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Tag Archive | "Cheap Tickets"

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Guest blog: Getcha luverly theatre here! (Or, why The Albany is selling tickets for £1)

Posted on 06 December 2013 by A Younger Theatre

I Wish I Was Lonely

We’re selling tickets for every show in our Spring season for just a quid. On a market stall.

Have you ever been to the Albany on a Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday morning?

If you have, you will have made your way through what, in my opinion, must be one of the finest local markets in London: greengrocers rub shoulders with hat shops and florists, Jamaican bakeries with Vietnamese cafes, and there are house clearance stalls selling a random array of broken furniture, second hand toys – and once even a model solar system that was evidently someone’s school science homework.

There are not many arts venues in the country that have a (proper, old school style) market literally on their doorstep. It’s really part of the lifeblood of our venue, with our café full on market days of punters showing off their latest purchases over a coffee, and our friendly local stall holders popping in to borrow our toilets. It’s also a wonderful source of everyday poetry: one of my favourite sound bites from one of the traders was “shoes, three pounds each or two for a fiver”. Eat your heart out, Hemingway.

This Autumn, we decided to take this relationship a step further, by setting up our own market stall. I joined the Albany team in September, and within my first week I was out on the stall, bright and early (in the pouring rain and inappropriate footwear), chatting to local people about what we do and what makes them tick.

It was a remarkable experience. Having come from the world of big brands, where the customers you are talking about are so often slightly nebulous entities called things like “terraced melting pot”, it was thrilling to engage with individuals on a one-on-one basis, having proper conversations about what motivates them.

One discussion in particular stayed with me. I got chatting to a lady with a young daughter who knew all about the Albany but had never visited. She felt that she couldn’t take the risk of spending money on a ticket when she didn’t know what to expect (worth pointing out that our average ticket price is just £6** – but we do recognise this represents a big investment for many people).

Happily, that Sunday we had a free family event (the launch of our Yam Yam Festival of arts and food), which I duly employed all my persuasive powers to encourage her to come along to. And she did. And she brought her whole extended family. And she stayed. And she’s planning to come back.

Our £1 Ticket Scheme is a direct result of that conversation. Through the scheme, we’re selling an allocation of tickets for £1 each, for every show* in our Spring season.

We want to empower our audiences to take a risk on something they wouldn’t normally see, and by offering them tickets for £1 – less than the price of a cup of coffee, or half a pint, or one and a half Kit Kat Chunkys – we hope that many of them will be able to take that risk for the first time.

The tickets are being sold on a first-come-first-served basis through our market stall from 9am on Friday, before any remaining tickets are released through our website at 2pm, because we want to ensure they reach (in a very literal way) the people of Deptford High Street first.

This makes great business sense, of course. The people who have the tickets will bring their friends and family, they’ll share their experiences on social media and, hopefully, they’ll come back. But the most important thing for me is the fact this is a symbol of what I believe the Albany does best: truly engaging with its local community, on its own terms, in a fashion that is fun, creative and meaningful.

So come Friday at 9am, the Albany team will be out on the market on our (bright Albany pink) stall, selling tickets for next season at a pound a pop. Do come down and see us. I’ll try and wear sensible shoes this time.

Amber Massie-Blomfield is Head of Communications at The Albany.

Photo of I Wish I Was Lonely, part of the Albany’s next season. Photo (c) Martin Figura.

 

*£1 Tickets are subject to availability

**£6 average ticket price based on all 2013 sales to date

Booking Details
We’ll be putting ten £1 tickets for every show* in our Spring Season. They will be released to the public at Deptford Market from 9am on Fri 6 Dec – look out for our bright pink market stall! We’ll then be releasing any remaining tickets through our website from 2pm.

Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis. Ticket buyers will be able to buy two tickets per performance for up to three shows in the season.

Allocations of £1 tickets will also be made available for shows going on sale after Friday 6 December. Subscribe to the Albany mailing list as well as Albany Facebook and Twitter profiles to be kept up to date with the latest releases of tickets.

 

A Younger Theatre

A Younger Theatre

A Younger Theatre (AYT) is a platform for young people to express their views on theatre and performance. The site is maintained, edited and published by under 26 year olds who all have a passion for theatre.

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Blog: Theatre vs life – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Posted on 16 November 2013 by Julia Wagner

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If a play or film is based on a (famous) book, I would normally read it before going to see it. I broke my rule last week. I wanted to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, because since coming to London in September I have been hearing so much about it. After queueing for day tickets for one hour and finally ending up with tickets for the balcony, where you had to lean forward to see the stage, I wasn’t in the best mood as I arrived at the Apollo Theatre. Just moments after the show started this changed. I was amazed not only by the use of storytelling, and transporting a book to the stage in this way, but also by the power of the acting. It gripped me even though I was sitting up high and not even seeing the actors’ faces properly. The language of the actors and the way of telling this very peculiar and touching story let me think about the possibilities of theatre. Marianne Elliott’s almost Brechtian approach, letting the actors stay onstage and sit on the sides while not in action, added another level of excitement to this production. The use of all the lights and video installations reminded me a lot of the Sherlock Holmes series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and raised the question of whether Sir Arthur Conan Doyle imagined his great detective as autistic. After reading Mark Haddon’s book on which the play is based, I now know that Sherlock Holmes is one of the protagonist’s (15-year-old Christopher Boone) favourite fictional characters. Another connection. This also made me wonder about people on the autistic spectrum, and their feelings and relations to something or in this case someone. If you google “Sherlock Holmes and Asperger’s” you can find a ton of links leading you to different articles and forum discussions about misdiagnosis, the differences between autism and sociopathy, or fictional characters with undiagnosed mental illnesses. An issue in itself, but nevertheless worth reading about if you are a Sherlock fan.

The production of The Curious Incident also got me thinking about truth. Particularly about telling the truth and the relief that comes from doing that. The hero of the story, Christopher, has to tell the truth all the time – he cannot tell lies. This characteristic of Asperger’s Syndrome also goes along with the inability to tell jokes or understand irony and metaphors. Christopher has to learn to understand sayings or metaphors by remembering their meaning without “getting” them. And this made me think about origins of sayings and their meanings, which often differ from the actual use in the English language or any language. It is the same in German, which is my mother tongue. The word by word approach to metaphors reveals a new perspective on things – Christopher’s perspective, you might say.

Christopher Boone always tells the truth. He cannot lie. This also leads to strange encounters with other human beings, because – let’s face it – our society wants us to lie on a lot of different, though often small, occasions. Sometimes just because something is considered as common manner or common morality. For example, our response to a simple question like “How are you?”. It was refreshing to see someone telling the truth and I wondered about my own relationship with “the truth” and that it may be refreshing for my life as well to consider telling it more often than not, within social norms.

Photo by Flickr user _elsiecakes under a Creative Commons licence.

Julia Wagner

Julia Wagner

Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, Julia studied Journalism and Theatre Studies. She is currently living in London doing her Master’s Degree at Goldsmiths and tries to get as much out of the experience of living in this city as possible.

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Ticket Offer: 2-for-1 tickets for Kneehigh’s Midnight’s Pumpkin at Battersea Arts Centre

Posted on 03 January 2013 by A Younger Theatre

Here is a treat for you, a ticket offer for Kneehigh’s Midnight’s Pumpkin at Battersea Arts Centre. We frickin’ love Kneehigh, and we frickin’ love Midnight’s Pumpkin so have yourself a night of fun and book 2-for-1 tickets with our ticket offer!

Midnight's Pumpkin

Midnight’s Pumpkin
a Kneehigh production

At Battersea Arts Centre

Until 13 January | 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm)

Don’t miss the chance to go to a party you will never forget in Kneehigh’s wild and wonderful take on Cinderella.

With a guest list that includes an evil step-mother, ugly sisters and Prince Charming, you are in for a night of mischievous magic all before the clock strikes 12. So grab your dancing shoes and glass slippers and head down to the Ball.

www.bac.org.uk

Claim the Ticket Offer:

AYT is offering our readers the chance to get 2-for-1 tickets on Midnight’s Pumpkin at Battersea Arts Centre until 13th January. Just use the promo code AYT when booking online to claim this offer. Tickets are normally £15-25 (£20 concessions), and are subject to availability so book.

A Younger Theatre

A Younger Theatre

A Younger Theatre (AYT) is a platform for young people to express their views on theatre and performance. The site is maintained, edited and published by under 26 year olds who all have a passion for theatre.

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An Interview with Michael Grandage

Posted on 03 December 2012 by Veronica Aloess

“I hope there are people out there tonight watching this who didn’t know they wanted to be in theatre, and as a result of watching it now do,” said Michael Grandage whilst he was artistic director at the Donmar Warehouse, during their 2008-9 West End season. Grandage’s upcoming season of plays at the Noël Coward Theatre with the Michael Grandage Company adopts a similar structure to the Donmar season by offering 100,000 tickets priced at £10. I know from personal experience that this ticketing system works as Ivanov, the first play in the Donmar season, was the first play that I ever saw. As a result, here I am, interviewing the man that made me want to work in theatre.

Grandage couldn’t be more enthusiastic about giving young people and new audiences access to the theatre through this ticketing scheme, “I said we needed to make it an access for all season, which means people who can afford to pay top price don’t worry about it, they already have access, but their access subsidises the people that can’t afford to go to the theatre regularly. It’s just a very concerted effort to reach out to the next generation of theatre-goers.” Last week Grandage opened TheatreCraft, the annual event for young people looking for a non-performance career in theatre – proof that he’s not only looking to create new audiences, but also to introduce young people to the “jobs that are available in the theatre, because there are hundreds, possibly thousands, and nobody knows half of them – young people certainly don’t have access to the mass of jobs that go on behind the scenes.” As a part of MGC Futures, the company’s education policy, he says “we’re training associate directors, producers, lighting designers”. The Michael Grandage Company is much more than a West End season because every element is connected: “the actors, the plays they’re in, the company and the way they interconnect with access and education, it’s all part of a very big picture that’s been pre-planned. We worked out how we could join up all the dots.”

The names involved in the season will definitely be a part of creating those new audiences, with the power to draw in all sorts of crowds. “What would we be doing if we were doing a new play with some very good actors that people didn’t really know, would we be in the position we’re in now? Probably not. Nobody knows who we are so we need to encourage people to come see the work.” The plays themselves are “a very good mix: two classical plays, a new play, British twentieth century repertoire and an Irish twentieth century repertoire”, which were chosen as a result of conversations with the actors involved. “Jude Law and I were talking about what we wanted to do next after Hamlet and we knew we wanted a return to Shakespeare, so Henry V – because it’s a relatively young man’s play – he said, I want to be able to get that done next. David Walliams and Sheridan Smith came out of a conversation I was having separately with both of them. I was talking to David one day and he said I would love to play Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I thought I could bring those two together. Then The Cripple of Inishmaan happened because I saw Daniel Radcliffe in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway and had seen him in Equus and said I’d love to work with you, what kind of plays do you want to do? And he said his background is Irish so I’d love you to look at the Irish repertoire. The other play in the season, Peter and Alice, came about because John Logan, the writer and I, had just done Red together at the Donmar and he gave me his next play.”

The first play of the season is Privates on Parade, which Grandage says is “one of the first plays I ever directed. It was a very limited run, it was in a very small theatre so it’s a lot of unfinished business for me. It’s this amazing comedy set against a wonderful piece of social history. It’s an important document, nobody really knows anything about this extraordinary war that we weren’t even allowed to call a war in Malaya, between the Chinese Communists and the Commonwealth. So from a director’s point of view, that’s a wonderful thing to bring to an audience.” Privates on Parade, starring Simon Russell Beale, “is what I call a good night out,” to start off Grandage’s much anticipated season.

When I started going to the theatre, the majority of the plays I saw were directed by Grandage because after he got me hooked with Ivanov, I knew that I could expect high quality theatre from him. Therefore I’ve always wondered how he maintains that standard, and the answer is evident in his manner of talking: enthusiasm. “I’ve always picked something I really, really want to direct. That means I go into the rehearsal process passionate, and on the first day when I’m trying to bring a whole group of people together – not just actors, but technicians, production staff, everybody – I’ve got to somehow communicate to them why we’re all going to be passionate about this project. You can only do that if you believe it in yourself.” His other priority is to “keep yourself constantly pushed. The moment you can identify a comfort zone, you should push yourself out of it. That’s what helps me move forward as a director.” Grandage would push any aspiring young person in the arts to think the same. “Seek something that challenges you as an individual, get collaborators around you who are going to challenge you. And know why you want to be a director and make sure you’ve got a good answer.” However, Grandage also thinks it’s important t point out that “don’t think early on you’re making a decision for life – I changed my career at 36. Young people can have a go, decide it’s not for them and move on. It’s really straightforward: keep changing.”

There’s a pattern emerging from the professionals I’m interviewing. When I ask what advice they’d give someone like me, or what’s the secret of their success, everybody answers along the lines of “you’ve just got to make it happen”.  Grandage envisages a “London, national, and hopefully international theatre scene” which redefines the conception of London theatre as “expensive and just doing musicals. I think the mission statement for me is to take everything we’ve learnt in that subsidised sector about access, education, touring, programming and take that to as wide an audience as possible. All those things now need to be applied to a West End model.” The Michael Grandage Company’s West End Season has “thrown down a gauntlet by going ‘look, you can produce work in the West End with 100,000 £10 tickets, you can have an education policy, training schemes’. You’ve just got to make It happen. In making it happen it becomes your policy, and in becoming your policy it will help define others, and in helping define others, you can create the bigger holistic picture”. Well, watch out West End, there are going to be some changes made around here…

The Michael Grandage Company’s West End Season opens with Privates on Parade on 1 December, and closes with Henry V which runs until 15 February 2014.

Image 1: Privates on Parade in rehearsal by Marc Brenner

Image 2: Michael Grandage by Bronwen Sharpe

Veronica Aloess

Veronica Aloess

Veronica Aloess is an aspiring arts journalist and playwright, who trained at Arts Educational School London and is currently studying towards a BA in English with Creative Writing at Brunel University. She is co-founder of Don't Make Me Angry Productions which is dedicated to original writing and innovative performance.

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