By Lubna Hamdan
Tickets for Les Misérables sold for four times the current price in London
for Dubai Opera have been priced in accordance with what the market will pay,
according to the company behind shows like Les Misérables, Cats and
Phantom of the Opera.
multi-purpose built performance venue has sold tickets to the recent Les
Misérables show at four times their current price at the Queens Theatre in
Tickets for one of the world’s longest-running shows sold
for a staggering £128 in Dubai compared to just £32 in London.
Nick Allott, Managing Director of UK-based theatrical
production firm Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, which brought the show to the city,
attributed the significant difference in ticket prices to average market rates and labour cost.
“Initially here, the people who would have priced [the
tickets] would have done so being fully cognisant of what the market can bear," Allott told Arabian Business in an interview.
"If they find and if we find that audiences are being kept out because of that
then we’d have something to say to management here and we could look at doing a
model of more dynamic pricing.
“Wherever you are in the world, the price of tickets is
always controversial. Everyone always says it’s 'too expensive'.
"Look at the
people around here. This is a hugely labour-intensive organisation. All of them
have to be paid, put in hotels and flown. There’s a cost of charge to that.
Ultimately, when you build your own unique domestic production base, then all
of that gets less expensive and you can bring prices down,” he added.
Allott added Cameron Mackintosh, the founder of the company, “made his name on being fair to the
audience” and insisted the company never overcharged its audience.
“It’s important to spread the prices where people at the
top, which clearly are many, can afford to pay and perhaps blue collar workers,
students, younger people can come and see the show at less expensive prices,”
The four of Cameron Mackintosh's most successful musicals - Les Misérables, Cats, Miss
Saigon and Phantom of the Opera - have grossed $16bn in sales revenue according
Despite high ticket prices, the Dubai Opera is unlikely to
see an empty house during the upcoming performances of Mackintosh’s other
long-running shows, including Cats, Mary Poppins and Phantom of the Opera which
are set to play in the city in 2017.
â€œItâ€™s important to spread the prices ....". It is indeed and one way to attract a more financially diverse audience is to emphasise the role of sponsorship in holding down prices. Also packages (dinner, event and hotel room) will make some sense to patrons who want a great night out without the usual traffic distractions.