Monday, 10 March 2014

Jenni's Guide to Attending a Royal Ballet Performance - Part 1: How to Get Reasonably Priced Tickets

If you have never attended the Royal Ballet because you have been put off by the ticket prices, here is some advice on how to get reasonably priced tickets!

Royal Opera House auditorium
1. Not all tickets to ROH are expensive: around 400 seats are priced at £30 or less. So if you are able to plan ahead, it is actually possible to get reasonably priced tickets the regular way through the box office/website. Seats are either distant, restricted view or standing only, but the experience is still enjoyable. I recommend the front of the Amphitheatre. Although quite far away, you get a nice bird's-eye view of the stage, which can be very satisfying.

2. If you have three friends, get a balcony box for £32 per person! You must purchase the whole box which seats four. Boxes are located at the ends of the balcony circle, so the view is restricted (you cannot see the back corner of the stage on the side you are sitting on). On the other hand, you will be sitting close enough to the stage to make out the dancers' face expressions and get the full emotional impact of the performance.

Entrance to ROH from Covent Garden Piazza
3. If you have a schedule that allows you to be free between 9 and 10 am on the morning of the performance, you can queue for day tickets, which cost £30 or less. There are a total of 67 tickets, which are sold on the day from 10 am at Box Office. I recommend queuing from around 9.15 am. The queue forms at the entrance situated under the covered arcade in the corner of Covent Garden Piazza (i.e. along the bit where the Disney Store, the Build-a-Bear Workshop and Penguin Clothing are located). Note that only one ticket is sold per person. Seats are located mostly in the Amphitheatre and Stall Circles - which seats to go for depends on whether you prefer to have a bird's-eye view or an up-close-but-restricted view (see points 1 and 2).

4. Try the Linbury Studio Theatre. This is ROH's smaller stage located in the basement. The Linbury Studio theatre often hosts smaller visiting companies (this season include Ballet Black and the Northern Ballet), but also more experimental works with members from the Royal Ballet (for example Hansel and Gretel and Draft Works). Tickets for performances here tend to cost no more than £25 and because it is a smaller venue, no matter where you sit, you get a good view. 

5. Finally, if you're a student, you can sign up for ROH's student standby scheme to get £10 standby tickets. However, opportunities don't seem to come around that often, and when they do, you have to be incredibly quick. 

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