If you’ve recently enrolled in Associated Studios, or one on the many other great acting schools in London, chances are you’d love to see more theatre but feel you just can’t afford the high prices being asked. Seeing shows is an important part not just in your development as a performer, but also in helping you understand how the industry works, and more importantly who does what kind of work. Even the most restrictive finances shouldn’t prevent you from accessing the arts, so here is our guide to getting to see as many shows as possible for the lowest possible price…
- Previews in all theatres, even in the fringe, will have reduced price tickets. For those in acting schools in London, this is also a great way to see a show in its final stage of development.
- Understudy Runs are another great way to see the big shows, at the National Theatre and the Old Vic in particular, for free. Many will also feature recent graduates from performing arts schools, so are a great ay to keep your eye on the target and see what is achievable. You’ll need to keep your ear to the ground to find out when they happen, as they’re rarely publicly advertised…
- Follow theatres on social media and join mailing lists to get the latest offer codes and even offers of free tickets (usually for students of those under 26)
- Great Offers Open To All: The National has a £15 ticket scheme sponsored by Travelex, offering reduced tickets to selected productions. The Globe offers all standing tickets, for all shows, for a fiver. The Orange Tree offers £10 tickets to under 30s, from Tuesday to Thursday on selected productions. At the Royal Court, all seats in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs and Jerwood Theatre Upstairs are priced at just £10 for Monday performances. In addition, four standing places go on sale one hour before each Jerwood Theatre Downstairs performance at 10p each. The Donmar Warehouse offers standing tickets to those arriving in person on the day of the performance, for £7.50. Just look online before booking to see if you qualify for a reduced rate.
- Special deals, in addition to standard concessions, for ‘young people’. For younger performers at acting classes, London theatres have much to offer. At the Royal Court, they usually under-26s offer a number of £12 tickets for productions in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. The Young Vic offer a number of £10 tickets for every production for full time students and people aged 25 and under. At The Old Vic, PwC sponsor 100 tickets for each performance, priced at £12, reserved especially for patrons aged 25 or under. But beware, all of these discounts have a strictly limited availability, so booking in advance is essential.
- Priority Memberships like those on offer at the National Theatre will pay for themselves the first time you get access to a discounted ticket. They work by releasing tickets for sale in stages, so even the cheapest memberships mean getting access to booking, including tickets on special schemes (like Travelex), before the general public. Consider clubbing together with a two of three friends at other performing arts schools and joining one each.
- Get a part-time job, or volunteer in a box office or two. Many students from acting schools in London find this to be a perfect solution, as even working one shift a week can allow you to see the whole program at a single theatre, or allow you to access discounts. Theatres with multiple stages of those that are part of groups like the ATG are likely to offer the best return.
And if that’s too much, we’ve known more than a few who turn up at the interval of a show, see which seats are empty and take them for the second half. Half a show is better than no show.