Pay what you want! Hartlepool theatre launches initiative

Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre.

Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre.

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Hartlepool theatre-goers are certain to get value for money next week – as they pay what they feel a show is worth.

A ‘pay what you decide’ initiative is being tried out by Hartlepool Borough Council, which runs Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre, in Raby Road.

Under The Bed - A Grown Up Fairytale will be Hartlepool Town Hall Theatres first 'pay what you decide' performance.

Under The Bed - A Grown Up Fairytale will be Hartlepool Town Hall Theatres first 'pay what you decide' performance.

Those who attend will not have to pay an up-front fee as they arrive.

Instead, they will be invited to pay on their way out, giving what they feel the experience was worth.

The first show which the initiative will be rolled out for will be on Wednesday, September 28, for 154 Collective’s production of Under The Red – A Grown Up Fairytale. It will start at 7pm.

Taking its roots from the darker origins of many of the fairytales that are now childhood staples, this is the story of a little girl who finds that there really is a monster living under her bed.

We are doing this to engage with new audiences who may not be traditional theatre-goers

Jamie Kelly

It is hoped that the initiative will attract new people to the theatre, with “two of the greatest barriers” to attending now taken away.

Jamie Kelly, cultural officer (theatre development) at the council, said: “We are doing this to engage with new audiences who may not be traditional theatre-goers and who are wary of purchasing a ticket for a show they might not enjoy.

“This is an increasingly popular approach in the theatre world and it tackles the issues of affordability and risk, two of the greatest barriers to people attending new work.”

The second pay what you decide production will be Fish Eye, which will be presented by Theatre Alibi on Sunday, November 27 at 6pm.

A dark comedy about nosiness gone wild, Fish Eye tells the story of Pam, who becomes a one-woman MI6 when someone pinches her Elizabethan sideboard.

For more information about the pay what you decide initiative and the forthcoming Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre programme generally, you can call the venue’s box office on 01429 890000.

Hartlepool residents can find out what other productions are coming to the theatre this autumn and winter when the new brochure is distributed next week in the centre pages of Hartbeat magazine.

You can book online at www.hartlepooltownhalltheatre.com

More information on the initiative and upcoming events at the theatre is available on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HartlepoolTownHallTheatre and on Twitter at the account @hpooltownhall