Why was I banished unfairly from the brilliant All My Sons by Old Vic Theatre

Subject: Why was I banished unfairly from the brilliant All My Sons by Old Vic Theatre
From: An unfairly banished ex-donor
Date: 24 May 2019

To understand better this letter anyone who reads this letter can read 'I was banished from All My Sons - An Open Letter to Mr. Colin Morgan'

I feel that I have to write this letter as there is no real communication going on with Old Vic anymore, as they didn't answer to the things I put in my emails.

I can't find the correct words to describe how very upset and disappointed I am with the staff of The Old Vic.
I never in my life made to feel this worthless apart from my first encounter at the tube with Mr. Morgan.

I always believed in dreams. I tried to follow them and it always backfired. Always. Some people just very unlucky I guess.
I got out of so many deep holes before, never giving up the hope. I felt stronger and wanted to prove to myself :’I can do it!’
I have a huge amount of passion, energy, but couldn’t really refocus that after losing a lot so many times before.
I was so cautious to feel joyful as no one ever understood that.

I discovered the theatre last year. I was fascinated with it. I really felt at home. I felt I might finally belong somewhere. I jumped into this new adventure with my whole heart, energy, emotions and passion.
For over a year I’ve seen so many great shows and my intention to learn more about the making of a production got very strong in me.

In February I decided to give my support to Old Vic’s upcoming production All My Sons.
It was a lot of money to pay, but I thought it was a one time opportunity, because I would have access to many amazing things like rehearsal, technical rehearsal, understudy play and be able to see what is going on backstage.
I was so excited to be involved in this production a bit and I shared my enthusiasm and passion with OV staff explaining how blessed I felt to be able to do this.

Old Vic promised perks for the donation. I told them that my main interest is for the understudy play and backstage people and to see how this production was put together.
I am not a rich person at all. I took up a loan to be able to support this production, but I didn't mind, all I wanted to be a bit more involved in the theatre and this show.

I explained them how much joy and passion I have for the theatre and that I was always misunderstood because of my passion, emotions and energy. I told them how happy I was to finally belong with other passionate people. It seemed that they understood me.

I started to go to the show almost every day.
I thought since I am supporting this production and the theatre is for everyone, so I might as well go and watch it whenever I can. I know that other people are seeing this play more times than I did and some of them are in the front row, still they were never singled out.
At the end of April, I've been told by Old Vic that I shouldn't queue up every morning for day tickets, but they will arrange it for me, just let them know when I want to go to the show.

I told them that I don't mind to go and queue up as I can meet and talk with interesting, theatre loving people.
I've been assured that it is not necessary. We talked about that I don't mind front row seat.
I never asked for front row seats, but the box office usually offered front row seats as day tickets when I queued up, and since it was available, so why not accept that?

Once Old Vic started to arrange my tickets they made sure I get front row seats, probably as a kind gesture.
I gladly accepted and sat in the front to each performance I attended, talking with many interesting people in the audience, even with the director’s father.
I felt that sitting that close I was pulled in the play, it was a long time since I felt such joy and at ease.

I never thought that the actors make note of the audience, but apparently, that is what happened, as I realised that at least one cast member started to avoid making eye contact.
I was a bit taken aback by this, but for the time being, I didn't think more of it.
Meanwhile another actor, Sule Rimi nodded and said 'thank you' to me after one of the performance, appreciating my support, which was nice, but unexpected.

On the beginning of May, after the performance I was waiting for the tube to get home and I use a certain spot, as that is the perfect location to change to another tube during my journey.
As I was waiting at the platform I started to type in my phone, when I caught a very obvious almost dead-stop motion from the corner of my eye and looked up and saw that an actor of the play, Colin Morgan was watching me (or rather my response) as he cautiously approached, apparently planning to use the same spot to get on the tube as obviously, we both were going towards the same area.

I looked back down on my phone, just to make sure he knew that I didn’t want to bother him and I am sure he realised that too as he stopped awkwardly right in front of me at the same spot, while he was waiting for the tube too, but it was quite obvious from the way he behaved that he recognised me from the theatre...and that my presence there on the mostly empty platform disturbed him.

I did not acknowledge him and had no intention of doing so, yet his body language clearly telegraphed that he was uncomfortable with my being there, despite it being a public place and I had just as much right to be there as he did.

And then, when the tube arrived, he detoured to another door or carriage at the very last moment, as if to avoid any possible further contact with me, like I have some kind of a disease, like I am someone who has to be avoided at all cost.

I was so mortified, offended, and insulted by this that I didn’t even get on the tube, opting instead to catch the next one.
But even before his reaction, I knew I will not go with that tube, as I didn't want him to feel wary of me even more or trapped so I didn't even make a move to get on.

I had many bad social experiences before, but I never in my life been made to feel as awful and small as I did that night by him without any good reason.

What a completely different reaction was this compared to Sule Rimi's acknowledgment (that I mentioned above).

I returned all my tickets for the next week – all were at the front row because I felt that my presence is not wanted. I kept only one ticket because I still wanted to see the production and that was to the Dress Circle, away from the front.

I had a meeting next Wednesday with my contact at the theatre just before the matinee.
I tried to explain how sad I felt because I felt I was singled out, and when I told her about the tube encounter, she responded that that actor is very young that's why he reacted that way, like age can be an excuse.
I told her that he is old enough and in the entertainment business for more than a decade.

Her solution was to put me to a different seat, not in the front row.
I told her that is what I am trying that day but it doesn't matter where I sit if I am not wanted there.
Also, she was fixating on what I mentioned that some of the perks were not delivered and there were donors who were disappointed by that. It was just a side information, just mentioned it as I hate unfairness and since it was promised, it should have been delivered or not advertised. She also had a list of my tickets and wanted to know what I want to do with them like it was that important at that time.

That afternoon I sat in the dress circle, and didn't even dare to look at the stage, I felt that I shouldn't be there as my presence was so offensive like I am invading the theatre even though I did nothing wrong.
At the intermission, my contact came to me and we talked about how bad I felt. I told her I need time to think about what to do next since she didn't offer any useful solution.

The next day I went to my GP practice and I managed to run into Mr. Morgan again as apparently, he resides near. He was watching me with unease and distrust.
And that was the last thing I needed. It is one thing that I feel unwanted at the theatre, but I should be able to use the tube and walk the streets as I did the last 10 years without anyone making me feel bad.

I didn’t do anything wrong, just wanted to go to the theatre as often as I could which should be allowed without anyone judging me.
After a week of my absence of the theatre he still remembered when next time we crossed our ways and again he reacted badly.

It is like my existence is causing unease.
I was bullied in my life many times and I react emotionally when people are unfair towards me, when I feel that they don’t want me around without a good reason. It doesn’t matter who reacts badly, I would be offended.
It is very unfortunate that the person reacting this way is living near, so while I am forced away from the theatre, I can still experience unfair reaction away from the play.

I tried to fix the problem what I thought was the official, professional way.
Since the problem (at this point) was with Mr. Morgan's reaction to my presence I asked my contact at the theatre if they would be able and willing to deliver a letter to him to solve the situation. I told her that I don't mind if she reads the letter, there is no secret in it.

Some of the perks offered by Old Vic to their main supporters were “supper with the cast”, “after party with the cast”, even it was mentioned at the beginning that after the performance one day there can arrange access to the actor I chose and have a few minutes talk with them.

I was thinking that since access to the actors was offered as perks, it is not an unreasonable idea. I wasn't even requesting, but asking if she was willing and able to do it.
I told her that I don't want any direct contact with the actor, just explaining the situation.
Old Vic should offer to talk to him and let him know that I am a donor and not being there to disturb him and that I am also live near to where he resides.
But instead of trying to help me or just telling me it is not possible, my contact didn't even answer me.

Instead, one of the directors answered saying they cannot do that (which was not a surprise at all) and since I am so upset that they didn't deliver what they offered, as a “goodwill gesture” they give my donation back and they are looking forward to seeing me in other productions. Not this one, but others.
They didn't even give me a chance to talk to them, but literally banished me from All My Sons.

I sent an email to them explaining that not delivering the perks never was the main problem (as the Old Vic staff knew very well that my interest was to see the understudy play and talk to the backstage people) and I explained that I didn't want to have access to their actor. I told them if I wanted to have access, I would have gone to the stage door, but I never went there.
I only tried to solve the problem the way I thought was the most official, professional way, as I still hoped that the situation can be fixed and I can go back and enjoy the show.
They didn't care at all what I was saying, their answer proved it completely. They didn't even deny that they banished me, just thanked my support. And ceased all contact with me.

I understand that Old Vic might think that I overstepped my boundaries, that it was not appropriate to attempt to gain access to any of the actors in this way.
I do believe that it was this emotional and personal request that was the real reason why my money was returned 2 weeks after my banishment.
I understand that the theatre cannot take the chance that anyone involved with supporting the theatre is stalking the cast.
This is not what I was trying to do, but my overly emotional reaction to their actor’s antisocial behaviour must have set off a red flag.

The situation is very unfair and I know that it escalated beyond any reasonable means to salvage it.

It is just so sad that they hurt me and I am punished for it instead of sitting down and talk about it, understanding everyone’s point of view like normal people would do. And in my eyes actors are just as normal people as any of us, they don’t need that huge protection from the average people.

I never cared about actors, I was always more of a sport fan, supporting teams and not individuals. I never understood what is that big attention around celebrities.
I never understood the fans. In my eyes actors are normal people who might be lucky enough to have a great job, but that is all.
I even told my contact from the beginning that I don’t want to meet the main cast, for me the interesting part was to see how the whole play comes together.
In my opinion the actors (as the face of the production) always get much more attention than those who are working backstage and they deserve attention too, even though they are not looking for that.

I didn't hear from The Old Vic for 10 days. I was still a donor, as my money was not returned. Not to mentioned that I didn't want it back, I wanted to see the play.
So still a donor, but I missed NT Live, even though I wanted to see it, but since I was banished I obviously couldn't.
Noone contacted me to let me know if I am welcomed there or to find out if I will come that day or not.

10 days later my previous contact got in touch with me. But only to find out what is my intention with my tickets I have and those which are on hold, since they had my ticket for NT Live, but I didn’t go that day.

I told her too, that even though I am a supporter I was banished, so I couldn't go to see NT Live.
I was not even contacted by the theatre to see the understudy play that took place around this time, even though from the beginning that was the main thing I wished to see (and Old Vic knew about my desire to see it) and had every right to see it as I was still a donor.
I was treated very unfairly.
The only thing what was important to Old Vic to know about the tickets.

I told her that if they really intend to return my money (and I cannot stress enough that it is not what I wanted) then it would have been professional to get in contact with me if it would be that much delay, but even after 10 days the tickets were their only concern.

Let's just mention here that even though she told me that it won't be a problem to resell the tickets I had, I never got back any money for any tickets I returned, and I returned lots of tickets.
I would be very surprised if my seats would be empty at the front of the soldout shows.

Suddenly after my email, she sent me back a reply asking for my bank details (I'm sure she just realised that I was still their supporter and they didn't want that) then 13 days after I was banished I got my donation back. And of course, as it was a loan from the bank I will have to pay back much more than what I borrowed.
I wouldn't mind that if I would have a great experience, not this much pain.

I never wanted this and their explanation is very unfair. The original problem was never solved but handled badly so it became more complicated.
They don't want to face the trouble their actions caused, so they chose the easiest solution, they got rid of me.

They were fully aware that it was my only joy, my escape of the many bad things in my life.
And although Colin Morgan's reactions and response to my presence and existence started this situation, he is probably not aware of how much he hurt me.

But the staff of Old Vic is fully aware of that.
They were aware of how much it hurt me to get singled out and feel unwelcome, and they did the same.

They treat me as a worthless person, they never answered what I said in my emails, just kept telling me how sorry they are because of how unhappy I was with the experience.
They know very well that IT WAS NEVER THE PROBLEM.

They made me feel like I am someone who absolutely doesn't matter.

It hurts me beyond words.

I don't want to belong to a world where my existence is causing unease in public places.
I don't want to live in a world where I am singled out because of my passion.
I don't want to be in a world where everyone else is welcomed to the theatre but me,
where entertainers can get away with everything because everyone idolising and protecting them, while failing to realise that they are just normal people,
where people treat me unfairly, do not listen to my explanation, but decide my faith without me able to defend myself, making me feel worthless,
where I can’t walk on the streets or use the tube, without a bad reaction from someone who doesn't even know me, still judges me and that makes me feel like I am a monster.

I feel that even the criminals have more rights than me.

Meanwhile, everyone else enjoying this amazing production and I should be part of it too, but against my will I never will be.

I wish I would never donated, then I would be able to go to the show and sitting somewhere else, not at the very front, as none of my original tickets I ordered before were front row seats. All I wanted to enjoy the show, learn from it and being ignored.

Old Vic, you and your actor killed all joy and passion for the theatre out of me, left me with nothing.
I never had much self-confidence and you took the last important thing away from me.
But none of you care about it.

Not that you deserve it, but I still wish you success for at least another 200 years, but only from far away, as I will never go anywhere near this or perhaps any other theatres anymore.

An unfairly banished ex-donor