Hamlet tickets and Delfont Mackintosh – a tragic tale

It’s 1pm, a full 3 hours after the tickets for RSC’s Hamlet, starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart, went on sale and the show is already sold out…

Despite my best attempts, I don’t have tickets for the show. I spent 45 mins on the phone waiting in line, before having to give up because I had to go to a meeting. At no stage in that time did the recorded message change to indicate that I might be getting any closer to the front of the metaphorical queue.

I also tried getting tickets via the Delfont Mackintosh website, but apparently that wasn’t equipped to cope with the demand that surely could have been anticipated for a show starring Doctor Who. For some reason, despite being one of the biggest theatre operators in the country, Delfont still seems to have an online ticketing system from the dark ages. It crashes randomly, it takes forever to load, and gives you no indication of whether you might get a ticket.

It’s all very different from what is clearly possible – there are online systems that actually replicate the experience of being held in a phone queue. The system tells you how many people are ahead of you, and you can see the number decreasing until you are let in and allowed to choose your seats.

Isn’t it about time Delfont Mackintosh had something similar? Obviously days like today don’t happen all the time, but I bet it’s not a first.

So, now I’m left without tickets. If I want to see the show, I’ll have to decide whether I’m willing to pay the inflated prices necessary if I want to pick up some tickets from Seatwave. I don’t have a problem with secondary ticket exchanges, although when you’re in the position of wanting tickets, it’s still galling to see tickets already being listed for at least £200. I can’t help wishing that I was the one making that money! 

And for those of you who did manage to get your hands on the tickets, enjoy the show. I’ll have to console myself with the tickets that I have already booked to see Jude Law’s portrayal of Hamlet next year as part of the Donmar West End season.

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4 Responses to “Hamlet tickets and Delfont Mackintosh – a tragic tale”


  1. 1 Rogue Zentradi September 12, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I passed the Novello today around 1:15 or so and there was a queue snaking around the entire building for people to buy tickets. I suspect that a lot of those people went home disappointed.

  2. 2 shoegazer September 12, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    RZ – everyone in the queue was guaranteed a ticket, a cutoff point was established some time around 12:30. It took me 5 hours to reach the window and there were still tickets available, so I think it was worth it in the end…

  3. 3 Rogue Zentradi September 13, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Shoegazer: Very good to hear then, and props to Delfont-Mackintosh/the RSC/Novello Staff for being upfront about their allocation.


  1. 1 Friday Ticket Bullets | TicketStumbler Blog Trackback on September 12, 2008 at 9:24 pm

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