The fifth annual “Get into London Theatre” campaign commences today (Monday 9 January 2006) with top-price tickets for many West End shows reduced to £20.

The annual event was launched by London mayor Ken Livingstone in 2001 in direct response to the dwindling number of theatregoers following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Though the mayor’s office is no longer directly involved, the scheme continues to be organised by industry body the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), running it this year in association with the Evening Standard newspaper.

For 2006, more than 60 shows across the capital are participating in the scheme, running from today until 24 March 2006. Tickets range from £15 to £30, with some off-West End productions priced at £10. In addition to reduced tickets, the campaign offers special youth nights for 16- to 25-year-olds at theatres, restaurants and shops; the chance to meet the cast of several shows; restaurant deals on pre- or post- theatre meals; and a 10 percent shopping discount at selected West End stores.

There’s also the chance to win prizes courtesy of the Heart of London Business Alliance. Everyone who books a theatre ticket through “Get into London Theatre” will be entered into the weekly Winning Wednesday draw with prizes supplied by Whittard, Octopus, Hard Rock Casino, Punky Fish, the Original Tour and restaurant Dar Marrakesh.

Unlike in previous years (See News, 5 Jan 2005), there was no official launch event for this year’s scheme. However, details are published in tonight’s Evening Standard and can also be found by visiting the Get into London Theatre website or by calling 0870 040 0039.

- by Caroline Ansdell