First visit to the Dubai Opera House. Booked tickets to see School of Rock on 22nd June. It was unclear from the description of the performance and from the price of tickets that it was going to be an amateur performance. Naively, we thought that the shows at this venue would all be of professional standard but sadly, this would have been more appropriately performed in a small venue for a nominal fee.
Regarding sound: the lead male couldn’t be heard properly over the music most of the time, other vocals were clear at certain pitches but unintelligible at others, 1 of the mics didn’t work so the performer had to be brought a handheld mic (which I have to say was done very smoothly and seamlessly), some of the singing was out of tune and some of the group vocals were a little uncomfortable.
Regarding lighting: there were lighting opportunities missed and some of the on stage action was in darkness so could barely be seen.
Regarding production: there was a particular scene where singing kids were dotted around the stage in amongst other people and they kept changing who was singing. But it wasn’t clear who was singing because there was little obvious movement from them. Either obvious movement or spotlighting should have been used to highlight the singer. Also, at one point, members of the cast were running through the auditorium and ran through a specific row. But there were 2 members of the audience in this row and this caused a problem for the cast to get past, even though the 2 people stood up to let them by as best they could. Either these people were shown to the wrong seats, or these seats were sold in error. The auditorium was not busy.
Regarding administration: we chose specific seats in the Royal Circle but a few days before the performance we received an email changing our seats to the stalls. We can only presume it was because there were not that many people booked for the show. Also, the usher who was supposed to show us to our seats didn’t know where they were and just had to read the letters and numbers as we would have been able to do ourselves.
There were a lot of people let into the show late and shown to their seats by ushers. According to the terms and conditions this should have been done during a suitable break (which was probably adhered to as they tended to use the short blacked out parts for changing the set) but the latecomers should have been given temporary seats in the back of the theatre so as not to disrupt as much (as per terms and conditions).
We left at the intermission and didn’t return. We were bored. There was nothing in the performance or the story to grab our attention.
We give it a 2 out of 5 because the venue was nice and the staff were friendly.
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