As we go through our daily commute, standing on the London underground escalators, we find ourselves passing advert after advert of current musicals and plays, all of which theatre companies want us to go and see. But is it really worth the hassle? When trying to book tickets online you discover the cheapest tickets in the stalls are £60! By the time you have bought your tickets with the booking fee, topped up your Oyster to travel to the theatre and back, plus paid for any extra refreshments, you are broke.
So why bother? It seems easier to stay in and watch Netflix. This is what I call the ‘Theatre Myth’. Going to the theatre does not need to be complicated or stressful but like booking any event, you need to know how to play the game.
Step One: Look for theatre membership schemes that give you discounted tickets; they are almost always free to sign up to. Saving money = smiley face.
Step Two: Book in advance for good seats. Often tickets on preview nights are discounted. Better seats = smiley face.
Step Three: Do not just rely on one website to buy your tickets. Cruise around online and compare prices to find the best deal. Great deals = smiley face.
But why should I want to go, you’re still thinking. Our tastes are all unique and the likelihood of you enjoying every single play you see is slim. What I find difficult however, is when people tell me they have seen one theatre production and hate the theatre. These generalisations are ludicrous because who can honestly say they have enjoyed every film they have ever watched? But a few bad experiences does not mean that I hate watching films.
Theatre going is a communal experience; whether it is catching up with an old friend, treating your partner, or having a family day out, the theatre brings people together, even if that does sound rather sentimental. After attending the final night of the comedy Peter Pan Goes Wrong in The West End, it reminded me how much enjoyment can be had from watching live theatre. The atmosphere of being in a theatre, the whole audience all laughing in hysterics together was indescribable as the jokes were tailored so that they were understood by both old and young. It was one of those plays that is accessible for all ages and for those short hours, I found myself escaping into a world of make believe.
So if you fancy new experiences, then take a chance. Cruise around to see what genre might interest you and then get out there, this is London after all!