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Go to the Theatre (for free)

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by Hanford (subscribe)
Hanford is a piano teacher and freelance accompanist. Visit his website at
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Almost two years ago, the Arts Council of England launched A Night Less Ordinary, an initiative designed to encourage young people to visit the theatre, thereby bringing entertaining and challenging art to a wider audience.

Up to now, more than half a million free tickets have been shared between thousands of people under the age of 26. More than 200 venues across the country have been taking part in the initiative.

Although the scheme continues, it is now in its final months, so you'd better get your skates on to make the most of this excellent opportunity.

To obtain the tickets, you first need to visit A Night Less Ordinary's website and enter your postcode, or the postcode of the area where you'd like to see a show.

The website will come back with venues which are part of the scheme, together with further information about how you can collect the tickets.

Some search results will display the theatre name together with a message saying that they currently have no free shows available, but persevere and eventually something will come up.

At the time of writing, for example, there were free tickets being offered for performances of Krunch in early March at The Albany in Deptford.

Also, all the way through to mid-April, Polka Theatre in Wimbledon - a theatre renowned for its entertaining productions for children - has free seats on offer.

Despite the economic recession, and the fact that these days we have so many options when it comes to filling our leisure time, last year theatre audiences held steady, with London theatres breaking box office records.

If those healthy figures were even partly influenced by the Art Council's A Night Less Ordinary initiative, then it can be deemed a success, having helped young people to engage with the exciting world of theatre.
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Why? Because it's not every day you get the chance to enjoy live entertainment for free.
Where: Across the country.
Cost: Free
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