Yet it can work for theatre companies in both directions. A 'name' can make a play sell before even the concept has been agreed, let alone the full casting or first rehearsal. I spent three hours in a holding queue to get tickets to see Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet, only to get the last tickets in the gods. It was worth it.
Sir Ian McKellen is putting on the crown in King Lear again. This too sold out on the first day of release of tickets to the wider public. No surprise there, as his RSC performance of the monarch, with its opening capturing the sense of the divine patriarch, was magisterial.
So it was sad that, for me at least, I was too late to the keyboard. The Chichester Festival Theatre has no system for a waiting list, so it is a chance thing - watch for returns if and when they come up on their website and swoop. Good luck with that one.
The season does not open until September. The Globe Theatre in London has a season that runs over part of the performances in Chicester. At the time of writing no actor has been announced as taking the part of Lear. The box office's advice is the same as the that emanating from Sussex - watch the website.
Still, a bird in the hand etc. So guess which production I have a ticket for?