Just saw the 'Joan Rivers' comedy tour there this evening ,she is just great ;as always but the venue....oh my.!... second time I have visited there;the first time 5 years ago and was in the circle seats so did not see as much of the venue as I did tonight..!! disracefull place, even after the recent make over to mainly the exterior entrances. Firstly the staff and security men were noisy and rude and oblivious of the public and their needs. On entering the ground floor foyer you saw the clear signs to the various areas of the theatre,For instance our seats were in the Stalls area; sign directed you to first floor foyer and then signs where to go disappeared..you had to walk to various doors to find how to get to the stalls..marked...yes....not stalls but..Auditorium ?? crazy. Then on that floor is a drinks stall..with a coke costing..wait for it...£2.10p. each in an open plastic glass,no lid offered or available to save spilling it! and rude girl serving there too.!
When the oversized female 'jobsworth' on the Auditorium door decided it was time to let us in to our seat; opened the doors, which could have been opened earlier, especially for older people who were left standing and milling about in the foyer..reason being they are a Council owned building and wanted to ensure we all paid every penny in sales for drinks etc. before letting us in. This would have happened anyway, if you want a drink it can still be obtained and brought in with you to your seat.
The building seems vast and spacious, yet poorly designed, no feeling of warmth to it and the Theatre/conference area is a complete mess..our seats were Stalls Row V1.2.3 & 4 close to the entrance doors with a concreted area set to the left of the auditorium;completely divorced from the theatre area..the stage was way over to the right .People were walking back and for to the bar/drinks stall across this open area in front of us as if we were in a park at a fairground venue ..back and fro back and fro..crazy.
The seats were ridiculous, so hard our backsides were numb ! not proper theatre seats at all, makeshift fold ups..and at £30 a seat a disgrace to the Industry..a typical Local Council carve up..If a Private organisation operated like the Council there they would be jumped upon by the Council enforcers right away..talk about Health & Safety..its a joke. On entering the ground floor some glass(fire ?!) doors could not be opened to the street for a wheel chair user to gain access for some time, outside in the pouring rain;another door had to be used, was told the other aluminium double glazed door was warped(brand new refit recently undertaken!!).So this is how our rates are wasted..!
There was a lot of local talk over the last few years about knocking the out dated venue down,now I know why. Do it Brighton Council... soon.!! and get the double glazing contractors back to sort the warped doors out and change the undersized locks and hinges to those doors. The food/cafe area was closed at a time when people would have wanted to buy food whilst waiting to get in from the entrance foyer to the Main foyers.Why.!! crazy. but being the only main concert venue of it size in Brighton leaves a lot to be desired.
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