Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Arts Gratis

Suppose your business is having trouble attracting a particular section of your potential market, or simply wants to expand that market. You know that one big problem is the price of your goods or services.

Do you:

(a) Look at your costs and cut your prices?
(b) Make more of an effort in marketing your wares?
(c) Go cap in hand to the government for a handout?

Well, most businesses have to make do with either (a) and/or (b). Not however, if you are the sacred cow that is the theatre.

Government backs free ticket plan
Up to 95 publicly-funded theatres across England are to offer free tickets to young adults as part of a £2.5m government-funded scheme.

This is in the name of the mantra of “access”. No-one, not least on the publicly-funded BBC (strangely enough), has asked why cinemas, for instance, have not found the need to suckle at the teat of the State, even though their ticket prices are not always cheap either, especially in the West End.

One would have thought that if the theatres are producing what younger people want to see, at reasonable prices, then they shouldn’t need subsidies to survive. If on the other hand, they are producing things which don’t interest their audiences, or at inflated prices, then why should the taxpayer stump up for something that the theatre-going public themselves don’t think is value for money?

I just trust that next time (say) Peter Gabriel goes on tour, I can have some “free” tickets. After all, this is Brown’s fairer Britain, is it not?


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