Monday, September 7, 2009

Cheesed off

Tonight was supposed to be one of those pleasant occasions where I watch the Royal Ballet of Cambodia perform, something they rarely do, at the Chenla Theatre as part of the Lakhaon Festival being hosted by the French Cultural Center. I had a bad feeling when I heard the performances were free to one and all and were on a first come, first served basis. The last time I went to the Chenla to watch a free show, no pre-booked seats, it was bedlam as what appeared to be half of the city turned up. And so it proved again tonight. I got to Chenla about 40 minutes before tonight's show was due to begin and took my place in one of about four queues that snaked back from the closed entrance, surrounded by the inept security staff. More people arrived and as Khmers are prone to do, pushed in at the front of the queue before a guy at the front announced in Khmer that the theatre was full. It was still half an hour until the show began and the couple of hundred people waiting outside were told they should come back tomorrow as there was no more seats left for tonight. The only people allowed to enter were those with an invitation, even though I'd been told that you couldn't pre-book a seat. To say I was cheesed off is an understatement. The CCF need to take a leaf out of the Amrita book of holding an event where tickets are issued to people interested enough to get one before the gig, rather than open the doors to all, until you can't fit anymore in. It doesn't give people who can't get to the venue a few hours beforehand, a hope in hell of seeing a rare performance by the country's leading classical dancers and that stinks. Nice idea to make it free for all but first come is a really crap way of organising such an important cultural event - especially if you're left on the outside like I was tonight!



Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

As well as not getting into the Chenla Theatre last night for the royal ballet show, which left me fuming at the French Cultural Center's way of handling these events, I rang a friend of mine who performs with the royal ballet and who usually reserves me a seat for their shows (as shows are rare and seats usually reserved). She was just about to take the stage at Chenla and apologised for forgetting to invite me as her guest on this occasion.
Its clear that I was destined NOT to see the royal ballet show last night!
I was considering attending other nights this week during the Lakhaon Festival but if last night is anything to go by, I'm pretty sure I won't get in.
I called the French Cultural Center this morning to request a seat for 3 of this week's performances and it was like getting blood out of a stone. I was told I had to turn up early to get a seat. Yes I know that, but can you reserve me a seat because I will definitely be there and I work until 6pm, so I can't get there until 6.20pm at the earliest. I was told to ring back after they had checked with their boss!!
For goodness sake, make a decision....
As you can imagine, I am NOT impressed at all with the way the French CC organize their events.

September 8, 2009 at 9:02 AM  

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