dress code

Mar 7th, 2002, 10:56 AM
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dress code

I have tickets for 3 London shows in the dress circle, what is the dress code for the evening performance.
Mar 7th, 2002, 11:05 AM
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Dress for shows in London is about the same as in New York. These days, anything goes. You will see a few people relatively dressed up, but many in jeans, slacks, sweaters, and any other more casual attire. Most London theatre seating is pretty tight with very narrow and close seats, so I'd suggest being comfortable.
I assume you weren't using the name "dress circle" to indicate that dressing is required. Dress circle is the London term for balcony -- or more specifically, the first mezzanine. The main floor is called the "stalls".
Mar 7th, 2002, 12:49 PM
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I agree with Patrick. Two weeks ago I observed that dressing for the theatre in London was if anything more casual than in New York. Week night theatre audiences in New York have a fair number of people in business attire (suits, etc). In the weeknight London audiences I saw very casual clothes, and since I'm a fuddy-duddy sometimes, I was a little disappointed.
Mar 7th, 2002, 02:29 PM
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Elaine, I'm glad to see someone else feels like that about the way people dress for the theatre. The first time I went to London I was so excited and had this vision of elegant theaters filled with sophisticated, well-dressed Londoners but quickly realize how wrong my expectations were. It still seems kind of odd to me, especially since many of the theaters are lovely and elegant in the old style. Another thing that surprised me was the amount of eating and drinking that goes on during the performances. What's with the little ice cream cups they sell during intermission? Oh well, I'm used to it now and not really complaining because the shows are great and no one has dumped their ice cream on my head yet.
Mar 7th, 2002, 06:57 PM
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I have been disappointed in the attire of London theatre-goers as well, but I finally realized that a HUGE percentage of patrons are tourists, most of whom are unwilling to "spiff up" a little. I think the feeling is "I'm on my holiday, don't expect me to dress in anything that's not comfy." Get a life, people, it isn't that hard to wear a decent-looking outfit without sacrificing comfort. Listen to the poster who says to bring a black skirt or trousers, and top it with a decent-looking top. Is that so hard? Add a scarf or a strand of pearls, and you're ready for anything--theatre, dinner or whatever.
Mar 7th, 2002, 07:00 PM
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Last time we were in London at the theater while waiting in one of those looong lines for the ladies room, there were two ladies behind me, in long fancy dresses...a little too dressed for the theater but they tried. I overheard them speaking, and asked where were they from.
They were from Ohio.
Not every tourist dresses like a slob.
Mar 7th, 2002, 07:30 PM
Jeez ...
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Why should you be disappointed with what other people are wearing? Who made you the fashion police? Wear what you want and don't be concerned about what others are wearing.
Mar 8th, 2002, 04:09 AM
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"Dress Circle" I think is called that because it was where the most expensive seats were (and usually still are in London - the front row seats are not usually particularly good) and the "posh" people who went there dressed up for the occasion.

I've never dressed up for the theatre. I don't really think it's any different from going to the cinema, other than the obvious - in fact, I think that as a child I went to the theatre more often than the cinema. That said, I wouldn't go in an old t-shirt and jeans.
Mar 8th, 2002, 04:45 AM
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A little more about "Dress Circle". Keith, I'm not aware of any London Theatres where the dress circle (first mezzanine) has seats that are more expensive that the stalls (what we call the orchestra), but usually the dress circle seats are the same price as the stalls. It is true that going back to the days of the Globe and similar theatres, the cheapest seats were on the ground floor and the people who stood or sat there (when they added benches) were called groundlings. But these days the ground floor seats or stalls are along with the dress circle equally expensive and sought after. The Dress Circle was really called that because the wealthier "aristocracy" liked to sit there where the "groundlings" could look up at them in all their finery and be impressed. Incidentally, Keith is right about the first row or two not being the greatest seats, but they are invariably lumped into the most expensive pricewise. These are often some of the top price seats you get at the half-price booth. I happen to like them for most non-musicals, but prefer some distance for musicals.
As an avid theatre goer (and participant) I too miss the old days when going to the theatre was considered more of a special event. I don't dress like a slob even today, but I've certainly gone beyond the days when I wouldn't think of going to a London or New York theatre without a coat and tie. A nice shirt and dressier slacks for me.

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