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Photo by Adriana Mendez.

To be or to be for free? Complimentary theatre tickets

by Adriana Mendez

Dress up like in the old Victorian days and invite someone to the theatre for the price of £0.00.

If you think theatre is too expensive and elitist you are absolutely mistaken. The Arts Council of England is offering 258,000 free theatre tickets across London over the next two years. The only requirement is that you have to be under 26.

A night less ordinary, as the initiative is called, aims to reach new audiences and develop a new generation of arts attendees, but you have to admit it comes in quite handy these days, with the recession making nights out a luxury.

If you are into theatre, it is a great opportunity to enjoy some of London's best plays without spending a penny (you can even have a glass of water for free if you don´t want to spend on drinks).

If you think theatre is simply not for you, well you are in London, it's a must…, you can't leave the city without experiencing one of it's main attractions. Anyway, why say no when you can try it for free?

Not one, two nor three but SIX free tickets

Unlike most of the free ticket deals, the process of getting them is easy and accessible to everyone under 26. There are no extra charges or any taxes.

All you have to do is go to the website, type your postcode or the area of your convenience and a list of venues will appear with the dates and performances available under this free scheme.

You can choose from 32 different local venues and national theatres and 22 boroughs across London. So now that money is clearly not an issue and location isn't either, what can stop you from going?

Who to go with?

Do you need someone to comment on the play with or to share a coffee during the intermission and you are not too much into talking to strangers? Well, the scheme allows you to book up to SIX tickets absolutely free as long as they are all under 26.

So it is your choice if you want to make it a romantic date, a fun friends night out or hey, maybe you really are into talking to strangers and prefer to go by yourself.

For Real

At the Hampstead Theatre, where Noel Coward´s play Private Lives was to be performed, young people queued to collect their free tickets during the inauguration week of a Night Less Ordinary.

"I think it's a really great scheme as lots of young people are often put off by going to the theatre because of the price," said Kate Murphy, president of the Drama Society of Westminster University who booked six tickets to take students.

"I regularly check for any deals or discounts theatres that might be running. I sometimes buy a student a standby ticket for the larger westend shows which are £20 for the best seats available, but a free ticket.. it is amazing," she added.

Mathew Hanratty, Assistant Press Officer of the Arts Council told us “Our mission is 'great art for everyone' and we want all people to engage with the arts."

"By removing a financial barrier we hope this will encourage more young people to experience high quality theatre,” he added.




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