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20-15-0

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Phantom of London
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20-15-0#1
Posted: 5/11/10 at 6:38am
In London a lot of shows are going for a 20 minute interval length instead of the traditional 15 minutes, however 15 minutes is still common across Broadway, with the exception of the recent opened American Idiot and Come Fly Away and Stomp and Blue Man Group have been doing no interval for year, of course the four shows I have just mentioned all run for under 2 hours.

I find a intermission lets me refocus my concentration and contemplate what I have just seen in the first act.

My personal choice is a 20 minute hiatus, as this allows me to a have a couple of smokes and pop over to 'Neros' or 'Starbucks'.

Obviously for a lady a 20 minute interlude, must be perfect as I have seen those queues at the interval, all those ladies queueing to touch up their make up in the ladies.

How do you prefer to take your interval length sir?
Updated On: 5/11/10 at 06:38 AM
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20-15-0#2
Posted: 5/11/10 at 8:15am
An interval length is set by the theatre, producer or production. 15 min or 20 mins have been the norm for as long as I remember.
In the 50s, 60s and 70s during the 'golden age of variety', intervals used to be just 7mins! They used to have so many acts to get on in a show that lasted barely 2hrs!
Updated On: 5/11/10 at 08:15 AM
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20-15-0#2
Posted: 5/11/10 at 8:17am
I thought 20 mins was pretty much the norm everywhere now. I know when i go to review plays the intervals are always 20 mins. My company's production intervals are 20 mins and most shows i watch have 20 mins interval.

Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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20-15-0#3
Posted: 5/11/10 at 8:49am
The ones advertised as 15 minutes often run to 20 anyway.

Jerusalem had a very short second interval - about ten minutes, I think. (The first was normal length.) Of course, this didn't mean that people didn't go to the bar and the loo, it just meant there were people coming back to their seats late, after the third act had started.
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20-15-0#4
Posted: 5/11/10 at 8:50am
Opera is famous for having 45min or even an hours interval!
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20-15-0#5
Posted: 5/11/10 at 8:54am
I know when i was working at the Palace the 3 min warning bell would go around 15 mins, in relaity you had another 5 min after that bell, they just wanted you to sit back down lol
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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20-15-0#6
Posted: 5/11/10 at 9:17am
That would be the three minute "Oh, I'd better go to the loo now" bell as some people seem to think it is! 20-15-0
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20-15-0#7
Posted: 5/11/10 at 9:19am
lol or the "oh 3 mins, time for a quick drink and a fag' lol
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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20-15-0#8
Posted: 5/11/10 at 9:21am
Leg it to the furthest pub away across town from the theatre!
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20-15-0#9
Posted: 5/11/10 at 9:24am
Thats only at the interval for Too Close To The Sun and Gone With The Wind though lol
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20-15-0#10
Posted: 5/11/10 at 9:27am
Good memory! Thats what I did for both those productions!
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20-15-0#11
Posted: 5/11/10 at 10:52am
Haha
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20-15-0#12
Posted: 5/11/10 at 11:21am
I'm quite certain I remember when I saw the London production, the interval for Starlight Express was 25 minutes; it may be my imagine, gonna check my programme I think :)
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20-15-0#13
Posted: 5/11/10 at 11:51am
The second interval at Jerusalem although short was most welcome as a leg stretching moment.

Mostly I dont mind or notice if its 15 or 20mins, I'd appriciate a short interval for longer shows though as I usually need to catch a train home.
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20-15-0#14
Posted: 5/11/10 at 11:57am
Being of the female gender, I prefer a 20 minute break so that I can at least see the toilet cubicles before the warning bells start up.
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20-15-0#15
Posted: 5/11/10 at 12:09pm
The first show I saw that was interval-less was 'A Chorus Line' at Drury Lane in 1978.
It is one show that should always remain without an interval where ever it is performed.
The recent production in Salford, at The Lowry, placed an interval that really put the show off kilt. Every person who I know who saw it said it really didn't work. It wasn't written with an interval so why 'try' and put one in.
There are many shows I have seen over the years that I wish had been played straight through.

Updated On: 5/11/10 at 12:09 PM
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20-15-0#16
Posted: 5/11/10 at 2:42pm
I understand where you are coming from, in 'A Chorus Line' having a interval would harm the production, I don't know how long this show lasts? But say it is 2:30 hours, it is a long time to sit in a theatre, without stretching your legs, given how cramped some theatres can be.
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20-15-0#17
Posted: 5/11/10 at 5:15pm
The Broadway revival of A Chorus Line was two hours long with no intermission/interval. I was just about to post a thread here asking how long intervals were in London because I was curious about it. I do know at The Met Opera House the intermissions there are always a half hour. This is so that they can give the singers and adequate break. This is fine for me due to the fact that I usually need some coffee to keep me going through an opera (no matter how much I am enjoying it) and at The Met the sell very small plastic cups of coffee for three dollars. That is VERY over priced. The half hour break gives me enough time to not only walk over to Starbucks that is across the street from Lincoln Center, but it allows me to enjoy my coffee leisurely and have a couple of cigs as well with enough time to mosey over back to my seat.

On Broadway the fifteen min intermission is enough time for me to go outside and have a couple of cigs, stretch my legs and go back in for act two.

Oh and Phantom, Come Fly Away does have an intermission. I do know this because I did second act that show. Had a good time at it too.
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20-15-0#18
Posted: 5/11/10 at 5:57pm
Good lad Winston, going over Starbucks at the interval, a lad after my own heart.

Could time to bring my second point in now, I am surprised New York hasn't followed London in having a 20 minute intermission, as Broadway are normally commercial savvy.

Imagine how much more money the big theatre owners could make, from the bar, with that extra five minutes?

How much money have producers lost, by having people queuing for merchandise, when people leave for their seats, when the lights start to flash at a Shubet house for example?
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20-15-0#19
Posted: 5/11/10 at 6:43pm
I think 15 minutes is just right for an interval in most shows. I have seen Tristan und Isolde which had an interval and a 1 hour lunch break!
I think certain shows should never have an interval, The Drowsy Chaperone is one of them (I know some US tour stops have added one!) and for other shows it is essential, Wicked being the best example I can think of - You need time to recover from Defying Gravity and it adds to the fact that time has moved on before act 2.

I think the main facts between a 15 minute or 20 minute intervals would be the theatre facilities / layout and if there are big changes on stage between acts that need technical time.
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20-15-0#20
Posted: 5/12/10 at 12:11am
Furthermore, there aren't a lot of people who buy drinks at theatre bars anyways because once they hear the price of things they are turned off right away. Believe it or not but three dollars for a bottle of water is expensive. At least it is when you consider the fact that you can get a bottle of water for one dollar and fifty cents from any of the hotdog carts in the area. Hell, a candy bar and a theatre bar is 5 bucks. No thanks.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
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20-15-0#21
Posted: 5/12/10 at 5:18pm
That's why 20 minute intervals are great, gives you enough time to get over to Starbucks.

Anyway Winston I thought all Broadway Theatres have free water lots?