New seats cause theatre ticket problem

HUNDREDS of theatregoers have today been asked to send back tickets to Ipswich's Regent theatre after seat numbers had to be reallocated.Though most shows are unaffected, theatre manager Hazel Clover has written to some customers asking them to send back tickets because seats were sold in advance of a £500,000 13-week refurbishment.

HUNDREDS of theatregoers have today been asked to send back tickets to Ipswich's Regent theatre after seat numbers had to be reallocated.

Though most shows are unaffected, theatre manager Hazel Clover has written to some customers asking them to send back tickets because seats were sold in advance of a £500,000 13-week refurbishment.

Shows affected include The Proclaimers on October 8 and Status Quo in November.

In the letter, Miss Clover said: “For some touring concerts, where the on-sale date was dictated by the artist, it was necessary to sell tickets for some dates prior to the new seating plan being fully approved and implemented.

“Therefore, it may have been necessary to reallocate your existing tickets to a new row or seat number.”

The letter said replacing the theatre's 78-year-old 1,600 seats had resulted in some changes to row numbers and seat numbers.

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One theatregoer, who did not wish to be named, said: “The main thing is the theatre is going to have lovely new seats. “I didn't realise at first we would have to send tickets back. I don't mind but it must be expensive for the theatre to send tickets to a fro.”

Miss Clover said the majority of tickets had already been returned. She said: “We want to make it clear this only affects a small number of shows.

“The tickets were sold before the refurbishment was approved. People will be sitting in the same place; their seats will just have different numbers.”

Miss Clover said the rest of the shows due at The Regent would not be affected.

She added: “We do not want people to think there is a problem when there is no problem. This only refers to a handful of shows and thousands of tickets sold won't be affected.”

The refurbished auditorium will be opened to customers on September 17 for a performance by singer Daniel O'Donnell who opens the autumn season.

There will also be an open day from 10am to 4pm on September 15 to allow customers to see the finished work.

Have you been asked to send your tickets back to The Regent? Are you looking forward to the new seats? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

n. See opinion page four.

The Regent was built in 1929 as “a place of high-class entertainment”.

The stage has played host to some of the world's top artists including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

It is the largest auditorium in East Anglia.

Before the refurbishment there were nine different sizes of chair.

The new seats were chosen from a shortlist of 35 designs.

420 60 watt bulbs have been replaced with LED lights.

Painters are expected to have used 250 pots of paint in the refurbishment.

Carpets have also been replaced - the theatre needed enough carpet to cover two football pitches.

When it re-opens to the public the regent will have a new colour scheme - Edwardian blue.

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