I’m trying to take some young people to the theatre. I want to enrich their learning experience, widen their horizons. So when I – or they have a spare ____ (insert here how much a ticket to the theatre is) – we go.
I’m being harsh. There are theatre tickets out there for £10 or £15 to encourage accessibility for a wider range of audience membership. Actress Gemma Chan spoke out as she was being interviewed for the Evening Standard, that theatre needs to be made cheaper. Chan is in Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming directed by Jamie Lloyd where tickets are £29.50 to £69.50 – or if you’re lucky there are some going for a tenner on lovetheatre.com. She feels that “we should be trying to increase access to the arts for the next generation of young people.” But theatre in London is for “Premiership footballers and millionaires.”
The idea of the theatre to some is for the pretentious, middle class set, not a young person for instance. The very thought of even spending £15 on a theatre ticket does not sound appealing to some. Because that’s the other half of the battle – how does the theatre world become more appealing, more relatable to a non-theatre going audience? As much as there’s great theatre out there that companies and theatres who are doing so much to welcome diverse audiences, how – and I’ll use this again – enriching it would be for my 17 year old mentee who is from Croydon to go to the West End or the National and feel like she belongs there. That this is her world too.
Going to see something like a Harold Pinter play should just be as accessible as going to see something in your local community.