Tuesday 16 September 2008

Two's company, four's a great expense…

After a long year of waiting, Billy Elliot is finally being shown with subtitles this evening. When I found out about it, I was so excited.

I have actually already seen it twice before – but never with subtitles and, although the music is great, I’d really love to know what people are saying that has the audience either laughing or crying the whole way through.

I told London Aunt as I know that London Cousins 1 and 2 would both love to see it and suggested that I bought them tickets as an early Christmas present. And, what’s more, the website said that subtitled tickets were £25, which seemed very reasonable.

All good so far?

I thought so. So I rattled off an excited email to the box office peeps asking for four tickets and stating that I was the deaf one. Someone duly emailed me back and told me that my companion and I would get tickets for £25, but that the seats were in the stalls so I could see the captions and that additional tickets were £60. She said it would be cheaper to get a family ticket, which cost £152.50. ‘Cheaper than what?’ I thought… a weekend away? Two trips on the Eurostar?

OK, so I know that going to the theatre is not cheap, but I thought that the whole point of subtitled theatre was to make it accessible to all. The National Theatre manage OK – I went recently and you could see the subtitles from every seat. But apparently, to see Billy Elliot with subtitles, you either have to be very rich or have only one friend.

I wrote back and politely explained that I felt it was unfair that deaf people going to the theatre with their families should have to pay the price needing to sit in expensive seats to view the subtitles and hoped to appeal to her kind side… no chance – she simply commented on the fact I had made a typo in my email to her.

In fact, I don’t even know if it is the case that you need to sit in Premium seats to see the captions – Fab Friend is unsure as she has been before and didn’t get ripped off – but I do know that the box office lady wasn’t budging at offering me a more affordable option.

I thought about lying and making my cousin deaf for the night but I don’t like lying… I thought about arguing more, but to be honest I don’t think I would have got anywhere. So tonight, I am not going to see Billy Elliot – I am going home to eat salad and baked beans and watch crap telly…


I will take London Cousins 1 & 2 later in the year for less money, without subtitles – it is, after all, their present… perhaps someone could send me the script…

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