Theatre vs Cinema

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Photo by Nikki S. Colt

Many of the shows I want to see at the minute and that have recently been I have been totally out priced to even consider getting a ticket. From seeing Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in No Mans Land, getting to see both parts of Angels in America to seeing Daniel Radcliffe in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, has the theatre industry started to become elitist and over expensive?

I guess the answer to this is not simple at all, since putting on a show is more and more expensive each day and theatre producers lose money into the thousands with shows only having very short runs these days.

I do however love what the National Theatre is doing at the minute by introducing NT Live, which broadcasts their most popular shows to cinemas across the world. 

This brings me to say that Cinema has become the most accessible art form and easier/cheaper for me as an actor to go study, research and escape much more than theatre. You can buy a monthly cinema pass for as little as £18 these days and this gives you access to unlimited films and many, many cinemas.

I guess what my point is, is that theatres need to start looking at ways to open up theatre to the struggling actors, directors and creatives as well as the wider population again. Many theatres don't do Equity tickets anymore and I recently spoke to an agent who even struggles to get industry tickets to see their clients and potential new ones as well.

There is no simple answer to this but I believe that the theatre industry should look at ways of making money on the side of shows to help rent and overhead costs. For example the BFI and the National Theatre are always full of people working and writing in the day because they have lounges, wifi and a bar throughout the day. They have membership passes that enable you to cheaper tickets and exclusive content, plus discount off that all important interval drink. This all enables them to have money constantly going through the tills and thus payback into the venue and its customers.

Imagine if each theatre had a membership scheme or of there was some kind of monthly membership that allowed you to see shows needing audiences and the most popular shows at a monthly fee.

Theatre and Cinema need to try hard to keep this art accessible as without it they will slowly put themselves into a grave.

What are your thoughts on this?

*Photo above is by Nikki S. Colt, check out his website here


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