Producers shouldn’t be allowed to extend a show’s run and then close early

I’ve written about this subject many times (mostly recently in June 2017 ) but yet again it has happened and annoyed me so much that I feel the need to write about it.

It’s a crafty little Marketing trick in the world of theatre, that if a show needs a boost in ticket sales, they may announce that the show is extending it’s booking period, making people believe that the show must be selling (well when in fact it isn’t).

Today, An American In Paris announced it will close at the start of 2018, just three weeks after the show announced it would be extending its run by three months. The show was originally set to run until 27 January 2018. Just three weeks ago, the show announced that it was extending its engagement at the Dominion Theatre until 28 April 2018. Today it has been announced that the show will close earlier than planned on 6 January 2018 (three weeks earlier than the original closing date).

A clever marketing trick perhaps (if it works) but what happens to the people who have bought tickets to see the show after it will now be closed, based on the fact they were told three weeks ago the show was extending? Yes, they can get a refund from the theatre for the tickets but that doesn’t help if they have already bought train tickets and paid for hotels, does it? And there is no insurance for that type of thing.

I understand that sometimes things happen which can’t be helped but in situations like this, producers must have known the show would close early and so should they be allowed to play with ticket buyers minds, enticing them in to believing that they can book to see a show if it might not be on? If the show isn’t selling well and may need to close, perhaps they shouldn’t try extending the production further?

Is this an ok practice for show’s to mess the public around like this? Or should producers be forced to see a show through until it’s final performance that has been put on sale?

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