This is a guest post from Stage Jobs Pro.

We think working in a theatre box office must be, on the whole, a great job to have but, like all customer-facing roles, maintaining a cheery persona whilst serving a constant stream of people for an eight hour shift is sometimes enough to challenge even the most friendly and super efficient human being.

A sense of humour is surely part of the job description and, with that in mind, our friends at Stage Jobs Pro have compiled this amusing list of things they’ve learned from selling tickets all day, every day.

  1. If there’s a way of getting into that sold out show, you know about it…

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Firstly, an apology. We’re about to use the C word. Christmas….and it’s still only August.

While we’re used to stories about the high cost of West End Theatre, even we were a little shocked at the news this week that a festive trip to Elf – The Smash Hit Musical will cost up to an eyewatering £240.00 per ticket. The show will star Kimberley Walsh (Girls Aloud, Strictly Come Dancing, Shrek The Musical) alongside  Joe McGann, Jessica Martin and Ben Forster (Jesus Christ Superstar).

Our advice is simply to avoid the uber-expensive seats. The Dominion is one of those theatres which, because it was once a cinema, tends to have pretty great views wherever you sit.

Are you 16-25 or do you know someone who is?
Are you passionate about theatre?
Think you’re a budding stage manager, designer or lighting wiz?
Could you market a show and make it a hit?
Think you could show Sir Cameron Mackintosh how it’s done?

Your Theatre Needs You!

Booking is now open for TheatreCraft 2015, an essential, free, “beyond the stage” careers fair for anyone aged 16 – 25 looking for a non-performance career in theatre. It returns to the Royal Opera House on Friday 20th November 2015 and is celebrating its tenth inspirational career guidance event.

On Friday afternoon, we popped along to the Theatre Café on Shaftesbury Avenue to attend the launch of the new studio cast recording of Goldilocks & the 3 Bears by Olivier Award-winning George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (Soho Cinders, Betty Blue Eyes, Mary Poppins, Honk!).

The Theatre Cafe on Shaftesbury Avenue - practically perfect in every way!
The Theatre Cafe on Shaftesbury Avenue – practically perfect in every way!

Fans dropped in to buy a copy of the CD and get it signed by James Gillan and Leanne Jones from the cast, plus Stiles & Drewe who had hot-trotted it there direct from rehearsals of their latest musical, The Three Little Pigs – buy tickets from here!

*UPDATE: MISS SAIGON HAS BEEN RELEASED ON DVD – (buy on Amazon), making a new addition to our guide to essential DVDS & SOUNDTRACKS EVERY THEATRE FAN NEEDS!

**UPDATE: PREVIEWS FOR A LIMITED BROADWAY ENGAGEMENT OF MISS SAIGON BEGIN 1ST MARCH 2017.**

Original post from 2015:

We’re shocked (and saddened) to hear that Miss Saigon will sing her final notes at the Prince Edward Theatre on February 27th 2016. The show’s original production ran at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane for ten years, so it comes as a real surprise that Cameron Mackintosh‘s epic revival, which opened in May 2014 will be flying off again quite so soon.

Now in its 18th year, the Kids Week promotion just gets bigger and better… Throughout August, Theatreland will be full of families enjoying theatre for less, thanks to Kids Week, the Society of London Theatre‘s summer promotion which enables a child aged 16 or under to see a show for free with a full paying adult, plus two additional children can go for half-price.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

More than 40 shows are taking part, including The Gruffalo, Aliens Love Underpants, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Railway Children, Hetty Feather, Let It Be, Memphis The Musical, War Horse and Wicked. Even new shows in town such as Bend It Like Beckham and Sinatra at the London Palladium are participating!

Booking is now open at www.kidsweek.co.uk or you can purchase tickets by calling the dedicated ticket hotline on 0844 248 5151. There are no booking or postage fees!

Kids Week has produced a special video to celebrate the Kids Go Free offer. How many show characters can you spot?

Here are our Kids Week top tips:

Pour a Pimms, pack a picnic and prepare yourself for some perfect summer theatre beneath the sun, the moon and the stars. Whether it’s a sunny Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre, or a midnight matinee of As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe, no summer is complete without some outdoor magic and moonlight. We’ve rounded up the very best open air experiences in London and around the British Isles…

This weekend sees the 60th anniversary of the camp-fest that is the Eurovision Song Contest.

Laughter and Lycra....nothing beats the drama of a Eurovision final
Laughter and Lycra….nothing beats the drama of a Eurovision final

Vienna has re-phased its traffic lights in anticipation for a competition which started way back in 1956 when Europe was just a group of countries making cheese and squabbling over Poland. Since then, Europe has opened it’s arms to allow countries like Azerbaijan, Israel and anyone else with enough money to take part. This year, it’s Australia.

Austria's Eurovision crossings are anything but pedestrian...
Austria’s Eurovision crossings are anything but pedestrian…

Eurovision is unashamedly camp: Last year’s winner was Austria’s Conchita Wurst – part drag queen part bearded sausage. Before that we had Jedward singing about lipstick and Russia’s dancing grandmothers creating a decoy while the rest of the family invaded Ukraine. The West End has a long standing love affair with all this nonsenseso just how many West End performers have stepped up to “take one for their country”?

Who can believe ten years have passed since since Billy Elliot fouettéd his way onto the stage of the Victoria Palace Theatre? Back in 2005, three incredible young actors created the stage role of Billy and wey aye man, they’ve grown up. In writing this post, I seem to have unearthed a wiki-leak…the curious case of the two George Maguires. But more of that later…

Tonight, some 40,000 theatregoers will try to escape the UK general election by voting with their cheeks and parking their bottoms on the red velvet plush seats of London’s Theatreland. But Theatreland’s writers, actors and directors have a long standing fascination with their expense-dodging power hungry counterparts. Tonight, we take an irreverent look at the Politics of Theatreland – a place where neither Monarch nor Prime Minister is above derision. Famously described as “show business for ugly people”, Politics is a whole lot closer to theatre than we might like to admit, and when you look at the leaps of Eddie Izzard, Glenda Jackson and Russell Brand from the theatrical onto the political stage, you see how easily the lines can blur.

The Vote

Election night broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse

Catherine Tate and Samuel West will be voting Donmar [Photograh Johan Persson]
Catherine Tate and Timothy West will be voting Donmar [Photograh Johan Persson]
Judi Dench and Mark Gatiss tonight lead a stellar cast

A disgruntled Kayleigh..!
A disgruntled Kayleigh..!

One of our favourite offbeat commentaries on London Theatreland is Kayleigh Llewellyn’s insider and alternative perspective at My So Called Life In A Box. Documenting her interactions and overheard conversations with the public, during her job at a West-End ticket selling booth, the blog is both insightful and hilarious. Though it consists of ‘found material’ and real-life incidents, Kayleigh self identifies as a “writer, improviser, feminist” and her nuanced sarcasm and astute observation never fails to have us in stitches. Without further ado, here are five of our top recent moments (click on titles for full posts):

Like pubs, the Royal Family and cheese rolling, Kenneth Branagh is one of Britain’s greatest phenomena. Hollywood loves him, and so have a succession of incredibly talented and high-flying British women.

Kenneth Branagh
Knight of a Thousand Stars: Sir Kenneth Branagh

So, what is it about our Ken that attracts the likes of Emma Thompson and Dame Judi Dench to love and

Its Valentine’s Day again. Posh restaurants, overpriced hotels and ticket touts flogging seats to panicked looking gentlemen who forgot to arrange anything. For the rest of us, it’s probably either a bunch of flowers, some chocolates, or most likely another February wondering what’s happened to the postman…

For all us Bridget Joneses, Shirley Valentines and Edward Scissorhands, fear not! There’s a whole world of Musical Theatre couples out there whose love lives are so complicated and messy, you’ll find yourselves thanking your lucky stars you’re treating yourself to a bottle of Chardonnay and a night in singing All By Myself and waiting to be eaten by Alsatians…

Oh well…Take a look at these Musical Theatre news headlines from Valentines past as we skip through the rose-beds of Theatre’s great romances. And then ruin them.

COUPLE NUMBER ONE: CHRISTINE DAAE AND “ERIK” (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA)

Phantom of the Opera - The Real News Headlines
Phantom of the Opera – The Real News Headlines circa 1986….

This dysfunctional couple makes the Addams Family look like