Theatre companies arriving at a new site have a laborious and exhausting pre-performance routine called "the get in", but, in
Because of the commercial pressure on space, most venues have a quarter-hour turnaround between shows, forcing the incoming audience to wait somewhere while the stage is changed. Seeing the lines snaking out from every building and criss-crossing courtyards, an uninitiated visitor might assume sudden pressure on public conveniences caused by a catastrophic gastric epidemic. And because venues are divided into so many spaces - the Pleasance now has theatres called Above, Beyond, Beneath and most other locational prepositions - numerous queues plait and overlap, differentiated only by a small sign at the front with the name of the entertainment.
Other venues use a system pioneered by cheap airlines, in which there are two queues but the decision about which will go in first is subject to a quixotic late decision. One of the spaces at the Assembly Rooms seems to operate a figure-of-eight system of such labyrinthine complexity that the people at the back of the second line are sometimes admitted before those at the front of the first.
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