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Attracting A Younger Crowd To Theatre


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#31 Nicholas

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:13 PM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 28 April 2013 - 02:51 PM, said:

This CFT deal makes theatre more affordable for young people who already have a strong interest. This is good for assisting keen young theatregoers in developing the theatregoing habit.

However, most under 25s would pay £8.50 to avoid The Pajama Game. This CFT policy isn't addressed at providing theatre for the general population of young people and encouraging them to see it.

Wouldn't most over-25s think twice about paying much more than £8.50 for a half-forgotten ex-Doris Day vehicle?  I think offering young people the chance to see something they'll be sniffy about when going in and love when coming out alongside children-specific shows is the best combination.  And for the record, I'm not being sniffy, I absolutely love Doris Day.

Also, whatever else she might have said at the Oliviers, Libby Purves said that David Wood should be the next Children's Laureate.  It's a brilliant call and I hope that he or someone like him is considered.

#32 wickedgrin

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:47 PM

The future of the theatre is dependant on getting young people into it. It involves 4 factors in my view. One - Parental encouragement from a young age - panto, then musical then play. Two - Encouragement from schools with trips to the theatre which is not what it was due to cost and "health and safety" etc. Three - Cheap prices for under 25's say, as they do at Chichester. General cheap prices are just snatched up by us older folk desperate for a bargain and probably would have paid more like the Michael Grandage season at the Noel Coward. Four - and probably the most important, product that the kids and their peers want to see - "old" musicals such as the Pajama Game for example is unlikely to appeal at any price!

#33 Coated peanut

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 06:15 PM

I'm never quite sure why there is an obsession with having a young audience. Most people I know started going to the theatre in their 30s, if you'd asked me to go and sit through an opera when I was 25 I would have laughed, now I can't get enough of it. If you asked me to go to Glastonbury now, I would cry with the memory of mud and other stuff I don't like anymore.

Going a few times as a child with parents of school is a good start, but probably won't lead to teenagers spending their allowance on theatre tickets.

I think theatres need to relax a little and not worry to much about the age group between 16-25. Have some decent and affordable kids shows, tell schools if they are booking something age-inappropriate and hope that people earn enough to afford the odd ticket when they've outgrown clubbing/partying/hyperactivity and the need to constantly hang out in large groups






#34 Emsworthian

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:20 AM

I agree with a lot of what you say, Coated peanut.  A problem with putting on productions to attract a younger audience is that you may alienate the traditional theatre goers without bringing in a new audience.  When Chichester Festival theatre was run by the triumvirate of Ruth Mackenzie, Martin Duncan and Steven Pimlott, they were very aware that there is a sizeable student population in Chichester and they put on some "edgy" plays to appeal to a younger crowd but were met with falling ticket sales.   Also, to the question:  What do younger people want to see in the theatre?  surely the answer is that different young people want to see different things?  I spoke to  student couple in the interval at "The Pajama Game" and they said they were enjoying it but I appreciate that many young people would avoid TPG like the plague.  Some teenagers love "Les Mis", others deride it.  There is a danger of thinking of 16-25 year olds as a homogenous group, which it is not.

#35 craftymiss

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:37 AM

My son (14) went to see War Horse with his school last night.  About 70% of them loved it but the rest thought it was boring & that they shouldn't have to listen to actors speak French and German as they couldn't understand it! The only hope is that the 70% will continue to like theatre and the 30% might change their minds later

#36 Lynette

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 01:58 PM

I don't understand it but there is a kind of magical thing that goes on: like the corny movie ( I'm adapting here) says, ' if it is good, they will come' So last light at 'Othello' I was surrounded by young 'uns. Yes, the usual suspects too but noticeably more younger punters. Delighted. As I say, I don't know how it happens but it does.

#37 armadillo

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:43 PM

The Globe has no trouble attracting a young audience. I read an interview with Roger Allam where he said that what won him over to the place (which he admitted to being quite snooty about) was seeing a play about Thomas Paine in a packed theatre which would have been half-empty at the NT. Ticket prices are clearly a huge factor but there's also the informal atmosphere of the place.

#38 Honoured Guest

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:55 PM

View PostLynette, on 03 May 2013 - 01:58 PM, said:

I don't understand it but there is a kind of magical thing that goes on: like the corny movie ( I'm adapting here) says, ' if it is good, they will come' So last light at 'Othello' I was surrounded by young 'uns. Yes, the usual suspects too but noticeably more younger punters. Delighted. As I say, I don't know how it happens but it does.

The Lynx effect?

#39 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 05:07 PM

View PostLynette, on 03 May 2013 - 01:58 PM, said:

I don't understand it but there is a kind of magical thing that goes on: like the corny movie ( I'm adapting here) says, ' if it is good, they will come' So last light at 'Othello' I was surrounded by young 'uns. Yes, the usual suspects too but noticeably more younger punters. Delighted. As I say, I don't know how it happens but it does.

Were they school groups? There were several schools at the performance I was at. I see there's a special allocation of seats, priced at £12, for them.

And I should say, if I were studying Othello for A-Level, I'd feel v lucky to see this production.



#40 Lynette

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:31 AM

No not school groups. You have to realise that to me young means below 50. Same criterion for National Theatre stats I expect. ( irony, irony..)




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