To think the RSC are absolute robbing bastards who want to keep the children of the poor out of theatres?

(93 Posts)
lecce Sat 11-Jan-14 20:45:32

Have just looked up the cost of going to see their production of Peter and Wendy and found no seats cheaper than £35 (and that was on its own, so unsuitable and still way too expensive). The majority I looked at were £40. So for us - a family of four- the cost would be £120 for a matinee performance. That is outrageous. For us it is not out of our reach, but far too much for us to spend on something that the children might like, but not something connected to one of their hobbies that they would be wildly excited about going to, iyswim. For many, it would be completely beyond their means.

And what the fuck is the point of having stalls, circle and upper-circle if all the seats (except for a couple on the sides) cost the bastard same?

I think it's such a shame that this type of thing restricts access to the theatre. Yes, I know there are cheaper options - there is an arts centre near us that often hosts children's productions by semi-professionals, with seats costing less than a tenner, and it's great. I just thought it would be nice to go to a 'proper' theatre, and ds1 loves history, has been reading about Shakespeare, and would love to go to a play in 'his' theatre. Gah...

manicinsomniac Sun 12-Jan-14 17:23:34

I think YABU but see you've already agreed to that!

Not all professional theatre is accessible to all. A shame but not the fault of professional theatre. Expensive clothes, restaurants, holidays, houses and countless other things aren't accessible to all either.

It is possible to see a huge amount of theatre on a middling or more income if you really want to a) prioritise it and b) shop around for deals.

purple how did you manage to spend that on the Nutcracker?! Only saying this because you said it wasn't your money but I also took 2 children to the Colisseum to see the Nutcracker just after Christmas for £10 a ticket and the seats were fine. I think it was on lastminute.com but I had no idea the non premium seats were originally anything like that price.

retropear Unfortunately, Matilda is a show which I haven't seen come down in price at all yet and certainly not on a Saturday. It hasn't been there that long yet though so maybe it will happen. You may be able to do it for a different show on that budget.

Retropear Sun 12-Jan-14 17:11:39

Right we are flexible in that any Sat matinee would do( live in a Devon so would need to get back).So if anybody could show me how to buy 5 tickets for Matilda at £100 (a sum I think is a lot for any middle income family when you factor in travel etc) or under please do.

I've looked and don't think it is possible.

Would love anybody that could prove me wrong.

mollythetortoise Sun 12-Jan-14 17:02:00

I went to see war horse yesterday for a tenner.
We did have restricted view in that there was safety bar in way but dd could see under it and I could see over it.
They were the only two £10 seats in theatre though. A14 and A15 , door 5 if anyone is interested and I booked them in july. Show was great!

Phineyj Sun 12-Jan-14 16:53:28

Also www.lastminute.com often have excellent deals on theatre tickets and are straightforward to book with (unlike Ticketmaster etc). They have tickets well ahead of time also, not just, well, at the last minute...

Phineyj Sun 12-Jan-14 16:52:25

Okay, in that case my top tip would be work to out which regional theatres you can get to and get on the emailing/family list of the ones with the biggest auditoria - the more seats, the more likely they will do extended runs of shows and have surplus capacity which gets discounted.

Phineyj Sun 12-Jan-14 16:50:21

YABU - the RSC are a registered charity and aren't even allowed to make a profit - in fact they make a loss essentially, as 25% of their funding comes from the Arts Council: www.rsc.org.uk/about-us/our-work/funding.aspx. Can you imagine how expensive the tickets would be if they weren't subsidised?

As others have pointed out, theatre tickets are cheaper if you book well ahead, are flexible about when you go and if you consider a range of venues, not just the most famous ones. Supporters' clubs/friends' orgs are good too.

The main issue is that costs for everything needed to put the production on go up 2-5% every year and the venue always has the same number of seats.

However, if you had said AIBU to think the RSC seats should be more comfy considering the ticket prices, I would have to agree grin.

lecce Sun 12-Jan-14 15:26:46

Ok, I fully admit IWBU! A couple of glasses of wine, an unexpected phone call from mil and a panicky session of looking for seats led to my, ahem, somewhat hysterical title.

I do think it's too expensive for many to attend, but I realise this is mainly the fault of government cuts (naturally smile).

I'm glad I posted this though as it is nice to be told something I should have thought of myself anyway - that if we get organised and on mailing lists etc, we will be able to do a lof of this stuff for a lot less. I'm getting on to that now. Ds2 is just on the cusp of being able to appreciate this kind of event, so this has come along at the right time.

To cap it all, mil has phoned again today and it looks like she is paying for the tickets, so it's all good smile.

Retropear Sun 12-Jan-14 15:23:34

My dd desperately wants to see Matilda,I looked at the prices.Simply not affordable for a family of 5 so yanbu. Clearly such shows are only meant for the children of the rich.sad

I'm sure Roald Dahl would be thrilled.hmm

ninah Sun 12-Jan-14 15:15:05

You just reminded me to book, op, thanks! I found it was actually cheaper to take dc than to pay a babysitter, so it's not that bad!

crazyspaniel Sun 12-Jan-14 15:11:49

There are Saturday matinee seats in the stalls for £14 (£7 for children). Even if you go for the £35 seats, they are half price for children. I see virtually everything at the RSC and I never pay more than £20 (and often much less) for a ticket, which to me is much better value than visiting the cinema. However, I am realistic about what my money will get me, and don't expect to have the best seat in the house for the price of a cinema ticket.

JeanSeberg Sun 12-Jan-14 15:11:13

Just had a look at z-arts JanePurdy, am definitely going to go to one of their plays, I'm just down the road.

moldingsunbeams Sun 12-Jan-14 14:24:11

Just to add that Lowry in Salford are going to be doing loads of kids shows on a Sunday costing £5 - £8.

JanePurdy Sun 12-Jan-14 14:17:20

My cousin has a starring role in Wendy & Peter grin we are going in a fortnight.

I respect theatre & think those working in it should get a good wage but I do resent those companies that receive public subsidies & do little to bring their productions into the reach of lower income families, & don't get me started on 'national' companies that never step out of London.

Anyone in or around Manchester, z-arts have brilliant shows & you can go for a £5 a head on a family ticket.

quod I'm interested in your guide too!

Pumpkin567 Sun 12-Jan-14 11:46:03

I agree, it's prohibative for many I'm sure.

I'm not spending £65 on tickets for 4 year olds. ( Christmas panto)

We do a lot of little theatres and small productions, children's ballet (£5 each) I think that you have to weigh up how much small children get from a performance and for me it's about them getting the experience they don't need to see a very expensive production.

I would like to do opera and classical performances more but it just very expensive :-( your right they do exclude many.

I'm interested in anything really quodlibet. We can potentially tie in theatre visits with other trips & this is sort of a long term plan. I'm realising my last minute decisions don't really work if we want to see a lot of theatre. grin

SamU2 Sun 12-Jan-14 10:27:53

I just paid £65 for a ticket to see Matilda.

There were cheaper but the seats were so poor that it wasn't worth the expense of travelling to London to hardly see the stage.

I see it as a treat so happy enough to pay those prices.

Quodlibet Sun 12-Jan-14 10:25:59

No haven't worked at RSC but a couple of the actors I work with regularly are in Wendy and Peter so I know what they are paid.

SaintJimmy it sounds like you've done a lot of research into theatre stuff near to you. I'm not sure I would know of anything local to you that you haven't found yourself.

Will try to put together some links for other family theatre later when baby is asleep.

SilverApples Sun 12-Jan-14 10:25:21

It's one of the few indlugences I have now, good seats at the theatre.
I saw a huge number of productions as a student and in my twenties; booked way in advance, queuing for tickets, odd seating. Saw some amazing productions with major stars like Jacobi and Branagh and Sher.
But, as others have said, it took planning and a bit of effort and acceptance of sometimes less than perfect views, or odd times.

UptheChimney Sun 12-Jan-14 10:20:39

YABU. Not much more to say than that.

I could quote you the costs of a West End or main stage Stratford production. I could quote you what actors, directors, designers, techs and mechs, box office staff, dressers, uses etc get paid. I could cite you the figures involved in commercial productions (1in 20 make a profit).

But from the tenor of your posts, it wouldn't make any difference.

liquidstate Sun 12-Jan-14 10:16:39

I had very good stalls seats for David Tennants hamlet for £20. The trick is to go to the previews where tickets are cheaper.

I recommend the Globe, they don't do just Shakespeare. And the cheaper groundlings tickets are £5. Also the NT live performances at the cinema and the NT £10 tickets.

Quodlibet have you worked at the RSC?

I am obsessed!

Idontknowhowtohelpher Sun 12-Jan-14 09:48:03

If you have teenagers in London who enjoy theatre this is brilliant - www.mousetrap.org.uk/index.php/young-people/c145-15-18-year-olds.html

nkf Sun 12-Jan-14 08:52:53

Quodlibet, I'll take you up on that offer. Cheap family friendly tickets.

We've also started to pull together a list if companies we love to see. If you have secondary school aged child & older (maybe even year 6) & want to take them to see Shakespeare I'd highly recommend Propeller. Ds2 (11) laughed his way through their midsummer night's dream - he was laughing so hard he couldn't sit still- proper belly laughs. We now try & see them whenever they're near us (we book early, use membership of the theatre & sit in the gods)

Yes please Quod (regional as well please).

Ds2 has now decided he wants to go to drama school so we have started exploring ways of watching lots of different types of theatre. I'm delighted as I now have a theatre buddy. We do family tickets to the smaller local theatre family shows, I've joined the local regional theatre & we I go with ds2 & sit in the Gods, we've just started to look into seeing drama school shows, in a few years he can apply to become a youth reviewer for the regional theatre & get free tickets if accepted. And of course he goes to a bunch of workshops etc & we have a rough idea of what he can do/audition for at various ages. It was all a confusing mess to me when he first became interested (esp as we are in the sticks) but we're getting a little list of places to look & find different forms of theatre. Would love your knowledge quodlibet would be really appreciated.

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