A series of articles in the Observer about enjoying the Arts on a tight budget. The front page banner for this story is "Darcey Bussell for a fiver?" I love it when dance is used as a symbol for the Arts in general. Arts on the cheap
As a nation, we spend a fortune on shows and concerts - and often grumble about the cost. But are prices reasonable or a rip-off? And will lowering them really attract younger audiences? Liz Hoggard reports for The Observer.
We spend over £3 billion a year on culture. According to the financial services group Egg, the amount spent by UK adults on going to the theatre, cinema, concert or art gallery is more than 15 times that spent on tickets to Premiership football matches in a season (classical musical ticket sales at £359 million a year account for almost twice the revenue of Premiership tickets).
Yet how many of us are getting our money's worth? Faced by a cramped venue with seats designed for minute bottoms and non-existent legroom, are we being ripped off? More importantly, when did you last book tickets for a cultural event and think, 'Hmm, that's exceptionally reasonable'?
Even the most devoted fan might wonder why we are paying £40 a head for a two-hander like David Hare's The Breath of Life (however illustrious the Dames Judi and Maggie). click for more
************************************* £25 challenge in London
How much culture can £25 buy? Dee O'Connell investigates for The Observer Manon, Royal Opera House
I may be about to get a nosebleed. I'm sitting very, very high up in the Royal Opera House in a £6 'restricted view' seat. Incredibly, when I asked for the cheapest tickets, I was offered £3 'listening seats'. According to the lady on the booking line, 'Some people will do anything just to be there.' Evidently.
Even from our dizzying height, though, the view isn't at all bad. We can see four-fifths of the stage, and in enough detail to be able to make out the xylophone of Darcey Bussell's chest. I'm still flush with the success of my upgrade at the Old Vic, however, and my companions, Amy, an Armani-clad lawyer, and Susan, a film executive, are used to better things. We have our eye on an empty box. click for more
This is a good idea, but they seem to have stopped at ballet and the best deals in London are with modern dance where you can see some of the best performers in the country for £15 and sometimes as lttle as £5: The best cheap deals
From The Observer
Opera, concerts and ballet
Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet Standbys half-price, £15 concessions, four hours before curtain-up
English National Opera £3 on-the-day seats in balcony weekdays and Saturday matinees from 10am/12 noon
Standby tickets (£12.50 students, £18 concessions) three hours before performance.
Guildhall School of Music and Drama All tickets usually under £25, concessions £15.
Royal Festival Hall Free music in main foyer Lunchtime recitals around £7 Concerts between £6 and £37
Standbys (concessions only) on sale two hours before show. click for more