Change of Plans – Dealings with ATG

This post could also be titled “Massive Disappointment”. I have just taken the executive decision to cancel my weekend trip to London – and UV – tomorrow. It wasn’t easy to come to a decision and even though my RLRA friend, with whom I was going to spend Friday to Sunday, as well as LoLo and Kate had to cancel their trips, up until yesterday I thought I was going. My mother was very unhappy…  Things changed last night when I watched a panel discussion on Coronavirus on Irish telly. Two virology experts clearly said “don’t travel unless you have to; stay at home”, especially if you or a member of your household belongs to the risk groups to whom the virus poses serious danger. Unfortunately that is the case in my house. Dear Mr Guylty suffers from a chronic lung disease called “pulmonary fibrosis”. He has to take extra care, even with the common flu. And as much as I like and admire Armitage, I cannot risk catching the virus by going to far-flung places, sitting in an 800 seat theatre on three consecutive days, travelling on busy public transport, and then spreading it on. I am not so much scared for myself. But I *am* for anyone, who is at higher risk than me. I am also worried about future safety measures, i.e. what happens if they finally come to the conclusion to suspend all public mass gatherings (such as sports and cultural events) or if travel is restricted? Ireland is an island – it would be fairly easy to shut the country off… Ok, I don’t want to veer into panic-mongering. Suffice to say that I have cancelled my flight already. Compliments to British Airways for their supereasy flight cancellation system. I even received all my taxes back, so the financial loss is manageable.

The same can not be said for ATG Theatre Group, the company behind the Harold Pinter Theatre. Not only did I spend a long time waiting in queue on the phone (maybe there were others in the same predicament as I?), but then they also declined to refund my superexpensive “Champagne Experience” ticket for tomorrow night’s performance of Uncle Vanya. Ok, I totally get that I signed up to the small print when I bought my ticket, and the company is a business, not a charity. However, when I asked that my very expensive ticket be exchanged for a ticket at a later date, that was declined as well – because such requests are only honoured up to 48 hours prior to performance. We are talking over 100 GBP (115 Euro) here, and my customer account would’ve shown them several other ticket purchases. I have spent a lot of money with them, and I would’ve hoped that this “ambassadorial theatre experience” would’ve extended to their customer care, too.

However, it did not even make any difference that I am an ATG Theatre Card holder, even though the latter promises you “No quibble ticket-exchange – Book with the confidence that if something comes up, you can exchange your tickets to see the same show another time.” Well, only if you are >48 hours early. Again – sure, that’s in the small print, and I signed up to that when I subscribed. However, we are currently experiencing a rather extraordinary, global health crisis, and I would’ve expected a little more goodwill from the company. Especially as I was willing to merely *exchange* the ticket for a later date, rather than demand a refund. Declining such – in front of the backdrop of coronavirus – looks like profiteering to me.

And don’t even get me started on the useless ATG Theatre Card. I bought it in order to have the benefit of priority booking. In the event of UV tickets coming on sale, the priority period was a mere *two hours* on a weekday morning back in September 2019. Which caught me completely off-guard while travelling in a remote part of Ireland – and hence was unable to avail of. It also hasn’t helped with the exchange/refund of my ticket. Conclusion: The 35 GBP fee for the annual Theatre Card subscription was effectively good for nothing. Don’t buy it – it is not worth it! The conclusion is: I am sitting on a 100 GBP theatre ticket that I can not use. Really, Richard, that’s how much I love you 😂 Or: Never buy a theatre ticket without cancellation insurance!

In order to get anything positive out of this unsatisfying non-resolution, I want to at least share my experiences with those of you who may be in a similar situation and may have to cancel their trip to the theatre. So here are my

My Recommendations for Cancelling Your UV Ticket

  • In the unlikely event of having to cancel your ticket, you need to ring ATG’s hotline at 03330 096 690 (for calls from UK and Ireland.) Overseas customers ring +44207 206 1182. (Interestingly, this number did not work for me. I was told that “UK customers have to ring [above number]”. Note to ATG: The Republic of Ireland has been independent of the United Kingdom since 1949 😉.) The Harold Pinter Theatre has a box office phone number, too:  0844 871 7622, however, it appears to connect to the ATG service.
  • Depending on whether you have ticket insurance or not, you *must* notify them latest 48 hours prior to your ticket’s performance, otherwise they will not refund/reschedule. So bear that in mind and/or act fast.
  • You need to have a reason why you are cancelling. And they are asking for proof! If you have a doctor’s note or your country has imposed safety measures, that will help.
  • If you can’t get a refund for your ticket, I would recommend you reschedule it for a later date. It is highly unlikely that the coronavirus situation will get any *better* in the foreseeable future. It looks as if it is going to get worse. So all you can do is play for time, choose a later date. That way, you can possibly make other travel plans – or even receive a refund *if* the theatre has to suspend all performances due to the coronavirus.
  • Kate recommended another solution to me, which has worked for some: The website Refund Solutions helps you with a refund. You simply fill in their online form and then send the required documents by mail. ETA: You can also e-mail your documents. This includes doctor’s certificates etc., though – you have to prove why you are unable to travel.
  • If neither options are available to you (as is the case for me), maybe you have a way of gifting your ticket to a fellow fan. This may only work if you have a digital copy of your ticket, though. (My ticket was held at the box office, and it now looks as if I can’t even pass *that* on because I cannot pick it up in person.)

To make it clear – I sincerely hope that the performances will not be cancelled but that everybody gets a chance to see this wonderful production. It is most unfortunate that the run of UV coincides with this hugely challenging time. I would hate to see it remembered only as “the play that I couldn’t see because of the virus”. It is so worth seeing, and I have been very impressed to note that the performers and the people responsible have kept the play going over the last days/weeks while the whole virus crisis has become bigger. However, I also believe that some people have to make personal choices as regards attendance – both audience as well as cast and crew. I feel we all have some personal responsibility during this time – which, for example, informed my decision to cancel my trip, solely for the benefit of not endangering my husband. I am not accusing anyone – we all have our own reasons for our actions, and if you can go to London, I totally envy you and wish you lots of fun. Let’s just hope that our respective national health systems can withstand the pressure and that our governments do what is best. Not just for our own countries but for the whole world!

Ticket to Give Away

If you are in or near London right now – I have a ticket for tomorrow (12 March) night’s performance to give away for free. It’s for a fourth row seat (D10) and includes the pre-theatre champagne experience in the “Ambassador Lounge”, with champagne, snacks and ice cream. If anybody wants it, get in touch asap so I can try and arrange with the theatre that it will be handed to you at the box office. It would be such a shame of the seat was left empty… we don’t want Richard to think that he’s not worth seeing 😉

Right, and now I am off to do some panic-buying retail therapy .

88 thoughts on “Change of Plans – Dealings with ATG

  1. One small annotation: You can e-mail your documents to the service I recommended if you got the ticket insurance with your ticket purchase. I’ve been notified that I would receive the refund. Will update when I actually have the money back.

    I’m sorry you had to do this, but I completely understand and think it’s the right thing to do. *hugs*

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    • Thank you! I am so glad that I have received a lot of support over this decision. That makes it easier to ignore the disappointment. You of all people know…
      And thanks for the annotation – have edited it into text.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh so sorry to hear this. Yes, you would think the theatre company would have a little empathy right now and refund your money. I can’t believe they would let you exchange for later either. Terrible customer service. I mean it is a pandemic with travel restrictions.

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        • It’s possible that they simply have not put any new policy regarding the pandemic into place. However, as you said – it’s a matter of goodwill. And safety. I do feel that they could’ve dealt with it in a more sympathetic way. Noted for later…

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      • I so sorry you had to cancel your plans but as a person who has asthma l understand and respect your decision. I hope you can see the play at a later date💜💜💜Raven Grace

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    • The worst thing: It’s all in the small print… so it’s basically my own fault. We’re only talking goodwill and customer service here. Well, Europe is not that big on the latter… I just hope that other people are now aware of the limitations and can take their decisions in a more timely manner than I…

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    • Agreed. I am totally reconciled with my decision. Sure, there is regret that I am neither seeing RA live nor my lovely friends. But I’d rather postpone those pleasures to another time, than risk anything.
      And damn – but you cancelled already a while ago, didn’t you? I hope you got some money back!

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  2. I’m so sorry for you…but it is most certainly the right decision. I’ve taken the same road and rescheduled my trip into late April. I was early enough to get the tickets rebooked for the new date. But at the moment it looks to me like that will also not be the time to travel. I guess we will have restrictions by then or I will get a document from my doctor that I can’t travel because of my chronic health issues. But I guess I won’t get my tickets for the Eurostar refunded…
    Nonetheless…it’s the right thing to do right now. You have a husband who need solidarity now. I’m in everyday close contact to my old parents…so, there’s much reason not to risk too much.

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    • I have to say that the feedback I have received today, has made it much easier to me to reconcile myself with the decision. In *my* case, I believe it is the right thing to do. And I hope everyone else is also happy with whatever decision they are taking.
      Sure, it’s not certain whether April is enough time for the crisis to be resolved. But with old parents or other people possibly at risk, I think you have done the responsible thing.

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  3. Health comes first. I am so sorry for you and other visitors, but it is absolute understandable. You and your family please take care.
    My husband is a risk person, too. Since yesterday our region is declared to region at risk. A lot of people are commuters so do I partially and work in Baden-Württemberg which is also an area of risk. My peak season starts this weekend and I hope nobody in my surrounding comes in touch with the virus because being in quarantine I would loose a bulk of my annual earnings. Although I would have time to watch all RA videos.
    Let’s hope and I wish all the best for you all ( especially fellow fans in Italy)

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  4. I’m sorry. It sounds like a few people are NOT having a good experience with this. You would think with the Coronavirus scare, the theater would be a tad bit more accommodating. Between this and the Old Vic/Crucible issue, it makes me NOT want to go see anything at the theater.

    On the flip side, would this give you time to maybe read something????

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  5. uuff, they just said today’s count went up to 456, 80+ more than yesterday so i think it’s definitely a case of better safe than sorry 😦 Though i am terribly sorry not to see you! And i even stocked up on foods so we didn’t have to eat out and had planned travel so we could avoid tube and so on… But i’d never forgive myself if coming here gave it to you or anyone in your family!
    We’re all conscious in London of the higher risk we face the way we live and travel 😦
    Look, it’s so sad and i totally understand missing out :-(( but although it does sometimes take 1 year or 2 he seems really fond of doing theatre and i have no doubt he’ll be back! He’s got the local attention again between the Stranger and going and chatting to people and the play so fingers crossed, maybe more local work will come to him. Basically, i am sure he’ll be back and sooner rather than later and we’ll all be able to enjoy him again and in person without the cloud of all of this hovering over us!

    I was miffed not to be able to go to Magicon as i haven’t seen him chat and such in person in what feels like an eternity! But i suspect that event is very unlikely to go ahead in the end too…

    I am just so sorry not to see you as it’s been so long. sending you hugs and say hello to the whole bunch and promise me in autumn when this will hopefully be just a bad memory you’ll come! or if not i’ll come 😉
    Many hugs, i know this doesn’t help but on the upside, if we do end up cooped up inside, which is according to authorities only a couple of weeks away, we’ll have time for rewatch, blog and chat more. xx

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    • I totally failed to address this in my post – I am deeply disappointed that I will not see you and any other friends I was looking forward to meet and spend time with. That was actually why I postponed the decision until such a late stage. But the “better safe than sorry” adage fits – at least for me. I have lots of patience and hope for another attempt at travelling to London at a later stage. And really, I can’t complain that much because I have already seen the play. It is so much more disappointing for all of our fellow fans who have *not* yet travelled to London. I feel for them, and I am somehow hoping for a Digital Theatre recording of it.
      As for RA – you are absolutely right, there are sure to be opportunities in the future when RA will be on stage. He has definitely proven himself as a name in the theatre world, and there is demand from the audience to see him, so he will surely be considered for stage roles in the future. Again – I will apply my patience.
      Magiccon – it will be interesting to see what happens with the event. Not least because the location (Bonn) is quite close to the epicentre of the German corona outbreak. (Unrelated, but yesterday I received notification from Red Dragon con that they are postponing *their* upcoming RDC6, which was scheduled for March 27-29. I actually think that the organisers did the right thing. It’s just postponed, not cancelled, until the virus situation is under control. IMO that benefits all people concerned.) Again, if it should be cancelled, I feel sorry for anyone who had planned to go. I personally think it would be safer and right to postpone it, but that’s just me.
      And yes, the good thing about any isolation is the gained time for entertainment. Self-isolation? Self-entertainment!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Same massive disappointment here, Guylty. (And heartbroken not to see you, Hari.) The approximately $4000 prepaid on our London trip is going to be a total loss (unless I can get a few refunds on theatre tickets–thanks for the tips). I am very sad. But we are doing the right thing and that is my consolation. Things here are surreal. My university canceled all face-to-face classes and we have until next week to convert them into online classes, at least until mid-April. But who knows?

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      • Oh no, Linnet, you had to cancel, too? I am so, so sorry to hear that. Apart from the financial implications, these trips are something to look forward to, really special occasions. It is so disappointing to give them up. But I do think that it is the responsible thing to do, for you, for me, for people in our situation. There will be more opportunity for travel at a later stage. Hugs!!

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      • oh no J!! what a shame, but i totally understand 😦 Do get in touch with the theatres though as there is enough time and you should get your tickets refunded. i returned another ticket today and got refunded, for ROH it’s true but they have relaxed their policies. It’s just a matter of days, i’m just sorry S got hit with the change before more measure are in place 😦 Fingers crossed you should also be able to get refund on your airport taxes at least! I am so sorry not to see you!!! But we’re all probably better off staying put and reducing our goings on and staying healthy so we can do it all another day! They have already announced we will be moving onto the ‘delay’ phase tomorrow so there will be more measures in the next days. i suspect we’re not far away from theatre things getting cancelled and so on.

        Still, does not take away the fact that i am so very sorry not to see everyone :-((( After last year i had been so looking forward to normality and friends…. but we live to fight another day and hopefully we’ll all be healthy and able to do this again under better circumstances. Many hugss xxxx

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  6. I completely understand and I’m glad you have posted this – you have helped me make my own decision. Like you I have a vulnerable husband and I have been worrying all week as to whether I will put him to risk if I travel to London… now I think sitting tight in Norfolk is the best thing I can do.

    I just wish I had seen an earlier performance 😣 I will try to change my ticket for a later date but somehow I don’t think the situation is going to improve before the end of the run 😢

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    • Thank you, Helen. I am glad if I kind of helped you make a decision. A loved one’s vulnerability to this virus is definitely worth prioritising. And cancelling a trip is at least *one* thing that I can actively do to minimise *our* personal risk. I am not going into self-isolation just yet, and I don’t think we need to (unless ill), but a little bit of caution is probably not wrong.
      Personally, I am not really sure whether the situation is going to stabilise before the end of the run. But if it really gets worse, and the government finally imposes a ban on public events, at least we have a proper claim to be refunded. Not that I am hoping for that…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, is it worth asking if there is anyone already in London that could use my ticket? I could post it tomorrow and it should get to London easily by Saturday… Hariclea, I assume you’re going anyway but can you use a spare ticket (free of charge obviously!)?

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        • Hi love, thanks ever so much for the kind offer but the reality is that starting with tomorrow we’ll likely be asked to reduce our activities too. I already had a few tickets spread out. very few , but still which i may in the end not take up. I’ve just barely come out of a really bad cold myself, still coughing and my immune system is not it’s usual, quite the contrary. Also i have some plans to travel and see my elderly dad, unless be get travel banned which looks likely by then. Bottom line i’ll err on the cautious side of things going forward myself as well as i don’t want a risk to my health either and put others at risk.
          In any case as long as you’re still 48h away from your dates do give the theatre and ATG a whirl and they are still likely to accept the tickets for refund, at the moment they just seem to impose the 48h rule very strictly but otherwise exchange/refund should still work.
          I am less concerned about being at the theatre itself as i tend to be in and out, however i live farther away now and have to get there via tube and so on and that’s going to be soon a risk not much worth taking. I have enough with going to work daily on a bus that is effectively on a school run – going past at least 6 of them and a hospital, which is how i already caught a cold.
          Bottom line i believe between today and next week the situation may change significantly and traipsing about town will probably not be the best idea anyway.

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  7. Difficult times atm in many respects… I am so sorry for you and all those who had or have to cancel this particular trip! Things will become more restricted over here too – I guess I can call myself happy to have seen UV twice in February. No clue if my planned trip in May including a meet-up with friends at the Pinter will happen, not to mention the MagicCon.

    Thanks for the various tips in terms of rescheduling!!! I have already become aware that the ATG theatre card is not a great advantage… 😉

    I am sure he’ll be back on stage soon and as UV has been nominated for various Olivier Awards this play won’t be forgotten, Corona or not.
    People all around Europe have to reorganize their private lifes and daily occupations – it’s health first in all circumstances.
    Good luck to everyone!

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    • Agree – those of us who did the trip in January and February, were lucky. At least in the sense that we were not really forced to make an active decision about travel/not-travel. Fingers crossed that everything has worked out by the end of April. We can hope.
      Yep, that Theatre Card is pretty pointless. Ok, I was able to book some tickets and not pay any fees, but I didn’t buy enough tickets for that to actually pay off the expense of the card. Well, we live and learn 😉
      You are right – the play has left a mark. And RA is a name in theatre, no doubt. That leaves hope for future opportunity to see him on stage.

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  8. So sorry to hear this Guylty, I’m really disappointed for you and all the other fans who have had to cancel, but it was definitely the right thing to do.

    And as others have already said, there’ll be other times now Mr A seems back on the radar in the UK.

    Lots of virtual hugs to you and all the other cancel-ees.

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  9. I’m so sorry Guylty but I totally understand your decision, it’s really not worth the risk. I’m glad you did get to see his Astrov before. Thanks very much for the advice about refunds. it seems curious that they won’t provide refunds before 48 hrs because there would be more chance of selling-them on with more notice. Oh well, I hope your retail therapy made you feel a bit better and also that Mr Guylty appreciates your great sacrifice.

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    • 🙂 In barely a week, the conditions for considering an excursion to London to attend the UV show have radically changed. We were carefree. I even wandered, in the midst of a motley crowd, without constraint. Between Chinatown, Japan Market, National Gallery, Natural History and Science Museums, the banks of the Thames no place was suspect. I feel guilty for being able to say that our only concerns were the train schedules, the meeting places between fans, the arrival of Richard Armitage at the SD
      Stage 3, which would soon be announced, forces me to give up my days off to write protocols. About the organization of the customer circuit, the details of disinfection, the choice of personnel exposed on the front line, external communication about internal reorganization. I have the impression of being in a period of announced tragedy, worthy of a second-rate disaster film. I hope that the public will not panic and that we will hold out. Make the most of the talents of these exceptional players, you who will be visiting the HPT in the coming days.

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      • Who would’ve thought a couple of weeks ago that it could really get to a point where some of us have to voluntarily cancel our travel plans? I was definitely naive, thinking it would all be contained. Well, there’s nothing we can do except look after ourselves and our loved ones. All the better that you have the lovely memory of your trip to London. I hope the coming weeks are not going to be dangerous or with too much work for you!

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        • Merci 🙂
          This afternoon, a 14 year-old young man asked me if I was afraid. Surprised by his question, I replied that being currently in the action of forecasting, of prevention was the best solution to eliminate all panic thoughts. But when with my colleagues, we will have to manage a large number of infected patients, it should not be “such a calm river”.
          This unprecedented epidemic on such a large space, the continuous changes in the guidelines are leaving us constantly in a situation of insecurity. Like our Italian colleagues, we will have no other choice than to confront without state of mind.
          To keep me distracted, I am studying my London pictures or the summary and analysis and the in-depth study of the search for happiness in UV…

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          • You are on the frontline with your work. But at least you are also much more knowledgable than most, so I am sure you know how to deal with it all.
            Distraction is a good idea imo. And there is no need to panic. We need to take it seriously, and do our bit, but it’s not as if all is lost.

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  10. 100% understandable why you’ve cancelled tbh, as you know i work in dentistry and we’re seeing patients start to cancel because they’re getting nervous. I don’t think i would be happy traveling to London now…i was quite nervous when i came back from my trip 2 weeks ago and have been keeping an eye on my health just in case.
    Again i’m really feeling for everyone who’s had to cancel so far-for various reasons and those for whom the future in uncertain.
    I assume stage door will probably be stopped now

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    • Yep, I am not surprised that people are limiting their medical visits. I had to get the results for my bloodworks the last few days, and I really didn’t want to go to the doctor’s practice. (Thank cod for the telephone 😉).
      I’ve been monitoring my own health ever since we travelled back from our weekend in Germany mid-February – everything was still fairly quiet then, but I was conscious of travelling through busy train stations and airports. It doesn’t hurt to be careful. Not to spread any panic – there are more people recovering from the virus than there are fatalities. That’s what I tell myself.
      I completely agree – I am sorry for anyone who has to miss the play due to the circumstances. I can’t even complain that much because I got to see it in January. So I was lucky. But I am very sorry for anyone who has saved and scraped, and made costly travel arrangements, and has been looking forward to this wonderful occasion for a long time. It is really unfortunate.
      Tbh, I think that it is totally reasonable to stop the SD now. For *everybody’s* safety. Imo the London theatres should also start considering a general pause. 800 people in close proximity – may not affect the cast and crew. But the audience themselves.

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  11. I’m so sorry you had to cancel and that’s a bummer that you couldn’t get a refund. If I weren’t on immunosuppressants I would have tried to go, too, but we all have to take care of ourselves and our families. I do hope you are able to see Uncle Vanya later on.

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  12. Thanks for the post. You are helping me make decisions, too. May I respectfully ask that you keep this post open for comments and we can use it as a place to share experiences and strategies?

    Londoners on the ground: What’s your best guess on “interruptions” the week of April 20? Are people already avoiding use of the tube and discretionary large public gatherings? (I am, in New York.) My worries are: 1. Getting sick myself and being last in line for a scarce hospital bed because I am a “foreigner,” not a tax-paying NHS member, and 2. Getting quarantined in London, at my own expense, for 3-6 weeks due to a London “incident” (if there’s a flareup of cases in April), and/or being locked out of returning to the U.S. by the U.S. government with same result, i.e. paying for a London hotel for a month.

    Fangirls, tell me: Am I being influenced too many by scary news stories written by people who really don’t have much to report but have to write something? I’ve got 6 weeks. How long would you wait to decide to cancel, if you were me?

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    • Definitely keeping this post open for comments. I am very happy if I could make a useful contribution to anybody’s decision-making process.
      And important point that influenced my decision but that I forgot to mention in my post, was mentioned here in the comments – since yesterday I had also been wondering how much I would actually be able to *enjoy* the trip, under these circumstances. I have become a bit of a worrier in recent years, so *I* realised that I would probably not be able to shake off the worry, the fear and the suspicion while in London. It would have tainted the whole experience for me and I would not have enjoyed it. That is just *me*. But it is worth considering.

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    • My friend is travelling into London every day using the train and underground she works near Canary Wharf, she isn’t changing her routine.
      I just woke to the report that Donald Trump is banning flights from Europe but not the UK that’s plain ridiculous.
      I have a mild cold but plan to use my ticket to UV next Wednesday unless I am under house arrest by then lol

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      • Hehe, the whole Trump ban on flights from Europe – another little incident of “let’s ignore that funny little island to the West of Great Britain” 😂 – Ireland is also not excluded from the flights. Is it really a coincidence that Trump has his golf resorts in these two countries? And yes, completely ridiculous flight ban, as it doesn’t take into account that people could fly from another European country into Britain or Ireland and then take a plane to the US from there…
        Fingers crossed that it won’t go as far as house arrest, Yve!

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  13. Here in Italy the situation isn’t good either. We all have to stay at home until April 3rd at least. We can only go out to work or to shop for food and necessary items or for medical reasons.
    I hoped to go to London and see UV at the end of April, but it isn’t likely. Let’s just hope that this virus ends without doing too much damage :/

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    • My thoughts are with you and all our fellow fans in Italy. It is an unprecedented situation, and personally I believe that Italy is doing the right thing by clamping down on travel and movement. That is probably easy for me to say – over here things are still relatively relaxed. However, I think the clamp-down is better than letting the virus run its course unrestricted. As Besotted said – we are grateful that Italy has taken these measures, not least because it will provide a blueprint for others to follow.
      I am (naively?) still hoping that things may get better until the end of April. But as you said – my hope is that the virus can be contained and conquered with as little casualties as possible. Big hugs to you!

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  14. Ilaria: I believe the current Italian experiment is unprecedented for controlling the behavior of citizens of a representative democracy during a peacetime incident (without curfews and military enforcement). The world is watching to see how it works, and how long it takes to wipe out an infectious biological threat in a completely closed down system. We thank you for your contribution and for tolerating the rigors of being the test case. We are all hoping for the best — and to learn from your results and statistics how we all can plan better for health emergencies in the future. (Maybe Guylty won’t mind if you post some personal stories now and then to tell us how it is going? G: what do you say?)

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  15. No worries, there will be ample time to see Richard later. And he’ll understand why people stay home, for sure. I wouldn’t be much surprised if he himself would advise people to not come. You’re doing the right thing.

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  16. Like ao many I have decided to close my plans to see uncle Vanya, It would be way to risky to attempt the 29 hour flight especially as at the moment i have flu like symptoms 1 week self imposed isolation. My tickets are for the week after easter. Bitterly disappointed and for you and and everyone who has had to cancel If a way can be found for people to collect tickets i am happy to pass mine on free of charge I have also given up my Lenten fast but will strictly observe Holy Week. i also have the feeling that we will see more of Richard in the uk he certainly was the darling of the airwaves. Wonderful to see that dry sense of humour,Take care and Blessings from Australia`

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    • I am sorry to hear you are unwell a 29 hour flight is a major undertaking and I admire you for even planning to come to London.
      I live outside London (one hour by train) and life in the capital is much the same as usual, my friend is still going into work.
      I am in Essex we have 8 confirmed cases.

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      • Thank you for your kind reply. Here in Canberra the nations capital we have had the first case of the virus a young man in his 30’s. Not close to where I live. We will see what happens

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    • I’m so sorry you have had to cancel, Wendy, especially since it’s not just a matter of hopping on a plane and being in the UK in a few hours. It’s such a long haul flight from here, you’ve done the right thing.

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    • I am so sorry to hear this, Wendy. Coming from Australia, this would’ve been a massive trip, and one that you have undoubtedly looked forward to for a long time. It is so disappointing that some of us have to adjust our plans, but it is for the better. The consolation is definitely that he seems to have reminded himself to the British public and has been quite visible lately, so fingers crossed we will see more of him. And if there is theatre in the future, let’s hope it will not again coincide with a serious global crisis!
      And yes, I think it is only fair that we have given up the Lenten fast. We need a little bit of consolation for the disappointment of cancelling our trips 🙂

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  17. *hugs* How disappointing for you but I think you’ve made the right decision for family reasons, and as you say, you probably wouldn’t have been able to relax and enjoy the experience as you’d want to. I’m sorry that ATG are being such a pain, there will be many more such cancellations so they really do need to be a bit more accommodating.
    I am wondering how careful I need to be given that I am in regular contact with my elderly mother, even though my husband and I have no issues which would make us more vulnerable. I have a theatre date with my niece towards the end of the month – return two hour train trip to the city and theatre with hundreds of people. I’m starting to chew over whether cancelling is being over anxious or sensible *sigh*

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    • I’d say they will either be told to close their theatres, or there will be extraordinary measures introduced as regards refunds and cancellations.
      It’s very difficult to make these decisions. I am completely with you on being unsure whether cancelling is “over-anxious” or “hysterical”. I don’t like to spread fear, and it would embarrass me to be considered overly cautious, but in the end I just thought “better safe than sorry”.

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  18. I think that if I was in the UK I might think about going but the worry is vulnerable family. I have just had another coughing fit but I feel reasonably OK but will monitor my health. I do hope that the WestEnd theatres do not have to close. I feel empathy with those having tickets but not being able to go especially. Flights from Europe will be banned from Friday on for how long who knows. This could be a problem for people wanting to return. Hopefully you can get to the theatre at month’s end.

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    • Having vulnerable family members is a very valid point. Personally, I think that anyone who decides to stay put, is doing a good thing. In that they are actively helping to contain the spread.
      With flights now being cancelled left, right and centre, I would hate to be left stranded anywhere else but home.

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  19. I’m so sorry you had to cancel, G. Even more so not just because you’ll miss the play but will miss reconnecting with friends too. You’re doing the right thing, especially in light of Mr Guylty’s health concerns. Your post really hit home for me and helped me make the choice to cancel my plans for April. I’m heartbroken and out a lot of money but I know it’s what I need to do. I am in frequent contact with family members who have health issues- some whose immune systems are compromised and have to be careful about exposure to illness. I’d never want to be responsible for infecting others.
    I thought Richard’s tweet (quote) tonight about our health being a blessing was spot on.
    This seems to be a situation that has him seriously reflecting on the importance of good health. I wouldn’t be surprised if he suspended appearing at the SD.
    I feel so bad for everyone who has had to cancel their plans. I had a gift to give Richard at the SD. I wonder if I sent it to the theatre if he would receive it or even want to open it. Something to consider I guess.
    Here’s hoping everyone stays well and we get through this nightmare by offering kindness and support to each other in every way we can.

    PS Oh how I wish they would just go ahead and film this play already.

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    • I am so sorry you had to forego this trip, Donna. I totally understand what you mean by heartbroken. (Had I not been to see the play in January, I would be, too.) And not only for the opportunity to see RA live on stage, but also the quality time you were going to spend with your daughters. But it sounds as if you have made the right decision, protecting your family members. I really do think that it is better to be safe than sorry during this time.
      Thanks for alerting me of his tweet – it had totally passed me by. Nice to see him acknowledging the current situation – it’s almost a little absolution to his fans for not coming to see him. I haven’t seen whether the SD is still happening at all but I wouldn’t be surprised, either, if the cast decided to cancel it.
      As for post – I don’t really think that mail can spread the virus as such, so I would just send a package if I were you.

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  20. I’m so sorry you had to cancel! And the whole ATG thing is ridiculous. Hope you were able to get your ticket to someone else. Most importantly: I hope Mr Guylty stays well.

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