Today Keswick's Theatre by the Lake announced that it had drawn the ballot and processed the majority of tickets for ‘Ian McKellen On Stage' – McKellen's solo show which will play on 80 stages across the UK, including the Main House at Theatre by the Lake on 20 August 2019.
The ballot received more than 3,000 entries, making it more than eight times over-subscribed for the number of available tickets. Theatre by the Lake operated a ballot as the fairest way to ensure the allocation of tickets to the hugely popular event. One third of the theatre's available seats were weighted towards regular attenders, supporters and Friends of Theatre by the Lake, giving them a higher chance of being successful in the ballot.
Changes to the normal terms and conditions are in operation to ensure that ticket touts don't capitalise on the special performance. Those successful in the ballot cannot re-sell or reallocate their tickets to others. Tickets for the event will not be posted out but held at the theatre until the day of the event and only exchanged to those with matching ID.
An allocation of complimentary tickets have additionally been offered to local community groups including CFM Cash for Kids, West Cumbria Hospice at Home, Carlisle Youth Zone, the Calvert Trust, West Cumbria Carers and Ewanrigg Local Trust and ENTRA. All profits from this special performance will raise funds to benefit TBTL's work supporting local communities, through initiatives such as their schools programme, Young and Elders Companies, and Setting the Scene workshops for people living with dementia and their carers.
Rachel Swift, Head of Communications at Theatre by the Lake said: "We're delighted that so many people entered the ballot. There will undoubtedly be a number of disappointed people, but we hope that people understand that we have operated the ballot to be as fair and even-handed as possible; even our staff have no more chance of being successful in the ballot than anyone else.” She also added that there could be some further last-ditch chances to gain tickets:
"It's possible that we'll receive return tickets before the performance in August, if this is the case we will go back to the ballot and draw from there to give people one last chance of being selected.” For those that aren't successful, the theatre have held back four seats and will launch a special final chance competition for ticket hopefuls in June. The competition for those tickets will be run on the theatre's social media channels in June, so hopefuls are advised to keep an eye out online for its launch.