Kenny Wax, president of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), has criticised the cost of West End tickets and urged the industry to “take a good hard look” at the current pricing model.
Speaking during his opening address at the recent Olivier Awards at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Wax chose to tackle the issue of affordable theatre tickets.
Figures released in January showed that West End ticket prices have continued to rise in recent years, with the success of shows such as Hamilton driving up costs. Prices have risen by some 30 per cent since 2012.
Now Wax has urged industry leaders to take a stand against what he feels are overpriced tickets. “We cannot get away from the fact that the average cost of a top-price ticket has risen steeply in the past few years,” he said, according to The Stage.
“It’s a familiar argument that charging more at the top end enables us to have a range of low prices at the bottom end. We must find a way of making tickets affordable, particularly for the younger generation. We must guard against a pricing policy which reduces the average household to making a visit to the theatre an annual treat rather than a regular occurrence.”
He added: “Make no mistake about it, putting on a live performance of any kind is expensive and also very complex, but for new work to continue to flourish we must encourage our potential audiences to take risks on new productions.”
Image: Steve Collis