Vanishing Olympic tickets are one thing, but can someone explain to me why every single performance at the Donmar Warehouse between now and next February is allegedly sold out? I went to the box office in Covent Garden on Monday in search of tickets in early November to see Douglas Hodge in Inadmissible Evidence, only to be told that every single seat for the theatre's June-February season was sold on the opening day of booking, June 6.
There's something decidely fishy going on here; I've been buying tickets to the Donmar since the 1990s, and I know you have to book two or three months ahead -- even longer when big box office names are in the cast. It's a tiny theatre and demand is always high, but recently I successfully bought tickets in May to see Luisa Miller in July. I was not surprised to learn that the two-month run of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie starting on August 4 was sold out -- after all, Jude Law is in the cast. But I don't believe that the theatre's regular audience is responsible for the sellout of Inadmissible Evidence, or the final play of the season, Richard II with Andrew Buchan and Eddie Redmayne.
Someone somewhere has latched on to the fact that the Donmar's modestly priced tickets can be resold on the grey market at a handsome profit, and has invested accordingly. I'm not blaming the Donmar for a moment, as all its telephone and online sales are handled by ATG and are not under its direct control. Nor do I imagine its principal corporate sponsor Barclays Capital will have booked out more than a small proportion of the performances for the next eight months in Michael Grandage's final season. But someone has, and I'd be interested to know who.