‘I paid £45 to see Dame Judi, and this is the view I had’

It was a grate experience for theatre-goers at the Fairfield Halls on Monday

The management of the Fairfield Halls is facing having to make thousands of pounds-worth of refunds after the latest nuclear weapons-grade balls-up connected to the re-opening of the venue this week.

Our loyal reader has been in touch, desperately disappointed that their evening with Dame Judi Dench at the Ashcroft Theatre was ruined.

“We paid £45 each for front-row seats,” our reader says.

“And this is the view we had.”

The photograph, reproduced above, shows a metal grate between the auditorium and stage, which would pretty much block the view of the guest of honour and her interviewer completely.

The Fairfield Halls, including the Concert Hall, Ashcroft Theatre and what the new management has called “The Wreck”, re-opened on Monday with a plaque unveiling by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and lots of mutual back-slapping from council officials and their sycophantic supporters. Closed in 2016 for refurbishment, the works – supervised by the council’s loss-making in-house house-builders Brick by Brick – over-ran by more than a year, and went £11million over budget.

Only this week, with National Treasure Dame Judi being interviewed on the stage of the Ashcroft and with last night’s royal gala concert, have some of the very serious issues over poor workmanship and incomplete works started to come to light.

The Ashcroft Theatre is named after Croydon’s very own Oscar-winner, Dame Peggy, a mentor to Dench in her early career.

Its new metal barrier remains unexplained. Was the management expecting an influx of football fans that needed to be stopped from a pitch invasion?

‘Do you know, you look just like that Tony Soprano off the telly box. Are you in the rubbish business too?’

Certainly, our loyal reader, when taken to their seat, was offered no real explanation for the serious barrier to the enjoyment of the evening.

“The young volunteers who took us to our seats were aware that we could not see Dame Judi,” our reader says.

“I rang the Fairfield Halls yesterday, and they said they were sorry and said that the metal fence should have been taken down.

“Other people in the front row had also complained, they said, and will get a full refund.”

At 45 sovs a time, with more than 20 seats across the front row and the possibility that some in the second row may also be asking for their money back, it seems that the Fairfield Halls management will be paying back a considerable amount of cash after ruining what was supposed to be a great experience, but which turned in to a grate one.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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1 Response to ‘I paid £45 to see Dame Judi, and this is the view I had’

  1. Sharon Addison says:

    Same thing happened to me. Can’t find an email address for the Fairfield Halls to send my photo which is almost identical. Was so disappointed. The seats were terrible too. Mine had a massive hole

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