Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Traumas of solo theatre-going: a beginning

Every year, around this time, I start turning my thoughts towards potential new year resolutions and wondering if it's worth making any based around my crippling theatre addiction, with half an eye to curbing some of the excessive ticket-booking. Perhaps I could resolve only to see shows at weekends, or only book something if I would be happy for it to be the last show I see before I die, or maybe eschew all-male casts because frankly there are few enough roles for women as it is. However, by the time I start thinking like this, it's already too late (so far next year, I have booked - among other things - something on a Tuesday evening, an unfavourite Shakespeare, and yet another Waiting for Godot, so all three of those ideas are already out).

So perhaps I could make my new year's resolution blog-based! But every time I consider something like reviewing every show or doing a monthly round-up, I break out in a cold sweat and wonder more than ever when I would find the time to sleep. I do have several ideas in mind that would increase my blogging output without having to work to any deadlines (the one thing that guarantees I will never write again) or follow any strict patterns, and I have already started putting some of these together, but I have now hit upon a new idea.

As a frequent solo theatre-goer, I often find myself confronted with a website that will do everything in its power to stop me buying one single seat. I find this irritating, off-putting, discriminatory, and endlessly frustrating. I often wish I kept records so that I could complain efficiently to the various theatres (and I do complain bitterly every time I'm sent a "thanks for coming to the show, please give feedback" survey email) with a complete portfolio of frustration, and I often think how handy it would be if everyone's frustration with this system could be corralled into a single place so that people could get a decent idea of how widespread the problem is (or how focused it is; this is a voyage of discovery, I'm open to all possible conclusions).

So here is my new year's resolution! For the duration of 2015, whenever I run into issues booking a single theatre ticket, I will record my experience, right here on the ol' blog. I will note the show, the venue, seat availability, error messages encountered, possible work-arounds, and whether or not I am ultimately able to get my ticket. I would also like it if other people provide their experiences so we can get this all together and, if nothing else, at least have a whole catalogue of woes to point to when people ask "but is it really such a problem REALLY?".

Thoughts? Suggestions? Feedback? Venting? Get on Twitter, let's talk. @Weez