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The "new" Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

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2 hours ago, JennyTaylor said:

I was at the ROH for the last performance of DonQ on Thursday. I arrived early but the cast sheets were already out. I asked if there were any cast changes and was told there was a minor one and the cast changes slips would arrive shortly, if I would care to come back slightly later. 

 

I thought - on no, they won't be - and of course, they weren't, as they don't exist any more.

 

But they do exist, Jenny. I took a photo of all the changes on Wednesday only to encounter SheilaC (of BCF fame!) sitting with a very nice Cast Change slip.

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17 minutes ago, capybara said:

 

But they do exist, Jenny. I took a photo of all the changes on Wednesday only to encounter SheilaC (of BCF fame!) sitting with a very nice Cast Change slip.

 

They keep them in a drawer and admit to only giving them to those people who ask for them!

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I meant to ask for one on Wednesday.  I don't mind the odd cast change, but by the time there are 5 of them I would really like to see it down on a piece of paper where I can refer to it.

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I've given the changes to the ROH some time to bed in and, having visited a significant number of times, it's time to put my thoughts out there.

 

The overarching understanding for me is that the changes are not for the regulars.  This is not a bad thing.  Whatever can be done to encourage people into cultural establishments, without significantly discouraging those already engaged, is IMHO essential.  

 

The new Linbury Theatre.

 

The improved and enlarged foyer is very good.  Part of the open up project was to create new spaces that can be used for additional things.  So, not only is this space now much easier to use before a performance, it is its own performance space and is being put to very good use both through (free) concerts and the family sundays and similar events.

 

I have been in the new theatre itself a few times now and, yes, the seats are more comfortable and the adjustable rake works well.  The seat numbers are very difficult to see and I'm sure this would be quite easy to rectify.  There are some viewing issues from certain areas when the theatre is in "proscenium" set-up (the second rows on the sides) and when the pit is in use (a couple of affected seats) but am understanding of this as the theatre is designed to be flexible (and so these positions may be better in, say, an "in the round" production) and also bearing in mind that the theatre has been designed to be better acoustically than the previous incarnation.

 

The piazza link, new shop and new foyer area

 

Good to have the piazza link back but a shame that the awful revolving door has not been replaced as originally intended.  The shop has better visability to people entering from the piazza and is much easier to move around than before. 

 

The café/bar seems well used (and is quite handy if you're at a Linbury show and the bar down there is very busy).  The flexible "box office/cloakroom counter" that was originally proposed would, I feel, have been better than the current situation but to me the only time there is significant congestion in this area is by the box office after a show and this has, in practice, not really been a significant impediment to moving around.

 

The additional staircase to the bottom of the escalators is a boon, but does mean that areas of the auditorium can be reached without passing a programme desk and this is something that should be given some further thought.

 

I have no issue with people using the new foyer area for socialising or sitting on their computer or whatever.  This is a useful public space and those who don't like it do not have to go anywhere near it, given the access to the "old" foyer from Bow Street and access to all parts of the theatre from there.

 

At this point I must mention something I overheard whilst in the queue for the cloakroom before a Nutcracker matinée.  A lady joined her friends who were standing immediately in front.  She said to them: "Is this your first time here too?  This is the most fantastic place!"

 

I've not really seen the tablets that are available for browsing and booking tickets being used.  Perhaps some signage here would be useful.

 

Changes in the "old" foyer

 

I am disappointed that more thought was not given to people flow in this area.  Having just one programme/ice cream desk and it being by the auditorium door by the bottom of the grand staircase means that a major bottleneck is created through people queuing at the desk (particularly at the beginning of intervals).  This could be fixed quite easily.

 

The toilet situation

 

It's great that there are now many more cubicles in the "main" ladies toilets but there can be issues getting to the ground floor gents due to largish numbers of ladies waiting to use the nearby accessible facilities.  Whilst some of these ladies may have unseen needs for these facilities, I do think a number of them are just being lazy.  Some better signage in the direction of the ladies' toilets would also, I feel, be useful.

 

The new amphi bar and terrace areas

 

I'll start with the carpet.  Personally, I don't really care about this but it's been mentioned on here a number of times.  I think the current carpet was probably not the best choice but I also think it may have been a stop-gap from a final rush to complete the works.  

 

I love the "skylight" at the top of the escalators and find the new bar area much more "open", generally easier to move around and with a useable bar service area.  I don't use the amphi restaurant but have no objection to it in its current state - my opinion on this may change when the summertime comes and it extends onto the terrace, but I'll take that as it comes.

 

The new terrace areas are great.  A combination of enclosed and open areas, with windows that open in the enclosed bits.  Decent heating in the enclosed areas too.  The seating arrangements have been a bit flexible so far, but the current layout seems to work very well.

 

Good to have a cloakroom on this level now, which is very useful for events in the Clore (although sometimes if there's an early start opera on, the cloakroom is full well before the Clore event starts).  Plenty of space now for exhibitions up here (the current posters on the corridors are fantastic) and this is also a brilliant space for the family sunday events (and similar).

 

The door numbering

 

This is definitely one of the things that is not for the regulars.  To me, the new system is easy to follow with the G, 1, 2, 3 etc. representing the floor of the building and the letters showing the doors from left to right as you look at the auditorium.  This is much easier for a newcomer to understand, particularly if you bear in mind that the nomenclature for the areas of the auditorium are different to almost every other theatre or performance space in the country.  The only slight niggle here is that, unless you use a lift, access to floor 4 is easiest via floor 5 but the signs are generally clear (and I've generally found fewer people looking lost by the back staircase nor have I discovered anyone in my stalls seat with a stalls circle ticket).

 

Another example here.  One evening as I was heading to door GC, I passed by door GB.  A lady there was asking the usher if she was at the correct door as it was her first time there.  The usher said: "Yes, this is door GB.  It's G for ground and the door to your left is GA and the door to your right is GC.  It's pretty much the same on the other floors."  The customer responded: "Thanks.  That's really easy to understand." and went on in to the auditorium.

 

The box office

 

I have no issue with the box office being on the corner; this is no different to a number of other opera houses and theatres and it's easy to get to from both the piazza and Bow Street.  Having the "pre-show" box office in the glass foyer is handy though (even if the returns queue can sometimes be a bit difficult to get past).

 

Conclusions

 

I am really happy with the new spaces and with how they are used for events now.  Overall , I'm happy with the changes subject to some niggles that could be ironed out relatively easily.  The intention behind the project is good and there are people coming into the building that weren't doing so before.  We'll just have to wait and see how this translates into attendance (and re-attendance) figures at shows.

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7 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

Some better signage in the direction of the ladies' toilets would also, I feel, be useful.

 

I have spent no more than a couple of hours over a couple of sessions in the new Opera House (which I think is a huge improvement) and have ended up giving ladies directions to the toilets every time while I waited near the gents for one of the boys to return from a trip. I'd swap "essential" for "useful" there - people see the obvious toilets in the corner and don't see the ladies at all even outside busy show times when the sightlines are clear.

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26 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

The door numbering

 

This is definitely one of the things that is not for the regulars.  To me, the new system is easy to follow with the G, 1, 2, 3 etc. representing the floor of the building and the letters showing the doors from left to right as you look at the auditorium.  This is much easier for a newcomer to understand, particularly if you bear in mind that the nomenclature for the areas of the auditorium are different to almost every other theatre or performance space in the country.  The only slight niggle here is that, unless you use a lift, access to floor 4 is easiest via floor 5 but the signs are generally clear (and I've generally found fewer people looking lost by the back staircase nor have I discovered anyone in my stalls seat with a stalls circle ticket).

 

Another example here.  One evening as I was heading to door GC, I passed by door GB.  A lady there was asking the usher if she was at the correct door as it was her first time there.  The usher said: "Yes, this is door GB.  It's G for ground and the door to your left is GA and the door to your right is GC.  It's pretty much the same on the other floors."  The customer responded: "Thanks.  That's really easy to understand." and went on in to the auditorium.

 

I think the restoration of the words "left" and "right" to the tickets would be a significant improvement for regulars and newcomers alike.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, bangorballetboy said:

I've given the changes to the ROH some time to bed in and, having visited a significant number of times, it's time to put my thoughts out there.

 

[...]

 

The door numbering

 

This is definitely one of the things that is not for the regulars.  To me, the new system is easy to follow with the G, 1, 2, 3 etc. representing the floor of the building and the letters showing the doors from left to right as you look at the auditorium.  This is much easier for a newcomer to understand, particularly if you bear in mind that the nomenclature for the areas of the auditorium are different to almost every other theatre or performance space in the country.  The only slight niggle here is that, unless you use a lift, access to floor 4 is easiest via floor 5 but the signs are generally clear (and I've generally found fewer people looking lost by the back staircase nor have I discovered anyone in my stalls seat with a stalls circle ticket).

 

Another example here.  One evening as I was heading to door GC, I passed by door GB.  A lady there was asking the usher if she was at the correct door as it was her first time there.  The usher said: "Yes, this is door GB.  It's G for ground and the door to your left is GA and the door to your right is GC.  It's pretty much the same on the other floors."  The customer responded: "Thanks.  That's really easy to understand." and went on in to the auditorium.

 

 

Glad you mentioned the door numbering - I think it may take a little time for the regulars to get used to it! Very interesting comments all round.

Edited by alison
Reduced the quote to the part referred to

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51 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

I've given the changes to the ROH some time to bed in and, having visited a significant number of times, it's time to put my thoughts out there.

 

BBB it is refreshing to read  a considered review about the ROH, as it is now, that, for once, has mainly positive comments. 

 

I would concur with most of your observations, having also visited many times recently, although a caveat is that I had little experience of the ROH before the latest changes.

 

I do think the Linbury should have better house lighting, not just to see the seat numbers, but to  avoid the feeling  that it is a bit of a black hole. 

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Well, that’s quite a list BBB.  Broken down I don’t disagree with much of what you say - with one enormous caveat.

 

How can any redesign/redevelopment- call it what you will - be considered a success when it is ‘not for regulars ?’  The retired marketeer inside my head finds any such premise preposterous.  Successful brands spend millions ensuring that as their product evolves, it does so in a way that keeps it attractive to established users whilst making itself relevant to new customers.  It should not have been beyond the wit of the doubtless hideously expensive people behind Open Up to create something lovely for everybody.  To casually dismiss Regulars as people to be ignored precisely because they are loyal to your brand is breathtakingly arrogant but, sadly reflective of ROH management.

 

Yes, I agree that encouraging people into a building they may not have visited before is a laudable aim for an establishment that receives public subsidy, but there should be more defined commercial objectives other than providing a central London haven from the elements.  Similarly, widening access should not have been at the expense of the Regulars - a group I would hazard a guess make up at least 80% of ROH’s users.  Last nights the queues for coats were far worse than anything I ever remember from the previous cloakroom.

 

I do eat in the Ampitheatre Restaurant and can tell you it is a soulless place, quite  unlike the buzzy atmosphere of the past.  It was, admittedly, better last night as thanks to Forza it was full which improved things but on other occasions it is misfiring.  

 

Unlike you, I find the new directional system ridiculous, not least because it is inconsistent.  I was in the GrandTier last night but the signage from the Floral Hall is new numbers which confused many.  The somewhat harassed usher resorted to directing people to walkthrough the Crush Room ‘as you’ll find signsthat say GrandTier at the end.’  This was problematic for people paying mega bucks for their meal in this area.  I also can’t understand an attitude that everything must be dumbed down for the masses.  Surely people expect romance and elements of theatre when they visit somewhere as special as one of the world’s great Opera Houses?  Does everything really need to be stripped back to numbers and letters?

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1 hour ago, bangorballetboy said:

Whatever can be done to encourage people into cultural establishments, without significantly discouraging those already engaged, is IMHO essential.  

 

Absolutely agree, on both counts.  But here are largely my "Yes, buts ...":

 

Quote

There are some viewing issues from certain areas when the theatre is in "proscenium" set-up (the second rows on the sides) and when the pit is in use (a couple of affected seats) but am understanding of this as the theatre is designed to be flexible

 

But the serious sightline issues from the sides are a structural issue, I think, and I'm not sure they would even be resolved in an in-the-round production (and how frequent are those likely to be, anyway?).  I remain bemused that computer modelling (which I assume all architects would use these days?) didn't appear to highlight this early on.

 

Quote

The shop has better visability to people entering from the piazza and is much easier to move around than before. 

 

Both true.  However, it still doesn't stock the specialist magazines as it used to, and they were virtually the only reason I went in there :(  (I wonder how much the circulation figures of the Dancing Times and Dance Europe have dropped over the past 3 years?)

 

Quote

The flexible "box office/cloakroom counter" that was originally proposed would, I feel, have been better than the current situation

 

That may yet turn up, I guess.

 

Quote

 

The additional staircase to the bottom of the escalators is a boon, but does mean that areas of the auditorium can be reached without passing a programme desk and this is something that should be given some further thought.

 

 

Yes.  And it's also currently creating an access issue, during events in the Hall, for anyone foolish enough to pop up to the amphi/terrace in the breaks.  That could be very easily resolved by allowing people coming down by the escalator into the hall without making them do a significant detour round the building, but as far as I'm aware that hasn't happened yet.

 

Quote

I have no issue with people using the new foyer area for socialising or sitting on their computer or whatever. 

 

No, although I suspect it had been hoped to make more money out of them than may actually be the case.

 

Quote

 

I've not really seen the tablets that are available for browsing and booking tickets being used.  Perhaps some signage here would be useful.

 

 

I wasn't even aware of their existence, and I've been down in the café area a few times.  Presumably they use a more secure system than the ROH public wi-fi?

 

Quote

I am disappointed that more thought was not given to people flow in this area.  Having just one programme/ice cream desk and it being by the auditorium door by the bottom of the grand staircase means that a major bottleneck is created through people queuing at the desk (particularly at the beginning of intervals).  This could be fixed quite easily.

 

Yes, it was bad enough when they had two, but limiting it to one is just daft.  Plus there are all those pesky regulars trying to read the cast changes :) 

 

Quote

 

Some better signage in the direction of the ladies' toilets would also, I feel, be useful.

 

 

My impression of the new signage (I don't pay that much attention to it) - and I'm not just referring to the toilets - is that although classy-looking the actual images are quite small and may not be being picked up on.

 

Quote

To me, the new system is easy to follow with the G, 1, 2, 3 etc. representing the floor of the building and the letters showing the doors from left to right as you look at the auditorium.  This is much easier for a newcomer to understand, particularly if you bear in mind that the nomenclature for the areas of the auditorium are different to almost every other theatre or performance space in the country. 

 

I've no objection to them marking the doors that way, and it may well help some people find their seats better - my objection is where the other designations have been removed from the doors, so I sometimes find I have to stick my head inside the auditorium to work out where I am.  Given that the ROH is still selling its tickets according to Orchestra Stalls, Stalls Circle, Grand Tier etc. (and is that likely to change to "Level 1", "Level 2" etc.?  I hope not) it seems to make sense still to have some acknowledgement of those inside the theatre.  And I would find the amphi situation (where I don't think you tend to go too often?) rather more confusing with its multiplicity of levels.  Only the other day I had to put some people right who were totally on the wrong side of the building for their seats, up the "back stairs" on the Floral Street side of the building, so obviously it's not always clear to everybody.  At least putting "Left" or "Right" back on the tickets would be a help.

 

Quote

The intention behind the project is good and there are people coming into the building that weren't doing so before.  We'll just have to wait and see how this translates into attendance (and re-attendance) figures at shows.

 

Quite - and hope there aren't too many people who still manage to have no idea that there are performances going on, like the person quoted somewhere earlier in this thread!  I do still think that more could be done in the café area to highlight the fact, though.

 

(PS: There were quite a few points of yours that I wanted to agree with, but I was getting really fed up having to scroll up and down to put things in quotes, so ended up tending to limit myself to the others!)

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52 minutes ago, penelopesimpson said:

How can any redesign/redevelopment- call it what you will - be considered a success when it is ‘not for regulars ?’  

 

Have you attended less as a direct result of any of the changes?

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With regard to the access issue I mentioned above, I've remembered what it was: between a couple of Ballet Studio Live events I decided to go and get some fresh air on the terrace, so exited by the escalator (where it was exit only) and went up to the amphitheatre.  On attempting to return, I realised that the doors to the amphitheatre passage - and hence the back stairs and, I think, any lifts - were shut, so I had no choice but to go back down the escalator, and then was refused entry to the Hamlyn Hall there.  That meant a major detour all the way down the new flight of stairs, through the café into the old foyer, back up the stairs into the Hall and then all the way across the Hall to get to my seat, which is highly disabled-unfriendly. 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

Have you attended less as a direct result of any of the changes?

No, I haven't but just because there is no alternative.  Were there a new Opera House in town who found the idea of attracting and then looking after its regular patrons a strong marketing proposition, I would patronise it.  

 

I think you rather make my point that ROH has a monopoly and has therefore decided to largely ignore its loyal customers on the basis of 'well, they'll come anyway.'  That is an unattractive approach and one that is totally unnecessary.  

 

It seems to me that rather than being the top-hatted champagne swilling over-monied toffs of legend that the Chief Exec clearly believes to be is his Regulars, ROH patrons are actually rather lovely people who put up with a lot in order to indulge their passions - for which they pay a lot of money.  Ignoring them is pretty horrid, really.

Edited by penelopesimpson
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I do wonder what the reception to the new-look house might have been had that Arts Professional article about ticket prices never appeared, or at least had it appeared without those rather injudicious quotes from the ROH.

 

My view is that I don’t care much either way about the physical changes to the building, but it’s the other stuff which has left a sour taste: the needless tinkering with the cast list format; the ongoing confusion about cast changes - and enough posters have said they still find it a problem that we can’t argue that it isn’t one; the across-the-board price increases; the inept absence of limits on Forza ticket purchases; the expected late announcement of next season, which looks unprofessional; and most of all the many problems with the website. This all adds up IMO to an organisation which appears to have taken its eye off the ball.

 

In answer to BBB’s question, I’m going as much as ever this year but as Penelope says it’s because if you want to “buy” the Royal Ballet or the Royal Opera you don’t have a choice: the ROH has an effective monopoly on the supply of them. What I have cut right down on is programmes, which I used to buy nearly routinely and now buy not at all; and refreshments, which I used to buy more than half the time and now buy rarely. I’m also a lot less likely to donate money in future and once the new season is announced I’ll renew my Friends membership grudgingly and only if I decide it’s worth it.

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While agreeing with much of bangerballetboy’s comments and appreciating his focus is more on the new building aspect, I’m afraid I place more significance on what is not mentioned.  I remain firmly of the view that the Royal Opera House needs to:

 

Publicise Opera and Ballet performances in all Open Up areas with conviction (which could include bringing the Box Office into the Open Up area so there is much more of a focus on what’s on);

Make the most of its website (which has lost so much functionality since its refresh); 

Ensure its pricing policy promotes accessibility and complements Open Up (we await the 2017-18 annual report to be published next month to see what %age of tickets sold for less than £x etc).

 

These comments have received a fair amount of attention on this thread and elsewhere on the Forum and I think Open Up would be massively enhanced if they were addressed.

 

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Posted (edited)

A few general thoughts in reply to BBB's post, in no particular order:

 

1.  The shop. I only ever went in to buy a dance magazine, or an annual calendar, and as Alison says they don't seem to have those any more, which is most disappointing.  Just making a general point about the shop, presumably it makes money, or they wouldn't have one.  But I am always puzzled as to how much of the stuff seems to be aimed at the casual tourist, with no particular relevance to the Opera House.  Do people really go to a performance and think, "Oh, I must pick up a scented candle while I am here?"  Or a set of gold coloured ice tongs?  And I am astounded that people are prepared to pay £20 for a key ring.  They really must be the wealthy elite!

 

2. Amphitheatre Restaurant  Like Penelope, I really used to enjoy eating there.  I've tried the new place once.  The removal of the wall between the restaurant and bar area means that the constant flow of people coming up the escalators is distracting, and as they stepped outside I found I was sitting in a draft.  It was as though I was eating in a railway station.  I suppose it depends on where you sit, but I am still at a loss to know why anyone would think this could be called an improvement. 

 

3.  New Foyer Area

23 hours ago, bangorballetboy said:

I have no issue with people using the new foyer area for socialising or sitting on their computer or whatever.  This is a useful public space and those who don't like it do not have to go anywhere near it, given the access to the "old" foyer from Bow Street and access to all parts of the theatre from there.

 

Yes it is a useful public space, but as many people have pointed out, should money be spent on providing this?   I don't think it is fair to dismiss unfavourable comments by saying, "You don't have to go there."  Of course we don't, but that isn't the point.  My complaint is that it is such an anonymous space, I could be having a coffee in Starbucks.  I don't like or dislike it, it is so bland there is nothing to arouse any emotion in me.  When the Box Office was in the old position, they used to have clips of various rehearsals or interviews with artists, complete with subtitles projected on one of the walls.  I often used to stop and watch it before going in, and saw some very interesting interviews.  They still have something, but because of the height and angle of the new position, I could see very little of it in most of the seats I tried.  And even then, from what I could see, it seemed to be the sort of revolving short sequences that are completely meaningless...a headdress, some feet in pointe shoes, someone in costume presumably singing as they mouth is opening and closing.  Who they were, what it was supposed to represent?  Not given.  If they want to interest the casual visitor in the ROH's activities, this is a golden opportunity to do so, and it isn't there.  

 

Eventually, we will all get used to it.  In the same way that we will all get used to the new website.  However, personally I don't think some of the major changes could be described as improvements.  Simply change for the sake of change, it seems to me.   

 

 

Edited by Fonty
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23 minutes ago, Fonty said:

When the Box Office was in the old position, they used to have clips of various rehearsals or interviews with artists, complete with subtitles projected on one of the walls.  I often used to stop and watch it before going in, and saw some very interesting interviews.  They still have something, but because of the height and angle of the new position, I could see very little of it in most of the seats I tried.  And even then, from what I could see, it seemed to be the sort of revolving short sequences that are completely meaningless...a headdress, some feet in pointe shoes, someone in costume presumably singing as they mouth is opening and closing.  Who they were, what it was supposed to represent?  Not given.  If they want to interest the casual visitor in the ROH's activities, this is a golden opportunity to do so, and it isn't there.  

 

 

Exactly, Fonty.  I'm not sure that where they are projected is the best place for those sitting in the café area (aka captive audience) to see them, which does seem like a missed opportunity.  It seems to me that the new flight of stairs is in the way.

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21 hours ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

Have you attended less as a direct result of any of the changes?

 

Slightly off topic but I have - not as a result of the Open Up project per se, but because of the price rises and lack of suitable seats available on General Booking day.  ☹️

 

I had a thought about Level names/numbers - why not have both? For example “Stalls Circle Left (1D)” or whatever the corresponding number and letter is.  Bit of an odd comparison but this works well on cruise ships where you have “Deck 7: Panorama Deck” and so on.

 

Like the re-introduction of the second programme desk in the old foyer, this seems relatively easy to implement.

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Fonty said:

A few general thoughts in reply to BBB's post, in no particular order:

 

1.  The shop. I only ever went in to buy a dance magazine, or an annual calendar, and as Alison says they don't seem to have those any more, which is most disappointing.  Just making a general point about the shop, presumably it makes money, or they wouldn't have one.  But I am always puzzled as to how much of the stuff seems to be aimed at the casual tourist, with no particular relevance to the Opera House.  Do people really go to a performance and think, "Oh, I must pick up a scented candle while I am here?"  Or a set of gold coloured ice tongs?  And I am astounded that people are prepared to pay £20 for a key ring.  They really must be the wealthy elite!

 

The shop already stocks the 2020 calendar, although I won’t buy mine just yet in case the dates change.

 

I think too much space is given to generic items that you’d find in any National Trust shop or in the case of a book shaped lamp, John Lewis and not enough to ballet and opera items, the books and dvds are in a very small area.

 

The National Gallery shop is probably the best  place in London for art books as well as offering items related to works on display, it’s not full of stuff from the Selfridges homeware department. 

Edited by Rob S
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My thoughts exactly, Fonty, about the new downstairs area (what ARE we meant to call it?)  Like yourself, it is hard to be harsh about it because it is now a space completely devoid of either purpose or atmosphere.  If the raison d'etre was to attract new people to the Opera House, I would call it a failure.  It may be getting 'new' people in but in what way are they even made aware that it is an Opera House or the home of the Royal Ballet?  As you said, it is simply a huge soulless place with no defined purpose.  There was no more depressing experience than the other night.  On a high after seeing Kaufmann, people buzzing down the stairs with praise and then...long queues in a dreary area where to make space for more queues the chairs had been stacked on top of the tables and somebody was mopping the floor infront of and behind the coffee bar.  Talk about the party's over, out you go folks.

 

I was at The Bridge Theatre the other night (stunning design, urge people to visit) and in the foyer afterwards the bar was open, people were enjoying a drink and then wandering outside to look at the river.  Coffee was available and all other refreshments for as long as people wanted them.  Given that ROH have spent all this money creating a terrace, will it be available for use post performance?

 

It must have taken real effort to achieve a design that lacks any personality at all and that virtually nullifies the joy I usually feel after a performance.

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25 minutes ago, penelopesimpson said:

 

It must have taken real effort to achieve a design that lacks any personality at all and that virtually nullifies the joy I usually feel after a performance.

Agree totally. I call it ' the caff' It's OK if you want a coffee before the performance but that's about it. After the performance it is ghastly and just gives the impression that 'we've,taken your money, now hurry up and go'  Many years ago I used,to go to many concerts in the RFH, and part of the pleasure,was to be able to have a drink after the performance, . I know concerts finish earlier than opera or ballet, but the dismal sight of stacked chairs and queues fighting to retrieve coats is not a,good end to the evening.

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58 minutes ago, penelopesimpson said:

I was at The Bridge Theatre the other night (stunning design, urge people to visit) and in the foyer afterwards the bar was open, people were enjoying a drink and then wandering outside to look at the river.  Coffee was available and all other refreshments for as long as people wanted them.  Given that ROH have spent all this money creating a terrace, will it be available for use post performance?

 

 

 

Agree about The Bridge Theatre, I went there for the first time recently, and was really impressed.  

 


 

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1 hour ago, penelopesimpson said:

 

It must have taken real effort to achieve a design that lacks any personality at all 

 

Design by committee!

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4 hours ago, Anna C said:

 

I had a thought about Level names/numbers - why not have both? For example “Stalls Circle Left (1D)” or whatever the corresponding number and letter is.  Bit of an odd comparison but this works well on cruise ships where you have “Deck 7: Panorama Deck” and so on.

 

Like the re-introduction of the second programme desk in the old foyer, this seems relatively easy to implement.

 

The combination of name and designated door number/letter would be ideal, so I doubt that will happen

 

They could also do with a programme/cast sheet/ice sale point in the proximity to the big escalator, to catch those that sweep in from the piazza and straight up the stairs. Though I suppose now that most ushers carry copies of cast sheets that becomes less vital for me personally.

 

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I don't know about "physical" tickets but my etickets have the old level name and the new door number on them (e.g. Grand Tier door 2B).

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Just received ....literally...my ticket for the June triple! 

It says

Level 3

Door 3B  Row/Box C  Balcony( in smaller print) seat 40 

So yes does seem to say old area name but it's in much smaller print than the rest.

I do think it would be helpful to put the left and right back in though of course eventually you do get use to the new system .....I'm guessing off the top of my head that seat 40 will be on the right side but will still need to check nearer the time!! 

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Door 3B is on the left.  As are 1B, 2B (or not 2B, that is the question) and 5B.

 

That's part of the simplicity of the new door numbering.  The lettering is consistent across the floors (except for the ground floor, which is the only floor to have a door into the auditorium in the centre).

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Posted (edited)

I meant  right when looking at the seating plan when you are booking  ......so yes probably left if mean you are in the theatre facing the stage!! 

But thanks anyway.

I think I now know why my mum called me an "awkward Annie" 

Edited by LinMM

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Rather amused - a couple of days ago I managed to get  a decent ticket that was just about affordable for Boris Godunov. I managed to delete the donation - I cannot cope with high prices AND donations, and was then asked if I would like to complete my 'experience' by booking dinner! Seems to me they would prefer people,who book experiences rather than people like us,who go to the theatre! To me, an experience is a one off happening. 

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