New AudiencesHow to get them and keep them
Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:47 AM
What does concern me is cost: the price of my train fare sometimes exceeds that of the cheaper tickets I buy and usually at least matches ticket cost or adds a substantial proportion of it. So absolutely no programmes, meals, drinks and goodness knows what else on top! If I see two plays in one day to save on expense, and aim for deals/previews/early booking or whatever reduces the price, I'm probably still looking at a minimum of £60, which is a lot on a pension. Now if there was a way to save on fares as part of a deal...
Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:49 AM
I save the mainstream plays for friends and relatives who don't go so much, so expect a fantastic production or they would be disappointed!
Early booking definitely reduces costs...I bet we all have Grandage in the bag for next year and with Young Vic Changeling, Globe standing, behind the pillars at Almeida, ditto Pinter, front rows at Royal Court and now glorious Zoe at £10 it can be very reasonable! I am also not adverse to day seating, although coming from Oxford it does take a bit of effort! I do like a good front stalls seat though as I feel very disconnected from the play if I sit too far away!
Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:26 AM
But this thread is about new audiences. I wonder how many new people we have taken to the theatre, between us? I can think of at least 4 new people I've gone to various productions with who wouldn't have gone at all otherwise.
Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:43 PM
Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:41 PM
Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:57 PM
Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:27 PM
I see a lot of shows solo too, and whilst I love a great view (and firmly believe the front of the stalls is the best place), I find I'm more open minded and likely to accept a less expensive ticket with perhaps a compromised view, than I would be if I suggested to a friend that we go to the theatre.
In 4 years of living in London, and 2 years of serious theatre going (around 80 shows last year, and I guess around the same number for the end of 2012), I've never paid more than £40 for a seat - in fact the most expensive ticket I've bought was for Phantom in January this year at £37.50 for front row (I did pay £60 for Wicked back in 2006, but that was during a weekend trip to London).
Personally I begrudge paying huge amounts for a theatre show, but without researching, learning and understanding how the west end works, I wouldn't have seen as much as I have. I think day seats are just the biggest bargains going, especially when I compare paying less than £20 to watch huge stars act for 3 hours, to buying a Madonna concert ticket at £210 a go (which she charged in 2009), or Beyonce tickets (£100).
Yet, I have admitted defeat and will most likely buy a full price ticket for Viva Forever. They told e when tickets went on sale they would be operating a lottery system on the day, but I've not heard talk of this anywhere. But I will buy it begrudgingly as the Spices themselves were only £75 a ticket back in 2008, and they won't even be in this show!
Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:13 AM
West end stuff is trickier I normally have to sort that out before booking for the big events and then wait and see on offers for everything else. It helps that I live near Richmond so I can go to a lot of West End stuff for lower prices, best seats for A Long Day's Journey Into Night were less than £30 there for example.
Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:58 AM
Yes I know what you ware thinking, I was already interested in Theatre so it's no surprise I actually took the time to attend! What I will say for my University (Goldsmiths), they never ever organised theatre trips or even encouraged groups of students to club together and go, which is retrospect pretty appalling! If an arts university can't think to support the arts then who will!
I still attended theatre of course, but I was restricted to shows that had major discounts, so I always had to wait a fair while before something opened to be able to see it! I signed up to the Cheap Theare Tickets mailing list so I was always in the know. Now I can afford to pay full price, although it is still good for shows I am not too fussed about but feel like I should see (I paid £12 for a Shrek ticket...don't judge me!)
I think what Grandage is doing is fantastic and as soon as I heard I snapped up 3 £10 tickets! Similarly I am a member of audience club, where tickets are only £2.50 for a load of Off West End (but pretty great) shows. I would recommend anyone who isn't sure about theatre to sign up to audience club because you can try new things without breaking the bank (I got [name of show deleted] tickets for £2.50 but the less said about that shambles of a production the better!)
However I am starting to suspect the issue is not just money, it's time. People these days don't really seem to have the time for something new, which is a shame! I sometimes get free tickets to shows with my job (which I am delighted with as I am a regular theatre goer as it is!) but it is still difficult to get someone out of their houses on a cold tuesday night to try something new and see a show with me! Although whenever I do manage I feel like the reaction is positive ! I managed to convince my mum to come to London and see War Horse with me and she hasn't stopped talking about it since! I am now trying to convince her and her friends to come to the city and see more shows. Although I think that the prospect of there being so many is daunting. I looks a bit blergh but I found a website www.officialtheatre.com which has lists all of the theatres with what show they have and their box office numbers next to them which I think could be useful!
I understand what a few of you mentioned about 'star' casting helping people to engage with characters, but personally I hate it when someone could fulfill the role better is jilted to make way for someone who once ate a bug on 'I'm A Celebrity'. If anyone saw former strictly contestant, Russle Grant in The Wizard of Oz then you will know what I am talking about! It shouldn't have to be that way.
Hm. I wonder what the answer is? How to get the average person interested enough to see a show for the first time? Perhaps events like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival help? I took my boyfriend (not a thespian at all!) for the first time this summer..we even saw some 'comedy' shows he wanted to see mixed in with a list of theatre shows that I wanted and he now is way more receptive to coming along with me. Perhaps the Fringe was a non intimidating (or maybe non elitist?) environment for one to enter into theatre without any previous knowledge?? Perhaps London could benefit from a Fringe like festival :S
SO to conclude I think the issues are:
1) Arts schools/ organisations need to encourage trips more. I feel a little underwhelmed by the exposure my THEATRE degree gave me to actual theatre.
2) People need to be more willing to give up an evening to try something new
3) People need something to help them choose out of the multitude of shows out there/ there need to be more sites like that official theatre that lay all the information out clearly
1) Discount sites (+ TKTS booth) and special priced seasons like Grandage's are definitely a positive thing as people won't have to break the bank to try something new
2) Non intimidating ways to try new theare - eg arts festivals ,...maybe more perfomances like West End live?
What do you guys think about that?
Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:44 PM
I really wish there was some sort of loyalty card where you can accumulate points towards going to the theatre. Within the family we have an ATG card & a card for The Mayflower in Southampton so we can get early bookings/no booking fees but I feel sure there could be more done. I go to allsorts of theatre; plays, musicals, fringe, local but I'm a massive Les Miserables fan and go v often especially to see different performers in different roles, understudies, casts changes etc. Within the first 6 months of this year I had seen it over 18 times (yes I know I'm sad), this is a tremendous effort for me as I have to dash from work for the train plus get home at 0130 the following day, but I love the show enough to see it this many times. I once actually enquired at the Box Office at Queens as to whether they do any offers ie buy 10 get one free (I klnow the cheek of it) and they looked horrified. I suppose they dont have to think about filling seats as they pretty much fill themselves.
I think you're right about making the comittment to go as it's a huge time thing hence I often go on my own or take one or two of my kids if it isnt mid week.
I'm not a fan of stunt casting but if it gets people who wouldnt normally go to the theatre in through the doors then I will try to look on it as a positive thing. I didnt see JCS as I didnt like the main performers but I know 2 people who have never been to a show (although it was more of an arena event than show) who enjoyed it and have also independently booked to see SITR and Viva, so probably JCS has helped get bums on seats elsewhere.
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