, the view from Row B standing in the Upper Circle is poor.

Maybe others can report back on the view from those rows I’ve not been able to cover.

Edited to add that, at the open weekend last September,  I tried out some of the seats at the sides of the Upper Circle and found that those seats in the centre of the front row at the side (Upper Circle A8 and A9)  had only a partial view.

 

1 hour ago, AnneMarriott said:

I sat in BB1 - Left Side Stalls.  Not only was there at best a one-third to half view of the stage, but a column divided that poor view into two parts, a sliver to the left, in which I spotted the odd hand or foot, and the rest to the right.  I could not see any of the back of the stage so if I hadn't had sight of a programme I would have had no idea of what piece I was seeing - others had the benefit of a back-projected title with names of choreographer and composer.  BB2 and BB3 can't be much better and assume the same is true for the matching seats on the opposite of the auditorium.  The view from AA1 is not obstructed by the column but of course I can't say how much of the left-hand side or the back of the stage is visible from there.  I would never book BB1 ( or 2 or 3 for that matter) again even if I were desperate to see a programme and nothing else were available.

 

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Can anyone give a report on the legroom in the Stalls? I'm under instruction to book a ticket for Diary of One who Disappeared next booking period on behalf of a friend, and he is tall.

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To say the view from row B standing in the Upper Circle is poor is generous. I would have been more inclined to use disgraceful.

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17 minutes ago, RuthE said:

Can anyone give a report on the legroom in the Stalls? I'm under instruction to book a ticket for Diary of One who Disappeared next booking period on behalf of a friend, and he is tall.

 

I think it was reasonable (well, you know how tall I am, so I may not be the best judge), but I'd tend to avoid the front row of any of the tiers.

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30 minutes ago, RuthE said:

Can anyone give a report on the legroom in the Stalls? I'm under instruction to book a ticket for Diary of One who Disappeared next booking period on behalf of a friend, and he is tall.

 

It was fine when I sat there for the Núñez in conversation, but I don't know what effect the adjustable rake may have on that.

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Oh dear. I see that I have booked Upper Circle side seats for tonight so it sounds as if it will be a very poor view. I'd naively assumed that in a new theatre all the sightlines would be OK... (and they're not described as Restricted View). Well, we'll see.

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37 minutes ago, bridiem said:

Oh dear. I see that I have booked Upper Circle side seats for tonight so it sounds as if it will be a very poor view. I'd naively assumed that in a new theatre all the sightlines would be OK... (and they're not described as Restricted View). Well, we'll see.

 

you'll have to lean forward, for sure

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2 hours ago, bridiem said:

Oh dear. I see that I have booked Upper Circle side seats for tonight so it sounds as if it will be a very poor view. I'd naively assumed that in a new theatre all the sightlines would be OK... (and they're not described as Restricted View). Well, we'll see.

 

When booking first opened for the  the new Linbury Theatre.  I checked the availablility of seats at the sides of the Upper Circle.  I needed an aisle seat so was intending to book A9.  However there was a note on the website saying that the view from A9 was restricted.  I therefore booked A8  which, although closer to the stage, had no mention of any view restriction. 

 

Luckily for me, the Open Weekend was the day after I'd done this booking.  I tried out the view from both seats and found that A8 was even more restricted than A9!   After trying out seats  in various parts of the auditorium, I found an aisle seat which suited me better and, fortunately, the Box Office were prepared to exchange the seat I'd booked although I did, of course, have to pay quite a bit extra for this better view.

 

It's clear that the sight lines in the Linbury have not been properly investigated.  Let's hope they get their act together soon.

 

Edited: Bridiem, since there's no mention of any view restriction on your ticket, I would have thought that you'd be entitled to a refund were you to find that your view was, indeed, restricted.

Edited by Bluebird
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6 hours ago, Bluebird said:

 

When booking first opened for the  the new Linbury Theatre.  I checked the availablility of seats at the sides of the Upper Circle.  I needed an aisle seat so was intending to book A9.  However there was a note on the website saying that the view from A9 was restricted.  I therefore booked A8  which, although closer to the stage, had no mention of any view restriction. 

 

Luckily for me, the Open Weekend was the day after I'd done this booking.  I tried out the view from both seats and found that A8 was even more restricted than A9!   After trying out seats  in various parts of the auditorium, I found an aisle seat which suited me better and, fortunately, the Box Office were prepared to exchange the seat I'd booked although I did, of course, have to pay quite a bit extra for this better view.

 

It's clear that the sight lines in the Linbury have not been properly investigated.  Let's hope they get their act together soon.

 

Edited: Bridiem, since there's no mention of any view restriction on your ticket, I would have thought that you'd be entitled to a refund were you to find that your view was, indeed, restricted.

 

It was indeed restricted to the point of being unable to see anything at all if seated normally. How ridiculous in a new theatre to allow that to be the case. Even sitting very far forward, at least a third of the stage was invisible. (And I have lower back problems so by the second half of the evening I was in a lot of pain and couldn't sit forward much of the time anyway.) I know the seats weren't expensive (£15), but I've paid less than that for some triple bills in the main house in recent years and had a very good view. I spoke to a member of staff in the interval and she suggested emailing customer services. I'll do that tomorrow. But why should I/we have to tell them something that is self evident?

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I hope you get your money back Bridiem if there was no indication that there was a restriction to view on your seat.

Theatres should not be allowed to get away with this. 

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23 minutes ago, LinMM said:

I hope you get your money back Bridiem if there was no indication that there was a restriction to view on your seat.

Theatres should not be allowed to get away with this. 

 

I have now emailed Customer Services in fact. I didn't specifically request a refund - I just laid the facts out before them.

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I see the Royal Opera House describes the refurbishment of the Linbury as follows:

 

“There will be a variety of ticket prices available for both standing room and seated. The number of standing places is slightly reduced, but the comfort of the seating and quality of the sight-lines and acoustics will be improved dramatically, providing an all-round better experience for visitors.” [My bold emphasis]

 

It’s very disappointing to read of some people’s experiences but is anyone able to comment whether, overall, sight lines have been improved dramatically?

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Good question. Reading all these comments, I am starting to wonder how many seats have a 'restricted view' ?

What percentage was it pre refurbishment and what, after?

That is, supposing we define restricted view as any kind of restriction.

 

New theatres may often be a little hard of seat and stark of decor but, all the ones I know have perfect sightlines......

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The newly-built Bridge Theatre addressed this issue of the view from the side of the auditorium by making those seats angled towards the stage so you don't have to twist is your seat towards the stage.  I recall that some of the seats at the Royal Albert Hall are the same, they can swivel slightly.   It's not rocket science. It just needs thinking though sensibly in advance. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Lynette H said:

The newly-built Bridge Theatre addressed this issue of the view from the side of the auditorium by making those seats angled towards the stage so you don't have to twist is your seat towards the stage.  I recall that some of the seats at the Royal Albert Hall are the same, they can swivel slightly.   It's not rocket science. It just needs thinking though sensibly in advance. 

 

 

the problem for the seats in the side of the Linbury though, seems to be that they are set quite far back (for ample leg room?), then the wall and its safety rail seem quite high and its pretty much bye-bye view (of 1/3 to 1/2 the stage). Standing spots in the upper reaches are blocked from seeing much by the curvaceous wall/floor for the seating in front of you, which juts out for nothing more than aesthetic value, and a black curtain forming a wing for the side of the stage cuts off anything to the other side of the pillar. We moved. 

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2 hours ago, JohnS said:

I see the Royal Opera House describes the refurbishment of the Linbury as follows:

 

“There will be a variety of ticket prices available for both standing room and seated. The number of standing places is slightly reduced, but the comfort of the seating and quality of the sight-lines and acoustics will be improved dramatically, providing an all-round better experience for visitors.” [My bold emphasis]

 

It’s very disappointing to read of some people’s experiences but is anyone able to comment whether, overall, sight lines have been improved dramatically?

 

Sadly, the "quality of the sight-lines" has NOT improved and, in many areas, is considerably worse.

 .

I’ve attached the old Linbury seating plan. I think it was only the Upper Gallery which had any restriction in sight-lines. In my experience, almost all Arena and Rear Arena rows (A-T) had good sight-lines.  The only row which had problems was row E which wasn’t sufficiently raked behind row D.

I had no experience of the Lower Gallery and, in any case, I think the places closest to the stage were rarely used.  Similarly, I don’t remember the four seats closest to the stage in the Middle Gallery being used except in the very early years after the reopening of the House.  Although the Middle Gallery standing places were at the sides (Middle Gallery 7-20 and 21-34),  I don’t remember anyone complaining about the sight-lines there. 

In the New Linbury, the only seats and standing places which have good sight-lines are those which are directly opposite the stage.   There are now many more seats at the sides, almost all of which appear to have some sort of restriction.

I've just checked the information on the ROH website for Linbury performances in the Spring Season.  Except for BB1, BB5 and BB30 (in the side stalls) there is no mention of any restriction in that row.  In the side Upper Circle, the only seat in row A which has a mention of a restriction is the one I mentioned in a previous post (A9) which has the 'view obstructed by safety rail'. I wasn't able to check the equivalent of A9 on the right hand side as it wasn't available for any of the performances I looked at. The other seats in the Upper Circle sides are not classified as restricted despite the fact that, from Bridiem's experience, we now know that the view from there is dreadful. 

Edited to add that you need to ignore the key at the top of the attached seating plan.  The copy I had clearly doesn't show where those seat types were situated.  

Old Linbury seating plan.GIF

Edited by Bluebird
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Circle A9 and A10 (top price, I believe) have the view restricted quite a bit by the high guard rail.

Seats in the Row A of the Circle have limited legroom which leads to people needing to spread their feet (and knees) into the neighbouring spaces. Yet there is a big gap behind those seats so, if they had judged the curve of the seats correctly, the legroom issue could have been eased.

I have fed all this back.

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9 minutes ago, capybara said:

 

Circle A9 and A10 (top price, I believe) have the view restricted quite a bit by the high guard rail.

Seats in the Row A of the Circle have limited legroom which leads to people needing to spread their feet (and knees) into the neighbouring spaces. Yet there is a big gap behind those seats so, if they had judged the curve of the seats correctly, the legroom issue could have been eased.

I have fed all this back.

 

Just checked those seats for A Man of Good Hope.  A9 is marked as 'obstructed by safety rail' and is £20 whereas A10 is not marked as restricted and is £35!!

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20 hours ago, petperj said:

In terms of view I was sat LG, front row of the side stalls but on the more central seats rather than in the lowest/highest numbers. Perhaps its just a reflection of the fact that I have so little experience of dance, or the fact that at the ROH we tend to go for the highest & cheapest seats, but I found the view fantastic. The near back-corner of the stage was blocked from sight, but other than that the view was pretty good. Obviously, a more central position would have given a better view of the overall staging (in particular a visual trick at the start third piece fell flat), but on the other hand I found it quite exciting to be so close to the action.

 

14 hours ago, cackles said:

BB6 isn't worth booking either, unless you want to end up with a stiff neck from looking around the pillar that obscures the full view of the stage. After four visits to the Linbury I am beginning to get quite a list of seats to avoid in the future!

 

11 hours ago, bridiem said:

My friend and I sat in Upper Circle A41 and A42, in the middle of the side section. Sitting normally, we could see nothing. Leaning far forward, we could see a maximum of two thirds of the stage. How can these seats be sold without being described as restricted view?! I'm not sure I see the point of selling them at all, frankly.

 

2 hours ago, Bruce said:

For reference we were in BB 1 and 4 - BB1 is pretty hopeless and I don't think should be sold really. BB4 I would not buy again and the person next to us in BB5 was unimpressed...

 

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When I went to edit the title of this thread just now, I accidentally typed "slightlines".  Freudian slip? :( 

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3 hours ago, Bluebird said:

 

Just checked those seats for A Man of Good Hope.  A9 is marked as 'obstructed by safety rail' and is £20 whereas A10 is not marked as restricted and is £35!!

 

Ah, some notice has been taken, then. But A10 Circle is NOT a clear view.

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Difficult to follow the seating plans for the Linbury Bluebird!

Your first post showing this can look confusing as the double letter seats are in the Upper Circle.....whereas it looks like you have a whole load of seats in front of you in the Circle on that plan.

I sat in A 47 in the Circle as far around as you can go on that level ....where the Balcony starts to curve around.

I was pretty close to the stage but had restricted view if the dancers came right underneath the curved bit .....leaning forward would still not have done it....I would definitely have had to stand up a bit and lean forward if I wanted to see what was going on. 

Luckily not too much time was spent in that corner!

I imagine it would be a similar problem with A1 on the other side.

I have no idea whether the rest of the A row ...on the 47 side ....could see or not ....eg not sure how far along the row you would have to sit to compensate for the curve of the Balcony....and of course similarly on the other side starting with A1 etc.

The other thing is the row behind A ...row B was higher but whether the height compensated and they could see over or whether it was even worse from there because further back again have no idea. Surely there couldn't be that many seats with such restricted views in the Circle? 

I paid £30 for mine ...for the Ferri/ Cornejo evening. 

I do think they should grade the seats" very slightly restricted... say...up to 10 per cent restricted...." slightly restricted" (up to 20per cent restricted) "restricted" ( up to 50 per cent) and price the tickets accordingly. 

A very restricted view has to be at the least half the price of a seat with good views. Others less restricted  maybe £10-20 less etc.

Should there be any seat on sale with more than 50 per cent restriction....in a brand new theatre? 

Obviously older theatres are stuck with their design. 

The only time I personally would buy such a restricted view for a performance particularly a Dance performance is if I was on holiday abroad somewhere and just wanted to experience being in a particular theatre that I may never get to see again!! 

 

 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, LinMM said:

Difficult to follow the seating plans for the Linbury Bluebird!

Your first post showing this can look confusing as the double letter seats are in the Upper Circle.....whereas it looks like you have a whole load of seats in front of you in the Circle on that plan.

 

I puzzled over this for some time, LinMM.  Are you referring to the seating plan I posted  last August? If so, the Upper Circle is at the top of the plan. The double letter seats at the bottom of the plan are at the side of the Stalls.  Did you think all the seats at the sides were in the Upper Circle?

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