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Additional £1 'Restoration Levy' Loses Production

BIRMINGHAM, UK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Ambassador Theatre Group was recently acquired by Live Nation.

There is now a £1 “restoration levy” added in to every ticket price at the venue.

Ian Sandy, today, said he had “never been angrier,” according to Birmingham Mail. As the principal of children’s theatre group BSS Showbiz, Mr. Sandy books a July showcase show every year at the Alexandra, even though his training courses are held every Saturday at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

Last year’s Alexandra showcase cost £5,000 to stage, featured 180 children on stage and drew a 700-strong “friends and family” audience.

Mr. Sandy said “I wanted to keep the ticket prices at £15 for 2010 because of the recession."

“I do this show to give children a chance to perform on a big city stage and to try to bring as many new people to a theatre as I can during hard times and what is a traditionally quiet time for the industry. I can’t afford to reduce prices next year, nor do I want to put them up."

“This show is not a profit-making venture for me, I just want to meet the bills. But I’ve been told by the Ambassador Theatre Group that the £1 levy is mandatory for all events. And that’s on top of theatres already charging ‘booking fees’ which I really tried to resist as well.” According to the Birmingham Mail

Mr. Sandy also produced the Alexandra’s centenary show in 2001 and added “The Alex survives on one-night business, but to then ask people to pay an extra £1 in this climate is the most ridiculous situation I have ever come across. I have never been angrier.”

The Ambassador booking office answered Mr. Sandy “The restoration levy is being applied company wide, to be added to every show in our theatre venues from 2010 onwards."

“As a company without any exterior funding, the levy is to be used directly for the upkeep and restoration of each of our venues.”

According to Birmingham Mail, Nicky Monk, the venue’s bookings manager, said “We’re sorry BSS Showbiz is looking for an alternative venue, we’d still be delighted to welcome them to the Alexandra Theatre.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers