Last week, industry body UK Theatre reported that average theatre prices rose by more than five per cent across the UK, apparently to pick up the shortfall from funding cuts. It was an interesting read, but no great surprise.
While public funding of the arts comes from an admirable social and ethical place - that beauty, poetry, tolerance and a sense of collective purpose are worth spending a few quid on (well that’s my take on it at least) - there’s no question that it brings a good fistful of bad stuff with it.
A situation has developed, in the performing arts particularly, where tickets are routinely sold for considerably less than the cost of producing the show. If we paid performers, technicians and facilitators what they actually deserved the gap would be even greater.