Ranga Shankara, the well-known theatre facility in Bangalore, is where most of my play-watching happens. Presenting for you 5 simple tips to get the best out of your Ranga Shankara visits.
- Be on time. A 7.30pm show will start exactly at 7.30pm. The doors shut when the show starts, and no matter who you are or what your compelling reasons for being late are, you will not be permitted entry after the doors close. No exemptions, no refunds for late comers. Don’t risk it, be on time.
I speak from experience of commuting across half the city for an hour, and then missing a show by being two minutes late.
Queue quickly. Ranga Shankara has free seating. Whoever enters first gets to take the better seats, which means in a house-full show the late entrants don’t have much choice. Keep your ears open for the first bell to queue (that’s usually 7.10pm for the 7.30pm show), and join the line early.
Another bell goes off at around 7.20pm. That’s when the front entry doors close and the back doors open. In a house-full show, even if you reach a few minutes after entry starts, you might have to sit far off the stage. For popular shows and on weekends, try to reach before 7.10pm.
Choose the best seats. Ranga Shankara has a thrust stage i.e. one that juts out and the audience sits on three sides around it. The auditorium accommodates approximately 300 people.
The best seats are in the centre, close to the stage. My preference is the 3rd row. Some choose to take the first or second rows – I don’t as I enjoy the play better with a slightly wider view. (Beware, if you sit bang in front of the actors in a comic performance, you are often a butt of their jokes. It isn’t for the thin-skinned!)
Tip for the gang that makes early entry, and runs up to grab seats in the very last row: In a hall for performing arts, the grading of seats is just the opposite of that in a movie hall. For watching plays, make a beeline for the rows in front – the last rows are the worst!
Dine at the cafe. The Ranga Shankara cafe serves yummy food – don’t leave without eating. Their serving times slow down on crowded days, but you can avoid the wait if you place your order before the show. The food will be ready for you when the show ends.
Book tickets in advance. There was a time when one could land up at Ranga Shankara at 7pm, with not a doubt about getting tickets for the evening show. Today, high-profile plays like The Blue Mug get sold out weeks before the show date. If you reach the theatre facility without tickets hoping to watch the current show, chances are you will be disappointed.
Do you have your own tips to add? Write a comment below.
To know more about Ranga Shankara, visit their official website.