Meryl Streep would like you to have some free theatre tickets.
Yes, that’s right – if you’re under 26, your Aunty Meryl and a generous swathe of celebrity actors have lent their names as ‘ambassadors’ to a scheme called Young And Free. Among those involved are Ben Whishaw, tireless campaigner Lenny Henry, Joan Armatrading and Christine Baranski who was the ‘other one’ in Mamma Mia who wasn’t Meryl or Julie Walters.
The deal is part of the Donmar Warehouse’s promotion of its upcoming season in a series of purpose-built soundproofed temporary structures alongside Euston Road at King’s Cross where, with enormous ambition and the drive of their artistic director Josie Rourke, they will be staging a series of Shakespeare's most popular plays with all-female casts.
It promises to be epic, and we’ll certainly be there to tell you about it when the press are invited in November but performances of The Tempest, Henry IV and Julius Caesar start on 23 September.
Tickets really are completely free for successful applicants aged up to and including 25 – and a quarter of all available seats will be given away like this. All you have to do is sign up via their website www.youngandfreelondon.com
Female leads in Shakespeare have become big ticket events with Fiona Shaw’s Richard II and Maxine Peake’s Hamlet. Glenda Jackson will bring her King Lear to the Old Vic from 25 October – but at up to £125 a seat, this opportunity to see top names like Harriet Walter as Prospero, Jackie Clune, and Karen Dunbar, for nothing, is not to be missed.