Seating blunder at Gala Theatre causes orchestra mix-up

Durham School and the city's Gala Theatre had sold hundreds of seats for a production of the popular musical - but that included seats allocated for the orchestra

Pupils from Durham School perform Les Miserables at the Gala Theatre, Durham
Pupils from Durham School perform Les Miserables at the Gala Theatre, Durham

Parents who secured front row seats for their children’s school performance might have thought they had the best view in the house.

But instead they found themselves more miserable than Les Miserables after a mix-up over the show’s staging.

Durham School and the city’s Gala Theatre had sold hundreds of seats for a production of the popular musical - but that included seats allocated for the orchestra.

Around 118 people sitting in the front three rows of the auditorium on both Tuesday and Wednesday this week had to give up their seats to make space for the band. The theatre-goers were given a full refund and third show had to be put free of charge.

Durham School head teacher Martin George said: “I’m not sure why there was confusion, but the most important thing was that the school and the Gala quickly resolved the problem and ensured that those who had missed the show on the Tuesday and Wednesday could see it on the Thursday.

“We are very grateful to the Gala who resolved the matter and overcame the problem.”

Pupils from Durham School perform Les Miserables at the Gala Theatre, Durham
Pupils from Durham School perform Les Miserables at the Gala Theatre, Durham
 

The Gala told The Journal there had been a breakdown in communication between the venue and the school and they hadn’t realised the show had an orchestra.

A spokesman for the theatre said: “There was a miscommunication between the school and the venue and we didn’t think the school required space for the orchestra when the tickets went on sale last year. We put on a free show for people and gave them a full refund.”

The performance was part of a special programme of events celebrating Durham School’s 600th year.

Following Thursday night’s extra show people took to Twitter to commend the students.

Beverly Roberts tweeted: “Brilliant performance of ‘Les Mis’ last night by pupils of @Dunelmia at @GalaDurham. You deserved the standing ovation.”

Sue Langthorne said: “Congratulations @Dunelmia on the outstanding production of Les Miserables to celebrate 600 years of Durham School.”

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