Are you entitled to a refund in this case

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mr friendly guy
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Are you entitled to a refund in this case

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-01-09 05:11am

In the wake of all these reports of sexual assaults in Hollywood, we in the land down under have been getting these new allegations as well. The latest person accused is actor Craig McLachlan who has starred in lots of family friendly shows, as well as the Australian version of the Rocky Horror Show. As a result, both McLachlan and the promoters of the rocky horror show agreed for him to step down and an understudy fills his spot until such time as the allegations are fully investigated. ... ie/9313952

I won't post the whole article, but basically there are people who feel that they are entitled to a refund even though the show will continue with a different actor. The justification is, because they wanted to watch the show because of McLachlan, and not because of its the Rocky Horror Show.

Are they entitled to a refund?

Now lets reverse it, because there are people who are glad he is no longer on the show who also purchased tickets. If the promoters decided "Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law" and keep McLachlan on the show, are the above people who no longer want to watch it because they are convinced McLachlan guilty, entitled to a refund.

Just for the record, I saw the Rocky Horror show starring McLachlan in 2014 and yes, I dressed up for it. My colleague at that time said she will never look at McLachlan in the same way again (since he was previously in family friendly shows). Very prescient. :D
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Re: Are you entitled to a refund in this case

Post by Korto » 2018-01-09 07:21am

My first impulse was "No, but it's a good idea anyway, for PR", but thinking about the first situation, with McLachlan stepping down, I think they actually are.
When they're advertising a show, who's in it is part of the selling point, and so if McLachlan's not in it, they're receiving something different from what was advertised, which entitles them to a refund.
To argue the other side, it's commonly understood that in shows, shit happens, and understudy's sometimes have to step up. This would indicate no entitlement.
But on balance, I think I'd say "Yes".

In the second case, if McLachlan didn't step down, I'd say "No", but it's a good idea to give them the refund anyway for PR.
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Re: Are you entitled to a refund in this case

Post by B5B7 » 2018-01-09 10:16am

When I heard about these people asking for refunds, my first thought was that these are not true Rocky Horror fans (incidentally, I also have been to a live performance - about thirty years ago).
My other thought is that this situation could be getting out of hand. That when have true cases reported that these get followed by copycat non-real reports; that sometimes the accusations are false - due to lying or mental delusion. Remember the satanic ritual abuse epidemic and false memory syndrome cases. Other examples are false claims of being a cancer victim - which at least are easier to disprove.
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Re: Are you entitled to a refund in this case

Post by Broomstick » 2018-01-09 10:35am

In live theater there is always the possibility that an actor will not be able or willing to perform and be replaced by an understudy. So I say no, if the lead is replaced people are not entitled to a refund.

That said, the production has the option to give a refund in the interests of PR or just keeping appeasing a difficult customer.
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Re: Are you entitled to a refund in this case

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-09 12:09pm

I agree with Broomstick.

Understudies are generally supposed to be competent to fill the parts they play. If there was no understudy (i.e. if the theatre tried to put on a series of productions where McLachlan was not present and the other acts just talked around this empty spot on the stage and script), then people would be justified in asking for a refund.

But here, the theatre is forced to drop an actor for reasons largely beyond their control, and is making a clear good faith effort to provide an acceptable substitute and preserve the overall quality of the product. Unless someone can present evidence that the show is of seriously reduced quality for the lack of McLachlan, I don't think asking for a refund is justified.

Likewise in the latter case. Because while it's not the theatre's fault that McLachlan is going, if he were staying that wouldn't be their fault either.

The people who already bought tickets can choose to boycott the show in protest, but they aren't entitled to have their money back for a service they already paid for, unless there is a seriously reduced quality of the show as a result.
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Re: Are you entitled to a refund in this case

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-01-09 03:16pm

My answer would be no. It is a live show which inherently carries elements of possible "calamity", but certainly improvisation. If refunds were given every time the favorite lead was sick and could not perform, it would simply be detrimental. I would also take it as an insult to the other actors and production crew.
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Re: Are you entitled to a refund in this case

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-01-09 11:32pm

At least when it comes to Broadway plays, the general (albeit unofficial) policy is that any ticket-holders are entitled to a refund if an understudy replaces an actor whose name appears on the marquee (which is typically the leads, though occasionally a big name may appear in a lesser but meatier role as well, depending on the production). It's not that uncommon of an occurrence. Of course, Broadway is unusually commercial and market-oriented compared to other parts of the theater world, and as such are precisely in the position for which positive PR is worth the lost revenue. To the best of my knowledge, this is the type of policy that would be determined by the theater hosting the production, as opposed to the production company itself (although the producers may or may not have a vote in the matter).

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