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King's Theatre..Not Too Far From Glasgow City Centre!
King's Theatre (Glasgow)
Member Name: angelboouk
King's Theatre (Glasgow)
Advantages: easy to book, variation of shows/times, layout
Disadvantages: price of tickets, booking fees, snack choice
King's Theatre was opened in 1904 and designed by Frank Matcham. The theatre is owned by Glasgow City Council though ran by Ambassador Theatre Group. Restoration of the stalls and grand circle was completed in 2009.
The King's is located in the Charing Cross area of Glasgow. The red sandstone building is located at the far end of Bath Street. The nearest train station is Charing Cross which is a few hundred yards from the main entrance of the theatre. There is no immediate parking at the theatre but drop off is recommended. Buses 42, 57 and 18 run from Sauchiehall Street and stop at the theatre.
0844 871 7648
Guide dogs are welcome and the theatre welcomes disabled visitors. The theatre can hold over 1700 visitors and seating is arranged in individual stalls, grand circle, upper circle and the gallery with disabled seating at the front. Group bookings are welcome.
King's Theatre offers various shows, pantomines and performances throughout the year. The most popular shows are the pantomimes (Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Best are scheduled for 2011). The theatre offers performances for adults only, families etc and there is something for everyone. It is recommended that you book tickets in advance. Performances are currently listed up until April 2012.
Booking can be done through www.atgtickets.com. Each performance may be an one off or there may be regular performances throughout that day or across a time period. The box office telephone number is shown in the contact information above and tickets can be collected at the entrance to the theatre. The price you pay for tickets will depend on what the performance is, where you want to sit and what time (peak/weekend etc) you want to visit.
Current performances and scheduled performances include but are not limited to :
*Dirty Dancing - the first tour : 19th Oct - 12th November. Various performances with premium seating at nearly £80.00.
*Sleeping Beauty - one for the families : 2nd Dec - 8th January. Afternoon and evening performances. Approx £26.00 with a few pounds deduction for children.
It is worth noting a booking charge is added to each ticket and is approx £1.25 per ticket. Major debit and credit cards are accepted. As well as pantomime and shows, performances from individual performers can be booked with the current schedule including Micky Flannigan, Dorothy Paul and Stewart Lee.
I wouldn't say I am a massive fan of the theatre but pantomime trips at school were always enjoyable. Having visited King's Theatre as a child, I was quite excited about taking my son earlier in the year. We went for a Thomas the Tank performance. I booked my tickets through the booking website and received confirmation. I paid by debit card and on arrival, I only had to give my name and was presented with our tickets.
I underestimated how far this theatre was from Central Station. Visiting on a cold, windy and very wet night, we weren't anticipating such a long walk. Luckily Ryan was in the buggy but we were like drowned rats! We knew where Bath Street was but we kept walking and walking fearing we had missed it. Near enough at the Hilton, we finally spotted it. Not ideal in the dark to be honest as it isn't very well lit up. On our arrival, the theatre was dangerously busy. I'm sure normal performances would allow for better organisation but with excited toddlers, buggies and parents trying to get sorted, it was mayhem! We were directed to a room to place our folded buggy in and got our tickets.
~Layout and Staff~
The building is simply beautiful inside and out. It is large, old fashioned and has an amazing, historical feel. The staff were pleasant from the booking office to the ticket checkers and were dressed smartly. They acted professionally at all times despite having hundreds of toddlers running around! As we were to be seated in the grand circle, we had to go up a few flights of stairs. The carpeted areas were very grand and decorated with posters of upcoming shows.
The foyer could have been better arranged. There was a stall offering various Thomas merchandise at overinflated prices. We bought a light up stick and programme coming to an eyewatering £12.00. They were also offering a wide range of sweets and juice at extortionate prices. I can only assume this happens with many shows but more emphasis when children are involved. Luckily our son didn't appear too greedy! The downstairs area is quite cramped but as far as I am aware, disabled visitors are taken in through a ground floor door as are those sitting near the stage.
The auditorium is very grand and everything you would expect a theatre to be. Red seating (we had 3 seats together), gold trim around the walls. Everywhere was very clean and the different seating options are raised. We had corner seats which weren't ideal but good enough. I wasn't prepared to pay a premium to be down the front to be honest. The grand circle is quite large and extends around the top of the auditorium. There are 2 entrances to this area. I am glad we weren't right at the front as it is high up and rather daunting looking down!
The layout of the auditorium is pretty standard. The stage is of course located at the front and is large, floored and hidden behind large red curtains. It can be viewed from every angle giving everyone a chance. When the lights dim, the auditorium becomes quite dark which can be scary for young children. Of course every show is different but we had an excellent time at Thomas. It was very interactive, loud thanks to the speakers dotted around and bright. The performance was top class though not the best I have ever been too. My son thoroughly enjoyed it though despite being tired by the end. We were told off about taking pictures though as I didn't notice the sign. As far as I'm concerned, given the fact we paid over £50 to come here, we should be allow to take pictures!
~Time For A Break~
Many of the shows have intervals and I was happy Thomas did (approx half way through). Many had brought treats in with them though we hadn't. Ushers were selling small tubs of ice cream in the auditorium for around £2.50 which is far too much. A small hole in wall (literally) offered packs of sweets and juice. I bought a pack of Minstrels and Pringles costing £4.00. We went back and got a can of Irn Bru and a large Fruit Shoot coming to over £3.00. Expensive isn't the word and no sign of Milky Bars! This area did get very busy during the 15min break.
I visited the ladies loos. They are dotted around the theatre and there were 4 upstairs. They were clean but old fashioned and with the amount of children and adults at the time, there was far from enough. On leaving, we made our way back downstairs and eventually got our buggy before heading home..in the dark and rain!
Booking was simple but I grudged paying more for myself and fiance than my son considering the show. Looking at the choice of shows, there are plenty but the price jumps are very high with some being near the £100 mark. Add on your transport, munchies and dinner and you have yourself one very expensive night or day out. Like I said, every show is different and we will return in future. I was supposed to book for Dirty Dancing as I think that would be an amazing show but we hope it will return. I am considering the pantomime though as a treat for my 5yr old niece as she would love that.
A stunning, clean and well thought out theatre just don't expect to leave with much money!
Thanks for reading :)
Summary: great for adult or children shows