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News for those who like to stand in the Stalls Circle


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I've pasted below an extract from a posting on the ROH website

 


 

"We’re delighted to announce that from the start of the new Season in September, we will be offering student members the opportunity to buy slips seats and standing places in advance of the general public. These tickets cost between £4 and £15 and are usually snapped up by members or the public as soon as they go on sale, but we have secured them for you......................

 

.........All student members will be emailed a booking date. You will have one week to make your selection of tickets, and there will be an entire booking period to choose from – any performance on any date! 

 

There are 20 tickets allocated to students for each show – 10 seats in the upper or lower slips (Amphitheatre level), and 10 standing places, chiefly placed at the back of the Stalls Circle............

 

..........During the Autumn Season we have had to hold some seats in different areas, so you will need to explore carefully to find your tickets. However, for all performances in the Winter Season onwards, we can specify the allocation of student seats."

 

I've checked with the ROH and, from the Winter Season onwards, 10 stalls circle standing places for every performance will be reserved for this scheme.  This is, presumably, in addition to the stalls circle standing places which are currently reserved for day places.  If, after one week,  they're not all taken up by students, they will be released for general sale.

 

 

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Well I suppose it is nice for students but looks like another reason to reconsider whether to remain a Friend(the lowest order of) of Covent Garden as most of the reasons I joined seem now misguided...eg can't get an insight seat....they're all gone by normal Friends booking as are opportunities to,access class or class/rehearsals.....and the only cheaper end of the market tickets I'm prepared to go for are Stalls Circle Standing......so now with this opportunity reduced as well I'm not sure what I'm paying them for to be a member anymore. Have till October to make the decision but not looking worth it at the moment.

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I don't get the point somehow ... or am I as ever just confused.  Are these for 'student ROH Friends' ... e.g. one week prior to the Friends booking?????  ... or one week prior to the general booking?  The ROH is required by terms of their subsidy to hold 20% of ALL tickets for the general booking period for general access.  Weren't students able to buy these tickets previously in the same queue as anyone else ... and didn't those same students have a special programme set up so they could buy any unsold tickets at reduced prices??? ... or has that gone the way of all good things???  If so, then this I fear looks like a rather 'poor' excuse (pun intended) for a cutback cover.   

Edited by Meunier
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I'll give your "philanthropy" thought some mulling over then Dave!!

 

Actually contributing to a fund for young dancers training might be a more worthwhile philanthropic cause than the Friends! At least you would be more likely to get something back for your money spent! Not the true purpose of philanthropy I know but.....

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Well said LinMM - not that I buy standing tickets but it is yet another example of the watering down of benefits to Friends.  I was  recently invited to book ahead of Friends to sample the Premium booking but I still didn't find the seats I wanted so no point in upping to Premium but nor could I afford the £350+ price tag!!  It feels like ROH is almost alienating Friends?

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And this is in addition to the occasional barring of the amphi - i.e. most of the cheaper seats - to all but students.  Great.  It's difficult enough to get SCSs as it is, without this.  ROH treating its regulars like dirt - again?  Or perhaps they'd like to reduce some of the prices on other tickets so more of us on limited budgets could actually afford a seat every now and then?  Thought not.

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I don't get the point somehow ... or am I as ever just confused.  Are these for 'student ROH Friends' ... e.g. one week prior to the Friends booking?????  ... or one week prior to the general booking?  

 

When I enquired I was told that the new scheme will be launched in early September but that this launch will be for the autumn season tickets which are already on general sale.  

 

From the winter season onwards, the students will be given a priority booking date after Friends' booking but before tickets go on sale to the general public.

 

I don't know whether or not the students' allocation of standing places will be in addition to those currently reserved for public booking.  Maybe  they will come out of the allocation traditionally set aside for the public but I suppose it's possible that additional tickets will be held back for the students meaning that fewer will be available for Friends..

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A note to ROH - the ROH is tax payer funded after all so tickets should be available to all. 

While I have every sympathy with the sentiments expressed, in the interests of fairness it must be remembered that the subsidy only amounts to 10% of the RB's running costs.  I remember Monica Mason stating publicly that the subsidy just covered the cost of royalties (owners of ballets receive royaities just like playrights).  So I suppose they can do as they please with the remaining 90% of the tickets?

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Guest Autumn days

I am not that familiar with the booking system and the ease of getting particular tickets but isn't something that encourages students to attend a good thing that will hopefully serve to foster fans of the future?

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I first came to the ROH through the Student Standby scheme - my parents had already taken me to the theatre regularly but as a student I would never have gone independently without schemes such as this one (and the NT travelex). I had to go to whatever was offered - usually triple bills and there found a real love of Macmillan and Balanchine rep. Then discovered the ROH cheap standing places, then the best views around the house when sitting cheaply when I come with Mum and the rest is history - 8 or 9 years later I come as regularly as I can, never pay more than £25 a ticket (as I haven't yet made it in the city Dave) but very very grateful for the encouragement from the student standby scheme for helping to discover different works that I would never have tried.

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I am not that familiar with the booking system and the ease of getting particular tickets but isn't something that encourages students to attend a good thing that will hopefully serve to foster fans of the future?

 

Well, yes, but personally I'd be in favour of giving them a discount on higher-priced tickets, rather than take out a sizeable chunk of some of the lowest-priced tickets for which there is already huge demand.  Alternatively, revert to the previous pricing structure of maybe 5 or 6 years ago, when there were more "side amphi" seats available, so that more of us could afford to sit down :)

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very glad that the ROH are delighted to offer this incentive to students - wish they had the same curtesy and enthusiasm for members of the general public - taxpayers of this country -who earn small amounts - the number of tickets affordable to us has diminished exponentially in the past 5 years or so - leading to scarcity of good cheap tickets like the stalls circle standing which are virtually impossible to obtain on general booking day - even if logged in by 10 am - WHY they now should choose to reduce these further is beyond belief!! Share them out between more people PLEASE so that we all get SOME - at the moment you need to be either a high level FRIEND or a STudent - NOT FAIR - stop fiddling around and make a fairer system please

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very glad that the ROH are delighted to offer this incentive to students -

 

I think it is fairly clear on the ROH website that they are getting additional funding from a Trust to offer yet greater (seeming) access.  I doubt they are particularly over-concerned about the sales to their public general of slips seats/SC standing positions as long as they don't somehow find themselves in a situation where people boycott them entirely and they are not bought at all.  (This situation once happened with considerable tabloid exposure at the Met in New York and they answered the situation by putting in two additional rows of orchestra standing positions.  At the (then) NY State Theatre (e.g., Koch Theatre as is now) when they tried to do away with the Fourth Ring Circle there was such an outcry that they reverted themselves and let all established members continue purchasing tickets along the already established guidelines.  As far as I know that still applies for those established members (of which I was once one).  I do realise, of course, that the British are more reserved in terms of venting frustrations (Martin Amis calls us 'a battered rather than battering race') taking it more often than not as on our own chins in silence rather than institutions in noise.  What is they say?  'We lie down and roll over'?????  Perhaps it's time for that to change.  Personally I suspect somehow the time is not even now yet ripe.  (Although I would be delighted to be proved wrong.)  .  

 

In a way I can see their point as an effective ploy.  I doubt, in reality, it will make a SUBSTANTIVE DIFFERENCE to the situation as it currently exists (e.g., any unsold student tickets by the opening of the public booking will return to the general pot) - although it will allow the the ROH to achieve additional funding through it.  These 15% cuts this year are biting I'm sure.

 

I realise you can't make the building bigger ... but perhaps they could squeeze more stalls circle standing places in by making the allotments slightly smaller.  (I realise the number may be decided by other factors, e.g., fire regulations, etc. so this might not be feasible.)  Still, that's just an alternate suggestion.  (Nothing to do about the slips as far as I can see, however.  Perhaps other people have suggestions.)  

Edited by Meunier
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Why are you older people against poor, young students getting access to cheap seats? :( It is only 20 seats, for god's sakes! Read the announcement, it is only 10 standing and 10 in the slips (and maybe some elsewhere). And if students don't take them then they will be left open for general public booking.  I'd be very happy, once I start earning a salary, to buy better seats, and leave the cheapest of cheap for those students under 25 who love ballet and couldn't possibly afford to come otherwise. For those of you who are older: weren't you students once?

Edited by SMballet
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A touchy subject: it's fair to assume all of us older ones were school pupils once, but until the 1990s few had the opportunity to become students. The old competitive A Levels were designed for the elite rather than the many and there were far fewer university places (even fewer for women until the late seventies when the male-only Oxbridge colleges were forced to accept them). 

 

Actually, I've been in the ROH Stalls at several poorly-selling performances in recent years where I've been surrounded by young people who seemed, from their conversation, to be students who were offered last-minute cheap tickets to fill the house.

 

Yes, it's great to encourage young audiences. I'm sorry I missed out on such offers in my student days - it was the back row of the Coli balcony for me until I started work. I just hope my pension will allow me to sit in comfort throughout my old age.

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Why are you older people against poor, young students getting access to cheap seats? :( It is only 20 seats, for god's sakes! Read the announcement, it is only 10 standing and 10 in the slips (and maybe some elsewhere). And if students don't take them then they will be left open for general public booking.  I'd be very happy, once I start earning a salary, to buy better seats, and leave the cheapest of cheap for those students under 25 who love ballet and couldn't possibly afford to come otherwise. For those of you who are older: weren't you students once?

 

I think it's a bit arrogant to assume that people other than students can't be poor and can afford more expensive tickets.  I think that "Joe Public" are being penalised yet again as they are by many organisations these days by being older than, say 25 and younger than pensionable age!  Having recently been looking at what is on in the West End I have realised that the ballet tickets at ROH are more expensive but not critically so.  Ordinary people cannot afford the more expensive tickets on a regular basis so if you want to be a regular attender you have to look at the cheaper options and it can be galling that cheaper options are becoming less and less available.

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But I don't think that offering 20 seats only as a priority, in standing stalls and slips to students is really penalising ordinary people (who, of course, can be very poor, perhaps in some cases even poorer than students). I'd also assumed that there are special deals for pensioners. So, yes, the people in the middle get left out, but there often are very cheap tickets, and day-of show tickets, that are great deals available to everyone. I've watched performances at both Col and ROH via same-day sales, and not flourishing student card at all. So there are cheaper options for the general public too, it is just that it seems that people here were attacking a scheme to help students access cheap seats first. Which, to me, seems sad.  

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Do you live in the London area?  Many people who want to go to ROH do not.  So there is the additional cost of getting there and why would you book an expensive train ticket if you did not know that you had a ticket for the theatre.

 

All to often, as I said before, Joe Public is penalised for being "average".  Students can apply at public booking opening the same way that Joe Public can!

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We're happy for students to attend, but as many have pointed out, not being a student doesn't mean you are suddenly rolling in money, my cultural life certainly suffers from not benefitting from all the discounts anymore (i'm still in my twenties).

 

As you say, you've been able to attend before on cheap tickets, and nothing so far prevented you or anyone to buy those tickets, we don't object to students attending, we object to what is to us the most valuable tickets most likely no longer being available, and 10 tickets is quite a high proportion of the stall standing tickets.

Edited by A frog
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I'd also assumed that there are special deals for pensioners.

 

Oh no, there aren't.  Well, theoretically, there are standbys for all, when made available, but when was the last time any were made available?  Years ago?  Most RB bills this year have been virtual sell-outs.

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No specials for pensioners as far as I know!!

 

When I was a very young person and moved to London on a very low wage initially I used to go to ballet a lot usually standing.....but had to queue for them...in some cases as long as 12 hours! The box office then wouldn't release standing until the last minute if there were still seats available(which we couldn't afford of course).

 

I'm not complaining had great fun in the queues......also the Covent garden market was there then so always a lot of business and bustle going on all night....as we had to queue outside as well then....met two of my still best friends in one 14 hour queue!!

 

My point is do you think some of you younger ballet fans would be prepared to do this today?

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Sorry pressed wrong button.....

 

Was going to add.....so spare a thought for some of us oldies who have had a pretty long term commitment to the ballet companies here over the years.....

 

I'm lucky I'm a strong and fit oldie and can stand with no problem.....which if I wanted to go as often as I once did I would have to do.

However I do buy more expensive seats sometimes but that limits how often I can go....which is my current choice. So it's pay more go less or pay much less to go more often.

 

Also many people are Friends which is a costly yearly membership and even with this so called advantage Standing is not that easy to get.

Of course I want young people to have opportunities to go to the ballet I'm not really sure what the answer is but perhaps the students should only get these extra tickets for SOME performances not EVERY performance.

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