“ Address: The Peacocks Centre / Woking / GU21 6GQ / Surrey / England „
The New Vic is actually a bit of a gem. Part of the Ambassadors group (which has many London West End venues as well) it sees a lot of pre-and post West End tours come to the stage.
The stage itself is large enough to accommodate most productions and the rake is fine. Sets can be as lavish as the West End and yet simpler set ups work equally well. About once a year an ice show will come to the theatre (giving an idea of the size).
Shows tend to run for a week at a time save for the panto and other major shows, the former of which runs for about 10 weeks and the latter 2-3. There are also often one off comedy or music performances from local, national and international artists. There is a good mix of genres from plays to musicals, opera to rock.
The auditorium is modern (opened in 1992) and there are few "duff" seats. Those to avoid are the last rows of the stalls, particularly to either side where the acoustics are lost, either edge of the first few rows of the circle and upper circle (as the angle of view is poor) and the very upper back of the theatre because again you lose the acoustics. Seats are comfortable and there is sufficient leg room for larger patrons. The auditorium rake and seat positioning is sufficiently good to allow a good view even if there's someone tall in front of you. Boosters are available for children.
Special offers are always available and standby tickets can be bought in person on the day for most productions although some will be limited to concessions (including students). "Friends" discounts apply if you join as a member and membership fees are reasonable if you want to see more than a couple of shows a year. Major productions will normally cost around £30 for a top priced ticket with minors around the £10-20 mark depending upon the show. I think this compares very favourably to the West End for, essentially, the same shows.
Refreshments are reasonably priced and the two bars are well staffed at intervals.
As ever the place would benefit from more female toilets!
Parking can be had in the shopping centre car parks (pay on exit when charges apply) and it is possible, as a result, to get level access to this venue despite it being situated above ground level. If you are coming by car it's worth noting that it can take a while to get out of the car park at the end of the performance. This can be avoided by parking in the "Yellow" or "Toys R Us" car parks which tend to be quieter but not much further away.
It's worth taking note of the programme of events here as you may just catch a cracker before it hits the West End stage. With tickets at a fraction of the price of the West End you'd be silly not to.
I guess The New Victoria is my 'local' theatre, with out having to go to the West End. It's part of the Ambassadors Theatre Group and takes in most of the current touring productions aswell as one of gigs from musicians and comedians alike.
The venue is located at the top of the Peacocks Shopping Centre on Woking town centre. Great location, multistory car park adjoining, places to eat and drink and lots of shops so could could combine shopping and show.
The theatre itself is designed well, there are three levels and you can see the stage well from everywhere.
Lighting and sound at the productions is always fantastic and it's well air conditioned, not stuffy by any means.
I guess being part of a centre and modern, you lose a little bit of the charm of seeing something in an old theatre, but they choose the productins they stage well, they really are of a high cleass, often featuring some big names and so you get so engrossed in the production you forget you are not in the West End.
The bonus with not being though, is the ticket prices. With top price tickets for most productions around £36, it's half the price of a London production.