Is it worth the ticket price?
So many people have commented to me recently about the price of tickets to see both local amateur productions and professional or west end shows. They often comment with the statement “How can they charge so much money for their tickets”
Anyone who has ever been in a production of any size will know that to put on a show is not a cheap affair. When you start looking at theatre or venue hire; set making or hiring; costume making/buying or hiring; lighting; sound; rehearsal pianist; musical director; musicians, prop making or hiring – then you can see where the costs can escalate. Even a show
Even a show done on the smallest of budgets still needs to cover its costs, so the business manager must look at what money needs to be made to cover this and then work on what percentage of seat sales they can expect and the ticket price is a result of that. This is, of course, a very simplified explanation and many business managers do far more complex algorithms to come to a breakeven and then the subsequent ticket prices.
However, do the audience really need to know all that when they choose to come and see a production. No, of course, they don’t!
Many local amateur shows give the equivalent to an excellent professional show with a budget which bears no resemblance to their professional counterparts.
But look at it like this – where else can you see real live people performing just for you – the audience. Actors, singers and dancers working their socks off to give you a show or play to enjoy. Yes, sometimes it’s not as polished as it could be – but generally audiences love that – the bit when it goes wrong or performers cheekily ad lib or get the giggles. As performers, we want to be perfect – to get all the lines and dance routines right, remember the lyrics, make all the costume changes and generally give a performance we can be proud of – but it doesn’t always go like that does it!
You can pay £80 – £100+ to see a west end show these days and of course you won’t generally be disappointed in what you see because let’s face it – West End shows are the Nectar of the Gods but just stop and think – you are paying between £10 and £20 for many amateur productions and so many of those deliver such consummate performances you would not be considered foolish if you forgot you are watching a teacher, a car salesman, a lorry driver, a full-time mother, a mechanic, a builder and so on …acting, singing and dancing on the stage in front of you – all of whom have given up so many evenings and weekends to rehearse and rehearse and rehearse some more, to give you a show worthy of your hard earned money.
So, next time you question is it worth the money – yes it is…..remember you are being entertained for two and a half hours with a completely unique production (because live theatre is never the same two nights running!) – so just sit back and enjoy it!