All entries for Saturday 13 December 2008

December 13, 2008

Twelfth Night vs. National Rail

Right now, at the time of writing, I should be fifty minutes into the Donmar Warehouse's acclaimed new production of Twelfth Night, watching Derek Jacobi, Ron Cook et al. put my favourite comedy through its paces. However, I'm instead in my study. Why?

RAIN!

That's right, yet again Britain is taken completely by surprise when (heavens forfend!) there's a bit of drizzle. The entire rail transport system has ground to a halt and, despite mad dashes around the midlands, there was not a single way of getting down to the capital that would have got us there in time for the first half of the play. And there was me under the impression that Britain is known internationally for its weather - how can it keep happening that there is no kind of fallback plan for this scenario?!

I'm extremely disappointed and fed up. This is the production, more than any, that I've been most looking forward to this year. I booked seats back in January, and for the first time ever had paid TOP PRICES for FRONT ROW SEATS IN THE STALLS. Those seats are now sitting empty.

And, to make matters worse, the no-transfers, no-exchanges policy of the Donmar/Wyndham's means that I couldn't transfer my tickets or get another date. So, that's £70 on two top price tickets quite emphatically wasted. I understand the theory behind the policy (they can't risk having more than one set of tickets in circulation etc etc.), but really, you would have hoped for some kind of leeway or negotiation.

To sum up: I'm £35 out of pocket, have missed the production (unless I shell out another £35), and to cap it all off, it's not even raining anymore. Not a great day for this reviewer.


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Peter Kirwan is Teaching Associate in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at the University of Nottingham and a reviewer of Shakespearean theatre for several academic journals.


The Bardathon is his experimental review blog, covering productions of (or based on) all early modern plays. The aim is to combine immediate reactions with the detail and analysis of the academic review.


Theatre criticism always needs more voices. Please comment with your own views and contributions!

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