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Standing arrangements at ROH


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Hello! I am travelling from Australia and have managed to secure 3x standing tickets to the Nutcracker this year. I just want to ask if anyone can offer any information if there are any places to sit between acts etc? I am bringing my 10 year old and so want her to be able to have a little rest in between. We have never been to ROH before. 
Thankyou so much!

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There used to be plenty of places to sit but now many of them are taken up with restaurant tables. I know its a good way of making money but can be irritating. It depends where your standing tickets are for. If its stalls circle there is a large semi circle of red plush padded bench seats at the back of the orchestra stalls that can be accessed by the stalls circle stairs. If you're in the amphitheatre there is another red plush bench seat at the bottom of the amphi. If you want some fresh air and to look over Covent Garden go to the amphitheatre terrace. Some of the seats can be used as an extension of the restaurant but the ones where you walk straight ahead to the open bit should be OK. 

 

There is a downstairs cafe on the ground level near the ROH shop, which has lots of seats and no one seems to bother if you've purchased anything to eat or drink. There are free water fountains on all levels so you can fill up a bottle. There is a free cloakroom too if you've been shopping or want to leave your coat. Main public toilets are on the lower ground floor or near the top of the escalator on the amphitheatre level.

 

The main building is usually open all day so it might be a good idea to get there early and have a look round for possible seats. The theatre itself usually opens 30 minutes before the performance so if its on time you've will probably have time to work out where the nearest seats are in relation to where you're standing. 

 

If you want, you can get snacks like sandwiches/cakes/quiche/salads from the downstairs cafe or a more limited range from the amphi bar. All very expensive but if you've been having a busy day, might be nice to relax on the terrace with some snacks.

 

Hope you have a great time and enjoy the performance!

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Welcome to the forum, Ausmeg.

 

46 minutes ago, jmhopton said:

If you're in the amphitheatre there is another red plush bench seat at the bottom of the amphi.

There are also some bench seats on the back stairs leading to the upper amphi left.

 

The cafe snack prices aren't that unreasonable compared with other, similar, venues.

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You can also sit in the area outside the Linbury theatre on the basement level- usually very quiet.

 

I can't think of any theatre in this country where there are more places to sit - or wander about -in the intervals.

 

I don't think the downstairs cafe is any more expensive than anywhere else in London these days. However, if you really need a drink, get there quickly. Or- you can order interval drinks at any of the bars in advance on the website, which is quite handy.

 

If it's a first visit it is nice to get there early and wander about having  a look around and you can mentally note somewhere near your standing places to go in the interval- , enjoy the view from the amphitheatre terrace, and from the amphitheatre bar down into the Floral Hall, look in the lovely Crush Room, go to the shop.

 

I hope you have a lovely time ;  it's a beautiful place with a real buzz and I am sure your 10-year old will be too excited to sit quietly in the interval!

 

 

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stalls circle standing tickets are great value and can be a fantastic way of seeing a performance.  it is easy to get out 'ahead of the herd' to find a seat at the interval.  however, depending on the actual location of your standing places and the height of your 10 year old you may find that she may have a restricted or partial view of the stage which might be frustrating to her (and you).  to avoid disappointment, it might be worth emailing the box office for more information on your particular places.

 

that said, i hope that your visit is truly magical.

Edited by PeterS
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I don’t suppose the ROH supply anything to stand on for smaller people do they? I imagine people less than 5ft tall might have a problem seeing the stage standing in the stalls circle area as you are looking over the heads of the people sitting in front. 
You can always look out for an empty seat not far away for your daughter as it does happen that some people do not turn up on the day. 

The Nutcracker is a lovely ballet especially the Royal Ballets version so hoping you have a lovely time on your first visit …very exciting! 
 

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I’d suggest asking the ushers for a step or stool for your daughter to stand on.  
 

I’m 5’1” and can usually see without interruption from standing.  Often better than hugely expensive stalls which has insufficient rake and therefore tall people make head dodging necessary.  

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I'm also 5'1 and only have a problem in the central standing places (D20 - 30 ish) where the floor slopes downwards. It's not difficult to see from there, just difficult to lean on the padded rail, so they're not so comfortable. But as everyone has said, they're great standing places and excellent value.

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It is slightly out-of-date as from 2011 before the cafe by cloakroom was developed, but I wrote a short guide to the ROH for when I organised a group booking for 75 friends and acquaintances. 

 

If you would like me to forward it to you, please send me a message with your email address.

 

Carol

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18 hours ago, Ausmeg said:

Hello! I am travelling from Australia and have managed to secure 3x standing tickets to the Nutcracker this year. I just want to ask if anyone can offer any information if there are any places to sit between acts etc? I am bringing my 10 year old and so want her to be able to have a little rest in between. We have never been to ROH before. 
Thankyou so much!

 

Just sit in the vacated seats immediately in front of the standing places - people aren't generally back until 5-minutes before the next act starts, and the intervals are 20-minutes. No one minds.

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@Ausmeg how magical for your daughter (and you!) to be seeing this wonderful production in this iconic venue. The advice from "the locals" is always useful and to the point, and I would definitely go with the "arrive early if possible and have a good look around" because...well, because it's Covent Garden. Fellow Aussie whose own first ballet experience was at the ROH (Cinderella) pre-Christmas.

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There are plenty of seats to sit on outside the auditorium and usually people who are standing in Stalls Circle can get to them first as have one of the easiest and quickest exits if need be!! 

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It is a good idea to get there early and take a look around.  One thing that you might like to see are a couple of lovely tutus on display - they are for Princess Florine from earlier productions of the Sleeping Beauty.  If you take the escalator up to the amphi level, they are on your left as you get off the escalator. They are very well displayed, in big glass cases. (And then you can pop out onto the terrace in front of you for a view over Covent Garden). 

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1 hour ago, Lynette H said:

It is a good idea to get there early and take a look around.  One thing that you might like to see are a couple of lovely tutus on display - they are for Princess Florine from earlier productions of the Sleeping Beauty.  If you take the escalator up to the amphi level, they are on your left as you get off the escalator. They are very well displayed, in big glass cases. (And then you can pop out onto the terrace in front of you for a view over Covent Garden). 

 

Also, the poster display in the corridor from the bar to the back of the amphitheatre entrances is fascinating

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23 hours ago, postie said:

 

Just sit in the vacated seats immediately in front of the standing places - people aren't generally back until 5-minutes before the next act starts, and the intervals are 20-minutes. No one minds.

I would suggest asking the seat-holder politely first! 🙏

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Hi Ausmeg, if your standing places are on the ground floor stalls circle, the best thing to do for the interval (there is only one interval and only 2 acts) is to go very quickly to the doors (try not to run but do walk very quickly!) as soon as the curtain goes down to one of the benches immediately outside to sit down. If there are three of you, one person can go to buy ice creams (if you wish to have one) while the other two reserve your seat on the bench.

 

If the three of you can walk even more quickly to the ground floor cafe which is down the sloping corridor on your right as you exit the auditorium, you can sit at a table for the three of you, then one person could get coffee/juice/cake while the others “hold” the table, if you prefer table and chairs (the cafe there does not do reservations).

 

The restaurant in the amphitheatre, the Floral Hall tables and the Crush Room do offer table reservations but there is a minimum spend limit  (and advance ordering for Floral Hall and Crush Room) so you may not want that just for one interval.

 

The standing places are allocated so you don’t have to stay there to hold on to your space (like we used to long time ago) - it’s now numbered so it’s yours for the show. I don’t recommend looking for a vacated stalls circle seat to sit in as many people don’t actually leave their seats at all or might come back very early. If it’s just a place to rest her legs, the benches immediately outside are the best.

 

The show is not long, so you can also go to the ROH cafe afterwards or another cafe outside after the show for a meal or snacks without the need to get back to an auditorium in time. 

 

If your daughter or anyone else in your party  is not very tall (eg below 5 foot 3 inches), it’s worth going into the auditorium early to check if her/their view will be blocked by tall seats (the seating in the last row D is higher than the other rows)/tall patrons). If the view is blocked, ask the ushers outside- the manager often has solutions to overcome such problems.

 

I’ve had many great memories standing in many of those positions in the stalls (technically stalls circle) as a uni student- watching Manon to Swan Lake to triple bills - great memories! You might also want to bring along a pair of small binoculars or opera glasses- although that position is not the furthest away, the binoculars/opera glasses really enhance the experience and you don’t feel so far away. They can be used again for other purposes other than just ballets! 

 

Wishing you a safe and pleasant journey to London and hope you all enjoy Nutcracker! (Do post your feedback here after watching to let us know what you thought, when you have the time.). It’s a delightful show. 

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16 minutes ago, Emeralds said:

Hi Ausmeg, if your standing places are on the ground floor stalls circle, the best thing to do for the interval (there is only one interval and only 2 acts) is to go very quickly to the doors (try not to run but do walk very quickly!) as soon as the curtain goes down to one of the benches immediately outside to sit down. If there are three of you, one person can go to buy ice creams (if you wish to have one) while the other two reserve your seat on the bench.

 

 

 

The stalls circle standing places are not on the ground floor.   They are on Level 1 and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there are any benches at that level. They will need to go downstairs to reach the benches you mention, assuming you mean the ones which are in the semicircular area behind the stalls.

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Bluebird said:

 

The stalls circle standing places are not on the ground floor.   They are on Level 1 and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there are any benches at that level. They will need to go downstairs to reach the benches you mention, assuming you mean the ones which are in the semicircular area behind the stalls.

 

 

 

Hmm. I could have been away from standing for too long. Aren’t the standing places on the ground floor behind the stalls circle? I don’t think you can stand behind the orchestra stalls, as row A of the stalls circle is right there. I mean the polished wooden benches near the ushers’ desks in the foyer. Ah, Bluebird- do you mean the communal leather seats against the wall with the old photographs behind them? 

 

Oh wait- I remember now. The stalls circle don’t come out exactly on to ground floor, one has to go up the stairs a bit. Thanks! But I think the people in standing places are still  the nearest to the foyer wooden benches, if I recall correctly? The orchestra stalls seats are further forward. I suppose it depends on whether there’s a queue to get out at the interval.

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It’s only a little way down the stairs to the seats! 
The advantage of standing is you are already on your feet so if desperate to sit down or get in ice cream queue or urgently need the loo( tends to be me these days 🙄) you can make a pretty quick getaway if you want to. 

 

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11 hours ago, LinMM said:

It’s only a little way down the stairs to the seats! 
The advantage of standing is you are already on your feet so if desperate to sit down or get in ice cream queue or urgently need the loo( tends to be me these days 🙄) you can make a pretty quick getaway if you want to. 

 

Thanks, LinMM! I know it’s been a little while since I did standing room in the stalls circle, but I definitely recall it being very near the foyer where the benches and ice cream sales are, or the upholstered seating under the photographs. 

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