Theatre Modernisation In The West End

By Rob Last edited 166 months ago
Theatre Modernisation In The West End

Today's Independent has a story on the plight of West End theatres.

A report issued yesterday by the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee concentrates mainly on the 'booking fees' currently being charged by some theatres "which can add between £2.50 and £15 to the price of a ticket".

But there are other issues including the "low wages" given to actors, the annual £100 million-plus subsidy to the theatre (also known as "money for luvvies"), the fact that not enough new plays were staged, theatre seats are not wide enough, sightlines are often "terrible" and (crucially) there are never enough lavatories for women.

Obviously these last few issues are drawn from MPs' own experience of theatre-going and we can't help but wonder what improvements we would see to other elements of life in the capital if only MPs got out more.

Aren't the booking fees we have to pay for gigs just as scandalous? Aren't the queues for the ladies in the clubs and pubs of London just as bad (if not worse) than they are at the theatre?

The good news is that £125 million of National Lottery money is to go towards modernising the West End theatres over the next 15 years and the West End will probably have to make available "a limited number of cheap 'people's tickets'" in return for the cash.

So it's not just overweight, incontinent people with bad eyesight who are going to benefit then.

Last Updated 24 March 2005