Nov 082009

Theatre Breaks Magazine is all about doing the research for you. I recently did a series of posts on the  most frequently asked questions about theatre breaks. Here’s a quick summary of the Top 10 most frequently asked questions and the answers. You’ll find more details in the individual FAQ posts.

Theatre Breaks Frequently Asked Questions theatrebreaksFAQ

1. Is it safe to book online?

Yes, the big online theatre breaks agencies are very reputable and are all set up to provide you with a safe, secure way of getting the theatre break you want.

2. How do I get my tickets?

Theatre breaks agency vary, some send your tickets by post, others leave them at the Box Office for you to collect.

If they are left at the box office it usually opens about 1 hour before the show. You need to collect your tickets at least 30 mins before the performance starts.

3. What time should we arrive at the theatre?

You need to be sure to arrive at the theatre at least half an hour (30 mins) before the performance starts. There is a bar in most theatres and some even let you take drinks in to the theatre these days.

Once you are in take a trip to the loo, queues during the interval can be long, especially for the Ladies!

4. Do we need to dress up?

Not unless you want to! There is no strict dress code for any of the theatres in London. Smart/Casual is usually fine, some people may even be wearing jeans. Lots of people find they like to dress up, makes it more of an occasion. Do wear something comfortable and not too hot. The theatres are warm places even in winter.

5. What if I can’t use my theatre break or I need to change the date?

Theatre breaks and tickets are usually sold on a no refund, no exchange basis. You can often arrange to transfer them to someone else or, very occasionally, the agency might buy them back from you. They are very unlikely to let you change the dates. If you are really stuck try phoning the agency.

Remember if you have general travel insurance you might be at least partially covered, so check.

6. What if I’m late arriving at the theatre? Or the hotel?

Unless you are very lucky if you’re late you will be asked to wait, possibly even until the interval! Don’t be late! Be there 30 mins before the performance.

If you are delayed arriving at the hotel, your room is booked but it’s best to let them know to expect you to check in later.

Make sure you have the hotel phone number with you and give them a ring.

7. How many nights in the hotel can I book?

You specify the number of nights and the day you would like to see the show when you book. Often there’s a good deal on an extra night or two. You can’t usually book more than 4 or 5 nights.

8. Will I get good seats?

This rather depends on the agency you choose. Most theatre break agencies tell you in advance what level of seats you can expect. Some will be very specific and give seat numbers, others just specify ‘top price tickets’ (stalls or dress circle). Watch out for very cheap theatre break deals that don’t specify your seats. You could end up with a restricted view!

9 What about parking?

If the hotel offers parking it is always mentioned in the description. Often it will mean an extra charge, usually between £15 and £20.

Don’t forget about Congestion Charging. This applies between 7.00am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday and is £8 per day.

Worth mentioning that many of the theatre breaks agencies offer discounted rail tickets to include in your package and these are often a better idea than taking the car into central London.

10. Can I take the family?

Short answer

Yes, but children must be at least 5 and you might struggle to find family friendly packages suitable for under 10s.

Longer Answer

They need to be able to sit in their own seat and pay attention. There’s usually a disclaimer at the theatre which says something like:

Admittance to the auditorium shall always be at the discretion of the management.

This translates as – if they misbehave and/or disturb people, you’re out and you’ve no chance of a refund.
Some theatre break packages do not cater for family groups at all and many only book either double or twin rooms. You’ll need to shop around but it can be done!

Your Questions About Theatre Breaks

Do you have any questions about theatre breaks? Just leave them in the comments here and I’ll do my best to find the answers so that you can book your theatre break with confidence.

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