A scramble for tickets for hit show The Sound Of Music brought online bookings to a standstill following a technical glitch at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.
Huge demand yesterday morning resulted in telephone lines going down for half an hour, while credit card bookings could not be processed between 9am and 1.30pm.
Despite the technical hiccups, £33,000 worth of tickets were sold by 12pm, approximately £10,000 worth an hour.
In 2007, a similarly hugely anticipated show — Miss Saigon — sold around £97,000 worth of tickets in a 12-hour period.
John Botteley, theatre director of the Grand Opera House said that demand had been expected and extra staff had been drafted in to help out.
But he said that despite extra precautions, the telephone lines had still crashed due to the high volume of calls.
“Miss Saigon was hugely popular two years ago and we were expecting this show to do well too,” he said.
“But so far it has sold double the volume of Miss Saigon.
“Due to the huge demand, the telephone lines were down for half an hour and as a result, we were unable to process credit card bookings. However the system is up and running again and we would like to reassure customers who did not get tickets, today, that there are around 30,000 on sale.”
The Sound of Music — the smash hit production of Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Ian and The Really Useful Group — comes to the Grand Opera House from Wednesday, February 24 to Saturday, March 20, 2010.
Following on from the BBC show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, which was won by Lisburn-born Connie Fisher, the West End show has now been seen by more than two million people since it opened in 2006.
Former Robin Hood and Dynasty star Michael Praed has been lined up to play Captain Von Trapp in the award-winning musical, while the part of Maria has not yet been announced.