Traditionally, productions have solely been rated on the quality of the production. This depends on how it’s directed, interpreted, designed and performed. That mark is crucial to the development of the industry and also informing a potential audience on what to expect. That is not going to change.
However, times are changing. From an audience perspective, it’s not just about the quality of the production, but also value for the money. Ticket prices are certainly not decreasing and people want to know whether the production really is worth the price tag it holds. Prices of tickets in London have now surpassed £200 and the prices in the regions are also on the rise. You don’t want to leave thinking it was an OK production but not worth the price you paid.
There was some discussion last week over whether the increase in ticket prices within the regions was a reason why ticket sales fell last year and it is understandable why that decision was reached thanks to new stats reported by UK Theatre which said that ticket sales last year slumped by 1.9% yet prices increased to an average £25.08.
Today marks the launch of a new secondary rating for each review I write. The value for money rating. I must emphasise that this is an additional mark for each production and will be based on the face value of the ticket used to see that production. This is not a replacement for the star rating but an addition to it.
Unlike star ratings, there are five bands for value for money. Listed one to five with no half marks available. These are summed up below.
This extra rating should make it easier to work out if it really is worth parting your money to see the production or if you should shop around to find cheaper tickets or to give it a miss completely.
It can mean that a production with ticket prices of £50, £60 and £70 have to prove that they really are better than productions prices at £10,£20, £30 and I think that is something audiences today are looking for.
I hope this explains my second rating that will start to pop up on my reviews and if you have any thoughts let me know @TheatreTwittic