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Rhoda McGaw theatre

Wokingmatters makes no apology for returning to this issue, a year after first posting about the exhorbitant costs of drinks at the theatre bars in Woking, run by the Ambassadors theatre group. But I do feel a little guilty. Towards the end of our original blogpost I wrote:  “I understand that a number of regulars are now reduced to smuggling in their own alcohol.” Apologies if it was Wokingmatters that tipped the Ambassadors off about this practice. For now theatregoers are having their bags searched as they approach the New Victoria and Rhoda McGaw theatres in Woking.  This is nothing to do with anti-terrorism.  The security man on Saturday evening was upfront about it; it is to stop people smuggling in their own drinks to the theatre, rather than having to fork out huge sums for them at the bars, which are pricier than many in the West End.

The Ambassadors really did not cover themselves in glory on this particular Saturday.  There was no matinee show taking place in the 1,300-seat New Victoria theatre; however, there was one in the 200-seat Rhoda McGaw theatre, where Woking Amateur Operatic Society were performing Kiss Me, Kate. Owing to a breakdown in communication, or incompetence, the Ambassadors theatre staff had closed off all the theatre entrances, and had to be persuaded to let the Rhoda McGaw audience into the building. They refused however to open a bar – a blessing, you might argue – or even to provide an ice cream seller, saying that the society had to pay an additional fee to ensure these services were available. Wokingmatters understands that things went bad from bad to worse after the evening performance, when the lift failed, stranding a number of disabled theatregoers on the first floor. They eventually had to be rescued via the service lift.

The Ambassadors Theatre Group jointly manages the Rhoda McGaw theatre with Woking borough council as a community performance space.

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