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Pet Shop Boys to return to the Royal Opera House in July 2018

Synthpop duo return for four performances of their acclaimed 'Inner Sanctum' show.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

26 February 2018 at 11.01am | 45 Comments

Pet Shop Boys will return to the Royal Opera House for four special shows in July 2018, two years after their debut performances at Covent Garden.

The duo will return with their 'Inner Sanctum' show, which sold out in record time in 2016 and was staged by Es Devlin and choreographer/director Lynne Page.

'We were thrilled to bring electronic music into the grandest musical space in London for four memorable nights in 2016', said Pet Shop Boys. 'Since then we’ve often been asked if we’re planning a return to the Royal Opera House and we’re excited to confirm that we’ll be back in July.'

The show received rave reviews in its first outing, hailed by the Guardian as a 'hit-packed night at the opera' and by the Evening Standard as 'an arena-worthy show in a relatively small space, complete with crazy outfits and enough lasers to down the Millennium Falcon'. Read audience reviews of Pet Shop Boys: Inner Sanctum.

Pet Shop Boys: Inner Sanctum runs 25-28 July 2018. Tickets go on sale from 1pm on 28 February 2018.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

26 February 2018 at 11.01am

This article has been categorised Music and tagged Inner Sanctum, Pet Shop Boys, Pet Shop Boys Inner Sanctum

This article has 45 comments

  1. Stephen Cutler responded on 26 February 2018 at 11:47am Reply

    This is what I pay a £1000+ Friends subscription for? To have the House used for this?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 26 February 2018 at 1:55pm

      Hi Stephen,

      The Royal Opera House has long hosted acts from outside the opera and ballet world during the summer.

      Pet Shop Boys' performances in 2016 were highly acclaimed and we're excited to welcome them back this Season, in addition to The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet's artistic programmes during the time our Resident Companies are on summer break.

      We very much appreciate your continued support as a Friend of Covent Garden.

      Best wishes,


    • Peter Lewis responded on 26 February 2018 at 4:41pm

      As a fellow subscriber, I am appalled at such an attitude. It's not as if is within the season, it raises some money for the ROH and as such subsidies our costs. In any case, it's not our house is it?

    • Roy Borsberry responded on 26 February 2018 at 7:25pm

      I would respectfully remind you the stunning Opera House is part funded by the Government and as a taxpayer I believe it should be an inclusive venue and cater for all tastes.
      Regards, Roy

    • Wally responded on 27 February 2018 at 6:33am

      Talk about a rotten attitude

    • Kenny Murphy responded on 27 February 2018 at 1:47pm

      What an arrogant distasteful comment to make.

    • Steve F responded on 28 February 2018 at 9:50am

      Stephen, it was heartwarming to see from the replies to your original 'toxic' post that snobbery is not a prerequisite to a Friends subscription. Why not come along to Inner Sanctum? Who knows, you may even discover a whole new exciting world outside of your restrictive microcosm.

    • Mark Nolan responded on 28 February 2018 at 12:17pm

      Pet Shop Boys show was fantastic, very much worthy of the ROH building and heritage. The comment is both selfish and poorly contrived. It raises awareness of this beautiful space and will provide some source of income to the ROH both directly and indirectly. Instead of bile it is often wiser to say nothing.

    • Elaine Kay responded on 1 March 2018 at 4:06am

      My goodness. I attended this show 2 years ago at ROH. As I recall, the inner sanctum performances were a complete sell out!
      Does this not tell you something Stephen? What an absolute rude comment to make about music that you obviously know nothing about. Would you have felt the same if they were performing The Most Incredible Thing. Yes the Pet Shop boys compose music for ballets.
      I for one would probably not have been to the ROH but as my favourite duo performed here, I got to experience a beautiful building and see great architecture.
      Consider other people’s points of view

    • Graeme Wright responded on 4 March 2018 at 5:09pm

      In one short sentence the good name of the opera loving community has been dragged through the gutter.

      If the original poster would care to open his eyes and ears, he would realise that most of the Pet Shop Boys Work is actually inspired by various classical works. Sadly however I fear such a closed mind would never accept what I have said.

      May I point the original poster to the musicals battleship potemkin and closer to heaven as proof that as well as being contemporary pop stars, the Pet Shop Boys are capable of producing works of musical theatre?

      I warmly welcome them to the Royal Opera House and look forward to attending their performance.

  2. Brett responded on 26 February 2018 at 12:09pm Reply

    Absolutely outstanding... Flew in from Australia for the 2016 concerts and absolutely will fly in again for this... Bring on the ticket sales!!!!

  3. Vasilios Mantoulidis responded on 26 February 2018 at 2:59pm Reply

    Will it be the same show as the 2016 ones or maybe an altered setlist?

  4. Lesley Martin responded on 26 February 2018 at 5:07pm Reply

    During the bleakest Monday of the year this amazing news has lifted my spirits enormously!!! Roll on July - thank you Pet Shop Boys!!! Fabulous.

  5. Mark Fry responded on 26 February 2018 at 7:12pm Reply

    I hope I’ll be successful in obtaining a ticket.

  6. Freek responded on 26 February 2018 at 9:03pm Reply

    Very glad to read Pet Shop Boys will return to ROH this summer! I was two years ago at the Pet Shop Boys ROH concerts and had a blast! I will definately come back in July to see my heros again!

    (btw, strange that Mr. Cutler, as so called 'Friend', didn't noticed that Pet Shop Boys performed two years ago at ROH as well and didn't complained then)

  7. Graham Thomas responded on 27 February 2018 at 8:28am Reply

    Presumably the house will also make money out of this and rather more than £1000.00 Mr Cutler

  8. Aaryn Fuller responded on 27 February 2018 at 9:17am Reply

    I went to the 4 original shows, I am coming from the USA to see the anniversary concerts. My original programme is even signed by both Neil and Chris.

  9. Gary Faulkner responded on 27 February 2018 at 9:20am Reply

    I agree Brett, good to see that ROH is continuing to use its wonderful facilities across the board.

  10. Paul Harris responded on 27 February 2018 at 11:53am Reply

    As a similar level of ‘friend’ I cannot believe Mr Cutler’s attitude, selfish beyond belief. I cannot wait to try and get tickets. I can well imagine Mr.Cutler’s comments in the intervals of opera and ballet with like minded friends. The lifeblood of the opera house is new audiences and concerts by artists like the Pet Shop Boys is likely to encourage this.

  11. Steve M responded on 27 February 2018 at 12:18pm Reply

    It's this kind of attitude from Mr Cutler that gives the arts a bad name. There's only really two sorts of art when you get right down to it: good and bad. Pet Shop Boys = good. I saw the 2016 show and I thought it was brilliant.

  12. Mark Gilbert responded on 27 February 2018 at 12:51pm Reply

    Mr Cutler is the type of friend the house doesn't need to help it grow and also more importantly help break down the barriers between us who love going to the place and those who see it as somewhere they are not allowed to go.

  13. Louise hough responded on 27 February 2018 at 1:32pm Reply

    So happy that Neil and Chris are going back to the opera house I was there in 2016 ,it was absolutely super and has a very big fan of theirs I will be there again.Its nice that the opera House can be used for shows like theirs as the surroundings are beautiful and us fans can experience the amazing decor. And has the ballets have summer break it's nice for us to experience the royal opera house.

  14. Charles N responded on 27 February 2018 at 1:55pm Reply

    I've been a friend for a few years now and attend regularly both ballet and opera. I'm delighted that the Pet Shop Boys will be playing at the ROH this summer and I desperately hope I'll be able to get a ticket.
    There will be nearly 10,000 people attending over 4 concerts. I imagine a fair few who've never been to a ballet or opera (and there will be lots who have!) will be stuck by the building, the atmosphere, etc.. and their interest will lead on to new audience members. Personally, I think ROH should be looking to do this sort of event every summer. I wonder if Bjork would ever play there?.........

    • Gavin K responded on 28 February 2018 at 8:49am

      Charles - Bjork played at the ROH many years ago - I recommend you check out the DVD or look online - one of the most stunning performances you'll ever see. The whole show is on youtube .

      And as for the original comment - your naive closed minded elitist attitude is repulsive and exactly why so many people are alienated to visiting the Opera. Vile.

    • Manolo C responded on 28 February 2018 at 8:55am

      She did already, Charles. Back in 2001. It was filmed and released on a DVD.

  15. Howard Crawley responded on 27 February 2018 at 3:40pm Reply

    Was a fantastic show by the petshopboys.
    In this glorious opera house. Im a follower of the boys and certainly be applying for tickets to see them again and in the amazing opera house. First class

  16. kike.scl responded on 27 February 2018 at 4:40pm Reply

    Excellent news! I attended the first Super Tour shows in Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires in October 2016, and it would be great to see PSB again at the ROH in London.
    (I'm seeing our dear Mr. Cutler claiming "What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this...")

  17. Anne Jamieson responded on 28 February 2018 at 8:05am Reply

    The last time Pet shop boys did the ROH I was lucky to have the opportunity of meeting them backstage because of a charity auction! It was an amazing day and I will be coming to see the shows again this time around!

  18. Tony Pendleton responded on 28 February 2018 at 10:14am Reply

    I hear the Spice Girls plan to hold some concerts at the ROH too.

  19. Michael Wright responded on 28 February 2018 at 10:31am Reply

    Re comment by Stephen Cutler:
    Is it not possible to like opera composers AND Pet Shop Boys? The subsequent comments suggest that many of us like both. So why the sniffy attitude? I'm delighted that the Royal Opera House provides a venue for both and I'm hugely looking forward to seeing PSB.

  20. F95-Holgi responded on 28 February 2018 at 11:27am Reply

    My wife and I saw a lot of PSB Performances even in the UK...and we are coming from Germany...hopefully we will get some tickets for at least one show this summer

  21. I went to this in 2016, having never seen any opera or ballet, and having little interest in them as a man in his 30s. I have returned to the Opera House since to see both, as well as attending Live Cinema Screenings. It opened my eyes to new art forms, which I believe should be the aim of any venue such as the Royal Opera House. I'm not rich, don't live in London, but felt special there. Don't forget about people like me please.

  22. John W responded on 28 February 2018 at 11:30am Reply

    I am slightly discombobulated by this comment. What is THIS!? Why does it matter so much to you, nobody is asking you to go!

  23. Alan Wright responded on 28 February 2018 at 12:15pm Reply

    Brilliant parody of an insufferable musical snob, Stephen - you nailed it in one!

  24. David Sinclair responded on 28 February 2018 at 1:26pm Reply

    The most succesful British duo of all time, I beleive they also wrote an opera some years back. I've just booked, looks like the Saturday is almost sold out in minutes so clearly a great choice to host them at the ROH

  25. Nick H responded on 28 February 2018 at 4:09pm Reply

    I was going to reply to Mr Cutler but everyone has done it so much better than I could manage.

    Much kudos to Chris Shipman for his calm and eloquent reply.

    I attended the last Inner Sanctum back in 2016 at the ROH. It was enjoyable not just for the music and staging but also the venue and incredible friendliness of the staff. I promised my young daughters that if it was restaged then I would take them along as well. Delighted to get tickets at lunchtime.

  26. Julia Fletcher responded on 28 February 2018 at 4:24pm Reply

    First class show in a first class venue - I'm lucky enough to have got 2 tickets today. Never seen PSB live and can't wait! Thanks ROH - great call!

  27. Lesley Martin responded on 28 February 2018 at 7:11pm Reply

    You'll absolutely love it Julia - I also managed to get three tickets and if I'd won the lottery I couldn't be happier!!!

  28. Russell McMinn responded on 28 February 2018 at 8:33pm Reply

    Attended Inner Sanctum in 2016 with my family inc 2 under 16s, were loved the building and arrived early to look around and enjoy a drink.

    We would never have normally attended such a wonderful venue.

    Pet Shop Boys put on an incredible show, stunning visuals, and the music.

    Anyone attending this wonderful venue for this spectacular show is in for a great time.

  29. Peter Lewis responded on 28 February 2018 at 11:49pm Reply

    I've bought my tickets for this show. Really looking forward to it. I'm glad that everyone has stuck the knife into Mr Cutler's snobbish and selfish comment. Want to come back and explain yourself? As a long time supporter and attendee at the ROH I'm glad to see the place being used to such good effect.

  30. Jonathan Cooper responded on 3 March 2018 at 11:14pm Reply

    I saw PSB at Leeds for their Super tour, and The Most Incredible Thing in London. These guys are pure quality. They know how to put on a show. I'm so glad Royal Opera House has taste and an open mind. PSB are not your plastic throw away bands that are pumped out from the likes of X-Factor, behind the synths they have substance and depth.

  31. Eddie Xavier responded on 4 March 2018 at 3:09am Reply

    The show is exactly as titled - SUPER - I dare you not to have a good time. Saw the show when it toured in Wash DC the Pet Shop Boys really know how to deliver. See the show first then decide.... its SUPER.

  32. Mo H responded on 17 March 2018 at 11:20am Reply

    Missed out on a ticket in 2016 and now again, in 2018, obviously so popular! Will get to see them one day!
    I only needed one ticket for me, but not going to pay silly money on ticket sites for it. Have fun!

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