The West End shows taking part in Kids Week 2013 have been revealed. Throughout August, young people will be able to attend performances, workshops and free activities as part of Kids Week – an initiative run by Official London Theatre and the Society of London Theatre.
The Kids Week scheme, now in its 16th year, offers free tickets to children aged under 16 for every adult ticket purchased. There is a range of 34 productions available to see, including Olivier Award winning productions of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, A Chorus Line, Top Hat and Matilda The Musical.
Long-running musicals also feature, with free tickets for children available for Billy Elliot the Musical, Les Misérables, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, West Side Story, We Will Rock You and Wicked.
In 2012, Kids Week won Best Cultural Attraction at the London Lifestyle Awards, beating out The London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe and London Zoo to the prize.
Kids Week 2013 runs from 1 to 31 August. Tickets go on sale on 18 June. For more information, visit www.kidsweek.co.uk.
An investigation by The Stage has revealed the high cost of visiting popular shows in the West End. The theatre industry newspaper uncovered some of the rather hefty charges incurred when attending theatre in the capital.
Buying tickets online is costing theatre-goers up to £12.25, just in booking fees. But the charges are not consistent across the board, The Stage found that for shows such as Chicago and War Horse there was no fee, however, shows toward the top end of the booking charge scale, at £12+ included; We Will Rock You,Wicked and Top Hat.
The charges were found to vary between the tiers of tickets for sale. When purchasing a top-price ticket, customers are charged a fee of £8.25, however, for cheaper seats, costing just £34, the booking charge drops to £5.50.
On top of this initial fee, there is a further £4 charge, which goes towards the delivery costs of posting or emailing tickets to customers. However, this charge is only applicable to UK residents, for which collection at the theatre is not permitted.
A spokesman for Which? told The Stage: ‘About 50,000 people supported our campaign to see these ‘rip-off’ charges stamped out so the government must stick to its commitment and ensure the ban happens by December.’
The Stage has also uncovered the most expensive tickets on sale in the West End. On average a top price ticket costs £72.12 and the average cost for the least expensive seats is £21.91 – inclusive of booking charges.
Their investigation found that Billy Elliot was the most expensive musical, charging £97.50 for a top-tier ticket. The Ladykillers was named as the most expensive play to attend, charging customers £97 for buying a top price ticket.
But for a country still cost-cutting after the recession, it was not all bad news – both War Horse and Les Miserables came out top for offering the cheapest seats for theatre-goers. Les Miserableshas tickets starting from £12 and War Horse came out even cheaper, with prices from just £10.
Do high prices deter you from visiting the theatre? Do you think is justified for theatres to charge this much for tickets and booking fees? Do you think the high cost discourages young people from attending? Let us know what you think.