As you should know by now, I’m passionate about theatre. However, this has only been true for the past two years. I’m not really sure why, but I guess it was mainly the lack of exposure to it and my lack of open-mindedness.

Therefore, I thought I would try to inspire you to see more theatre (if you aren’t into it already) by encouraging you to head over to your local theatre, because you may just find yourself a new interest too.

  1. See shows! – It’s the obvious, but just go and see shows! Whether it be a family outing to the Christmas panto, or a one-off night out. Theatre, like any entertainment form, is subjective; but I honestly think there is something out there for everyone. Much like there is with film, TV, art or music!
  2. Take risks… – Following on from the above point, don’t be afraid to take risks. There’s been a few things I’ve attended simply out of curiosity, even though I knew little about them, and they have become some of my favourite shows. Similarly, there’s been other things I’ve not been overly sold on, but decided to give it a try anyway and been very impressed with. Or even if they are in the few where I haven’t been overly impressed at all, I am usually still pleased that I took a look at something new, as there’s no harm in opening your mind to something different. If it hadn’t been for me having a spontaneous thought of wanting to see a show, I may still be missing out!
  3. Take advantage of offers – You may be thinking this is all well and good – but I know it isn’t cheap. Naturally the ticket prices have risen over the years, and often vary on the popularity of the show. However, there are plenty of affordable prices around – you just have to find them. A few ideas; In my local theatres, they offer under 26 or standby student prices – perhaps you can find a similar scheme that works for you? Giveaways and competitions – what have you got to lose by entering? Gift vouchers – maybe you have a ticketing agency voucher kicking around as an old gift, or you could request them if people prefer giving voucher? Discount codes, no booking fees – sign up to ticketing website mailer, because they’ll often email you the latest deals.
  4. They’re brilliant! – You might also wonder whether it can compare to the likes of the West End or Broadway, but my answer is yes. I have seen some brilliant UK tours and local productions. Personally I do prefer the West End because it does have that extra bit of magic, but that’s not to say I don’t love the local stuff any less. If it’s something total local, it usually is on a rather small-scale but sometimes it proves that it doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles for it to be a good show. While UK touring productions are usually just like the stuff you’ll find in West End, but only on a slightly smaller scale; and they are often run by the same companies as a lot of the West End/Broadway shows tend to have touring productions, either at the same time or after their run there has ended. That said, amateur productions can be great too – though in truth I haven’t seen many.
  5. Do a backstage tour – More often than not, your local theatre(s) will offer a backstage tour. Sometimes it may just be an annual open day, in other cases it could be every few weeks. However, it’s definitely worth looking into, as it can be really informative and good fun. In fact I recently went on one at my local theatre, The New Wolsey in Ipswich, because although I’ve been there many times, you never get to see behind the scenes and for the sake of only £5, I decided to go on it with a friend as something a bit different and we enjoyed it even more than we anticipated. It was nice to learn a little more, and be able to appreciate all the hard work that the audience don’t get to see or even imagine. Plus considering this is a small 400 seater theatre, that insight can now be even more widely appreciated when thinking about the likes of the West End theatres, where everything is more than double the scale. I would also say if you are thinking of a career within the theatre industry, this can be a great way in as you can have that insight into what it’s like, as well as having a chance to ask questions. Also, if the theatre near you don’t offer this service – maybe you should suggest they do!
  6. Inform others – Much like what I’m doing all the time with this blog, a lot of it is all about spreading the word; if you happen to see something you really enjoyed, why not pass it on? Share your thoughts on social media, or tell your friends and family, then others may be encouraged to go and see it too and the appreciation can be shared!
  7. Great for the community – Whatever your thoughts, I think theatres are really good for the community around you because it can be a great way to potentially meet people and sometimes local theatres will run projects. I.e.; local youth or amateur performers get a chance to showcase their work, and some theatres are working on accessibility for the disabled. It’s just a great way to get out and forget about everything around you for a few hours.

I hope you enjoyed reading a few points on why you should be heading out to your local theatres!

As always – let me know your thoughts, do you pay a visit to your local theatre often? Do you think staying local is as good as the likes of Broadway/West End? What’s the best local production you’ve seen? I love hearing your thoughts too!