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...

wobblyweebles Sat 11-Jan-14 20:47:40

The actors are already paid virtually nothing. How should the cost of the tickets be reduced?

ExcuseTypos Sat 11-Jan-14 20:49:12

How old are Dc?

I know The Globe's tickets start very cheap, about £5 smile

ilovesooty Sat 11-Jan-14 20:49:58

It doesn't sound that expensive to me.Aren't theatre tickets in London even more expensive?

ilovesooty Sat 11-Jan-14 20:51:07

I don't mean £35 isn't a lot of money but more that it's what I thought it would cost.

LIZS Sat 11-Jan-14 20:51:17

Not sure where/when you are looking for but there are £14 seats , admittedly with restricted view on 1st Feb and there may well be concession for u18's. tbh we find RSC better value than most , paid £25/£10 for Richard 11 at Barbican.

The RSC do have cheap seats-they go all the way down to £5 if you'll stand, though obviously with children you'd probably not want to. I've had front row seat at Stratford for, I think, £12 or £15.

They get much more expensive when they transfer to London theatres though. I imagine the overheads are enormous.

Itstartshere Sat 11-Jan-14 20:51:24

I think that just covers running costs. You don't make a profit in the theatre. I'm quite sure the RSc do everything possible to keep prices as low as possible. It's in their interest to attract the next generation of theatre goers.

drbonnieblossman Sat 11-Jan-14 20:51:48

yanbu. those prices are not unreasonable by any stretch when you consider that a child ticket at the cinema is between £7 and £10.

think about how much it costs to put on a performance, and factor in that it's a business, I.e needs to make money.

drbonnieblossman Sat 11-Jan-14 20:52:17

apologies, I meant yabu!

Go the The Globe if you can...I went with my school and loved it. Brilliant experience being down on the dusty floor amongst it all smile

Lj8893 Sat 11-Jan-14 20:54:16

YABU for all the reasons pp have already stated.

sassytheFIRST Sat 11-Jan-14 20:55:08

We recently took a trip of sixth farmers and year 11s to Stratford to see the Tennant Richard II. they paid £20 each for ticket, coach and a visit to the Shakespeare birthplace museum - this cost was not subsidized by the school. Excellent value - and proof that the op's assertion is wrong.

sassytheFIRST Sat 11-Jan-14 20:55:40

Lol. They were sixth fOrmers, not farmers. Thanks, iPad.

therighttoshoes Sat 11-Jan-14 20:56:46

YABU... like you said there are plenty of cheaper alternatives available. If you go to see a professional performance you are not only paying for the venue you are also paying for the sets, costumes, special effects and salaries of the (professional) cast, Orchestra and crew.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Sat 11-Jan-14 20:56:58

Yes its awful, even the opera house has seats for £5 and £8 and £10 and are very very good value.

I am longing to take DD to matilda but the cheaper seats look totally crap and 65 for better seats is a return to paris shock

We have lots of little theatres round us, who do amazing productions, I would try and support them instead and maybe take only one child with one parent i you really want to see something.

If you want to take the children to the Ivy it will cost you, McDonald's not so much. RSC costs because it is the best. If you want cheap theatre, as you say, there are options.

The rsc aren't keeping the poor out of the theatre, they are hardly the only option. there are hundreds of community theatres doing work throughout the year for much cheaper ticket prices, with corresponding lower production values and less accomplished staging. Take your children to see them first, see if enjoy it.

thepurplepenguin Sat 11-Jan-14 20:58:06

We went to see the Nutcracker a few weeks ago, English National at the Coliseum. Family of four cost £240, and that was nowhere near the 'best' seats.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Sat 11-Jan-14 20:59:19

The purple, we went to see nutcracker year before last at opera house for £10 a ticket and great seats.

Mind you, I've seen a couple of shockers at the rsc over the years, it's not always guaranteed quality!

NearTheWindmill Sat 11-Jan-14 21:00:14

I think a trip to the Globe is worth four takeaways or a family day out at a theme park tbh. If we have a reasonable supper out - Carluccio's, Cafe Rouge, etc it's £120 (teenagers) and I'd value RSC more.

thepurplepenguin Sat 11-Jan-14 21:01:04

Much better value will!

It was lovely, but just, ow! So expensive. Thankfully not my money!

horsetowater Sat 11-Jan-14 21:02:55

I had this conversation one evening with a group of actors, they weren't impressed. It takes a lot of money to put on a show and the demand exceeds supply.

I would agree with others to go to smaller theatres where you get a more direct experience for less money.

lecce Sat 11-Jan-14 21:05:03

Yes, I know they advertise cheaper seats, but I could find none available and I looked at three different dates (has to be a sat mat). In fact, on all three of the dates I looked at, there was no variation in price - 3 different seating options (and the gods are very, very high in that theatre - ds2, in particular, would need to be a lot closer than that to really feel 'there') all costing the same - a lot.

Yes, I know they have overheads, and need to make a profit, but I don't feel that is a good enough answer. Someone has already pointed out that they need to attract the next generation of theatre-goers but they are not going to at that cost, are they? Most people just can't afford it. And if the actors aren't being paid much (and I know that's true) someone must be, because that is a lot of seats on a lot of dates.

sassytheFIRST I have visited as a teacher and know they do good offers for groups of students, but I don't think that proves me wrong either as most people are not in a position to take up those offers.

But yes, cinemas are much more of a rip off angry.

IamInvisible Sat 11-Jan-14 21:05:26

I paid £70 a ticket for my DC to see the Arctic Monkeys. It's bands and singers that rip people off rather than theatres imo.

lecce Sat 11-Jan-14 21:06:54

Cinderrellarockerfeller did you read the OP?

Yes, that's right. The entire pricing structure of the RSC has been wholly decided upon based on their overwhelming desire to keep the children of the poor out of their theatre. Nothing to do with their costs, or market rates.

BOFtastic Sat 11-Jan-14 21:11:48

I saw the Arctic Monkeys for nowt, Invisible, as I'm friends with their lighting director. I still felt ripped off though grin.

LadyKooKoo Sat 11-Jan-14 21:12:03

YABU. They do half price tickets for children and if you were to book in advance and go in the first few days of it opening then it would be half price for everyone. On another note, I have seen Peter Pan and Wendy and I was really disappointed by it. Not as bad as Robin Hood which was their offering a few years ago but not far off!

Theincidental Sat 11-Jan-14 21:12:44

If you think the prices are too high blame the government for cutting the arts budgets to shreds.

Over and over it's proven that the arts is beneficial, theatre is important and that it should be more accessible because when it is it has a more positive effect, but there was barely a murmur when the arts council had over 50% of it's poultry funding pulled.

I'm with you OP, yes everyone deserves to see live theatre and it is incredible, but the current government couldn't give a fuck. They should be the target of the venom, not the rsc itself.

Sparrowfarts Sat 11-Jan-14 21:13:18

The RSC is unusual in sellng 1/2 price tickets for children. It's a lot cheaper than the West End. 16-25 year-olds can buy tickets for a fiver.

Someone was posting recently about the cost of tickets for Matilda: we paid a fraction of the West End price when the show opened in Stratford. We've also been lucky with the odd deal: it cost £30 for 3 of us to see The Heart of Robin Hood a couple of years ago, and we've seen Shakespearean productions adapted for young audiences for a few quid in the summer holidays.

I looked into buying tickets for War Horse in London a while back and almost passed out: they were easily twice as much as the price of the tickets you're quoting. I decided we'd stick with the local theatre in future, which conveniently for us is the RST.

I agree it would be great if the RSC were more accessible, but how the company is supposed to achieve that and remain viable is beyond me.

Theincidental Sat 11-Jan-14 21:13:33

Paltry not poultry... Love spellcheck!

nkf Sat 11-Jan-14 21:15:07

You can get cheap tickets but it takes a lot of time to source them. And I think local, even pub theatres are often great.

IamInvisible Sat 11-Jan-14 21:15:35

I'm going to feel ripped off for years, BOF! grin

PenguinBear Sat 11-Jan-14 21:15:42

YANBU, to take my family to the same show would cost £240 meaning we could not all go to the theatre together. For the theatre, usually, I have to pick which of the dc would like to see which show the best and then engineer it as their birthday pressie. I love the theatre and would go every week if I could!

NearTheWindmill Sat 11-Jan-14 21:19:27

I dunno - compared to gel nails, spa days, expensive make-up, ipods/pads, tanning sessions, it doesn't feel out of sync to me but I guess it's a matter of priorities. How could one save a bit to make it work and find 140.00? DD and I spent 6.20 in starbucks today; DH bought a bottle for 10 tonight; that happens probably weekly; the odd takeaway; I still say it's all about priorities.

pancakesfortea Sat 11-Jan-14 21:19:44

I know there were decent seats for Peter Pan at a reasonable price because I bought some before returning them when I realised it was in Stratford not London (d'oh! - not sure how I got it muddled up, the website was very clear which shows were at which theatres).

Anyway, point is I did that in April when booking opened. You can get good deals but, like many things, you have to plan a long way in advance or go at the last minute. We have seen a lot of shows and I've never paid more than 20 quid a head, always for ok seats. Eg Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (previews, which are cheaper), Wizard of Oz (last minute offer).

Only exception is Matilda which we paid 45 for, because we went with posh friends.

I always use theatremonkey to find the best possible seats at that price. So at Matilda the people in the row in front of us paid 65.

It's a bit like train tickets really - if you have to go on a particular day, and can't book a long way in advance, it can be seriously expensive. But if you can plan and be flexible there are ways and means.

I think that it should be subsidised.

I don't think it should be "cheaper" because of how much it costs a family to go. Theme parks are a similar price, football matches much more (most sport, actually).

I don't like my local theatre (Liverpool Empire) so have to figure in travel and hotel to go to see a big production.

I think that it us a shame that the only theatre most people get to see is either a panto, or something connected to a book that they are studying, which can out them off theater for life.

There are smaller productions about, that are cheaper, they are still worth seeing.

It depends on what you/your children are interested in, but if the cost is a concern, I don't see the problem in making it part of a present, which I've seen disputed on here.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Sat 11-Jan-14 21:20:13

You have "just" looked it up, getting on for halfway through a very successful run of a well-reviewed production. If you'd looked it up a few months ago I bet there would have been cheaper tickets available.

lecce Sat 11-Jan-14 21:20:29

Theincidental You are right, of course, and it's what this thread should have been about. Mil phoned out of the blue to suggest going, I looked it up and flew into a rage smile.

i agree that West End shows are far worse - well, I assume they are. I have never even looked into it as I assume it would be eye-watering sums.

jonicomelately Sat 11-Jan-14 21:23:36

Birdsgottafly Why don't you like the Empire?

NearTheWindmill Sat 11-Jan-14 21:24:14

DD and I have seen most of the big West End Musicals: Avenue Q, Wicked, Legally Blonde, Matilda, Les Mis, Cats, Phantom, Ghost, Barber of Fleet St, etc, usually for no more than £60-£80 - usually with dinner thrown in - usually upgraded. Make your friend for that stuff or that nice booth in Leicester Square.

This RSC is a bargain compared to Covent Garden!

MrsAMerrick Sat 11-Jan-14 21:24:40

yabu, it costs a fortune to put on plays. And the RSC is one of the best theatre companies. We pay £30 for theatre tickets in our provincial theatre ( not the top price tickets) so for our family a trip to the theatre is £120+. We only go a couple of times a year. I 'd love to go more often but can't justify it. Still think its good value when compared with other forms of entertainment.

A ticket to a premier league football match is much more than a ticket to the RSC.

Theincidental Sat 11-Jan-14 21:27:33

Many of the west end shows aren't directly subsided and their pricing reflects that. War horse was a subsidised show made at the national and for long time you could get cheaper tickets. It's now sold on, so the prices are up, but some of that money is going back into grassroots productions. My tip is go to the national, or the old Vic or the egg in bath for kids shows to see them before they end up with such eye watering prices.

I still think it's a crying shame there's far less subsidy and as a result the brilliant productions don't get made as often.

Theatre needs massive investment as it has a huge impact on our culture as a whole.

Who will have the budget to make the next war horse?

mellicauli Sat 11-Jan-14 21:34:38

I saw there are tickets to the final matinee performance (Sun 2nd Mar) Upper Circle, 20 for adults, 10 for children. They don't say restricted view. Good deal, I think!

People who love theatre - and there are thousands - make sure that they book up early and get reasonably priced tickets. And everyone wants the same performances (ie weekend/matinee). The problem is not the RSC - but that you are not as motivated or organized as the many other people who want the cheaper tickets!

BTW - for next time, there is also always understudy performances with tickets at a tenner (although you have missed it for Peter and Wendy).

And yes, you can go to your local theatre for less. But you are not comparing like with like - you wouldn't expect to pay the same to see Man Utd as you would to a local non league team, would you? Same here.

" Why don't you like the Empire?"

I just don't seem to enjoy the experience as much as seeing the same production, elsewhere. The

I am going to see Circus of Horrors, S Boyle, in March. I've seen three shows, there over the last year, but felt that the theatre let them down, I can't explain it.

I like the Epstein.

I like the London theatres and my Goth youngest enjoys Camden, so I plan ahead three trips a year (at least).

I like Landudno and other odd theatres dotted around the country.

I agree with planning at least three months ahead (travel) and more to get a good deal.

Just fgs don't have a child who acts in professional productions hmm

There are cheap ways to 'do' the theatre. You can join supporters clubs if you go often & be selective about what you see. I find it is sometimes worth splashing out. Big shows can be something else.

Having spent a fortune on the theatre this year I couldn't stomach over a hundred quid for the pants, so we went to a small theatre show -£35 for a family ticket (2 adults 2 kids) - it was fab.


jonicomelately Sat 11-Jan-14 21:42:22

That's interesting 'birds* I don't go to the Empire much because I'm not really a musical theatre type. I much prefer to see a decent play at the Playhouse, Everyman or Unity.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Sat 11-Jan-14 23:11:41

Premiership football tickets cost about that (I think they're a lot more for London clubs) and they have huuuge stadiums!

ErrolTheDragon Sat 11-Jan-14 23:29:51

Take your kids to a smaller but still 'proper' theatre - there are lots around - or one of the many open-air productions which tour in the summer - and get the RSC productions on DVD (not sure if they film them all now but I got the David Tennant Hamlet for xmas).

BrickorCleat Sat 11-Jan-14 23:34:08

I think you can easily blow that in a few months at the cinema, and I don't even live in London. Most mainstream 'attractions' cost way more than that and 'the children of the poor' can be seen queueing happily.

I think it depends on the experiences you prioritise as a parent.

What do you think it should cost?

TeacupDrama Sat 11-Jan-14 23:35:39

seems to me to be roughly the same price as an ordinary seat at premier league football match and a family ticket to legoland alton towers type of place, i do not think these places are trying to keep the poor out

squoosh Sat 11-Jan-14 23:36:35


Aside from musicals theatre rarely makes a huge profit or any profit at all.

squoosh Sat 11-Jan-14 23:39:35

Also, there isn't a theatre in existence in Britain that doesn't have an education department doing schools workshop, community projects, outreach programme etc.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 11-Jan-14 23:44:50

Heaven forbid actors, musicians, theatre staff should want to earn a living.
Oh and the over heads, production costs, etc.

Going to the theatre has never been cheap £35 may be beyond many peoples means, but it always has been.
Most people can't afford it or have to save.

Lemongrab Sun 12-Jan-14 02:06:34

I think you yabu to say that 'The RSC are absolute robbing bastards who want to keep the children of the poor out of theatres'

Lemongrab Sun 12-Jan-14 02:08:27

*that yabu, not you yabu!

Stupid iPad.

sashh Sun 12-Jan-14 05:01:30

I agree with also it can actually be cheaper or the same to book a theatre break with a hotel room, although this does tend to be for musicals/west end rather than RSC/Opera.

BloooCowWonders Sun 12-Jan-14 05:26:56

Really OP?
So you want to book tickets at the last minute for a specific time (Sat matinee) and you're shocked by the face value? Have you never booked a flight and tried different times/ dates to get a better price? Got on a mailing list to book as soon as tickets become available and see where cheaper tickets are?

How much do you think it should cost? We went to see Wendy and Peter Pan during the Christmas holidays. Worth every single penny to see such an amazing production in a clean modern theatre where everyone front of house was so nice and all seemed to care that we had a great time.

I can completely understand that you're disappointed but the quality at the RSC is amazing unlike my local panto which was dire but not cheap

and I sobbed all the way through Wendy and Peter Pan because of the Lost Boys

Quodlibet Sun 12-Jan-14 06:15:58

As someone who works in theatre i wanted to challege some of the assumtions/inaccuracies on this thread.

Actually the cast get reasonable rates of pay at the RSC (by acting standards, though that's still a very modest income by most other standards). The problem here OP is that you are trying to book a very popular performance at short notice on the most popular day. All the cheaper seats are sold out. I agree that full price tickets are expensive - I wouldn't pay them, but then I'd look for the deals and book early, same as I would for flights or the Eurostar or whatever. There is, in my mind, still an issue as to why a heavily subsidised theatre like the RSC can't make tickets more generally affordable (in the German or French equivalent you'd pay far less), but I think the answer lies in general levels of arts subsidy in this country, and the more complex interplay of commercial forces.

I would however absolutely challenge the notion that good theatre costs more than poor theatre though. There are West End shows which are absolute bunkum and a rip-off to boot, and other brilliant shows in small venues where you might pay less than a tenner a ticket. Plus as people have mentioned, many of the subsidised venues do cheap tix - the NT's Travelex £10 tickets for example.

You can also get big-scale spectacle for free. There are also many excellent and totally free outdoor performances in the UK in summer time where you can see world-renowned companies - look at Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, or Stockton International Riverside Festival, or Kendal MintFest for examples.

Fostering a love of theatre doesn't necessarily mean shelling out loads, but it does, I concede, mean knowing a bit about the theatre scene, and where you might find great shows for little money, rather than being led by advertising and commercial interests - you definitely need to look beyond the West End. I'm happy to put together some more ideas and pointers for affordable family theatre if anyone is interested.

2blessed Sun 12-Jan-14 06:28:50

I absolutely agree with the above poster quodlibet. I worked in theatre until recently and agree that as one of the "big 10" (receivers of most public subsidy) that the RSC could do more to make tickets more affordable and not just the restrictive view seats. The National were similar until they attracted the travelex sponsorship too.
But ultimately OP, unfortunately the more advance you are able to book the more likele you can find cheaper seats/early bird/better availability.

OrlaNuttin Sun 12-Jan-14 07:45:30

Easy answer, you need to book earlier!

Btw Wendy and Peter was amazing! Worth paying for even the most expensive seats just for the incredible staging imo.

LIZS Sun 12-Jan-14 08:17:40

Feb 1st matinee you can get £14/£7 restricted view in Stalls row k/l or upper circle, Sat 8th & 15th likewise. The further ahead the more choice and more likely to be seated together.

Spottybra Sun 12-Jan-14 08:24:09

YANBU - we couldn't afford the theatre this year although I knew well in advance what the ticket cost was with a couple of extra presents to buy at the last minute we didn't get to go. Which means its 13 months I've been promising my ds he can go again and had to say no. No productions near us either.

Spottybra Sun 12-Jan-14 08:26:45

No amateur productions near us. I enquirer at all the community centres.

moldingsunbeams Sun 12-Jan-14 08:32:31

I have worked in theatre and everything costs so much.
The staging costs a fortune, the costumes cost a fortune, (On one show we had like lycra animal statue suits and they cost 1k each as they had to be made specially for each actor as a special fit and each statues design, we had seven) everyone but the lead actors are on bugger all wage wise. Then you need all your dressers. stage crew, stage managers, sounds and lighting people and engineers for when something frequently breaks.

I have seen loads of local theatre group shows in the grand at Blackpool for a tenner but they are usually doing it for fun and no wages involved for the staff and actors and the costumes are usually hired or made or bought cheaply so they just do not have the same costs.

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.

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)

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

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

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

If you have teenagers in London who enjoy theatre this is brilliant -

Quodlibet have you worked at the RSC?

I am obsessed!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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: 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.

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 16:53:28

Also 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...

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!

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.

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 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.

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