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IELTS Formal Letter Sample 

This IELTS formal letter sample is a complaint following a visit to the theatre.

Writing about a problem

With complaint letters you are presented with a situation that you were not happy about, perhaps an event you attended or some poor customer service.

You then have to explain what the problem was and offer a way to remedy the situation.

IELTS Formal Letter Sample TheatreIELTS Formal Letter Sample - Complaint about the Theatre

Remember you must fully address the three bullet points you are given - missing one or writing very little on one of them will reduce your score for Task Achievement

Now take a look at the question and model answer.

Letter to Theatre Manager

You recently went to see a good play at a theatre, but you did not enjoy it because of some problems in the theatre.

Write a letter to the manager of the theatre. In your letter:

  • say which play you saw and when
  • describe the problems you experienced in the theatre
  • suggest what the manager should do

Write at least 150 words

You do NOT need to write any addresses

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear Sir or Madam,

IELTS Formal Letter Sample Answer

Dear Sir or Madam,

As an avid fan of theatre, I regularly watch the newest plays at your theatre. Unfortunately, my last visit was not very enjoyable, which is why I write.

I recently went to the matinee show of The Garage Rockstar - specifically last Saturday, May 15. However, inside, a young couple were occupying my seats because of an apparent double-booking error. Before I could speak to the couple, the usher directed me to the front since the play was about to begin. My girlfriend and I complied as the seats seemed to be in a better part of the theatre. Unfortunately, we were wrong since the some side lighting was aimed our way, making it difficult to see properly and focus on the play.

With today’s technology, double-booking errors should not occur. I suggest you review your system to determine what went wrong before it happens again. Ushers should also be instructed on what to do on such occasions. Had I been given options, I might have selected better seats than the ones given. Furthermore, the lighting should be set up correctly, not directed towards the audience, as this can be blinding and distracting. Better yet, perhaps your building needs an upgrade to more modern lighting systems to the benefit of all.

I hope these problems will be addressed a soon as possible so that theatre enthusiasts can continue to enjoy the shows at your venue.


Jeremy Cruise


This IELTS formal letter sample would achieve a high band score for the following reasons:

Task Achievement

All three points have been fully covered and discussed. There is no irrelevant information.

Although there is a bit less said about the first point (say which play you saw and when), this is acceptable in this case as it is just about the name of a play and when it was seen. However, if possible you should write as fully as possible on each point.

Coherence and Cohesion

The IELTS formal letter sample is well-organised, with ideas being presented in a logical and clear way. Ideas within sentences are also coherently linked together. 

Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)

There is a good range of vocabulary and the writer collocates well. 

There is relevant topic related vocabulary plus other good use of language:

  • matinee show
  • double-booking error
  • theatre enthusiasts 
  • usher

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

There is a mix of simple and complex sentences. For instance:

  • Before I could speak to the couple, the usher directed me to the front since the play was about to begin. 
  • Had I been given options, I might have selected better seats than the ones given. 

There is also excellent control of grammar and punctuation

< Letter to Insurance Company

Engagement Party Invite >

More on IELTS Letters:

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