Yesterday (Tuesday 1 February), UK Theatre launches Love Your Local Theatre, a campaign which aims to encourage the public to support their local theatres in the wake – and continued crisis – of the pandemic.
Over 100 UK theatres are joining forces to offer a special 2-for-1 ticket offer to National Lottery players attending a show during the month of March.
The campaign is being run by leading theatre membership body UK Theatre and supported by The National Lottery, who are providing up to £2 million to subsidise an estimated 150,000 tickets. National Lottery players can buy one ticket and receive another free as a thank you for the £30 million they raise every week the performing arts and theatres during the pandemic.
Love Your Local Theatre has brought together local theatres from Southend to Scarborough, Cornwall to Cardiff and Newcastle to Norwich, with a broad range of classic shows, comedy and musicals giving players a chance to experience cut-price live entertainment while giving back to their local communities.
Love Your Local Theatre is also supported by Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh, who has had a successful singing and theatre career at Lottery-supported entertainment venues around the UK.
Stephanie Sirr, President of UK Theatre, said: “We are delighted to be working with The National Lottery on Love Your Local Theatre, the first time UK Theatre members across the country have united for a ticket promotion of this scale. We should be hugely proud in this country to have such an extensive, vibrant and diverse range of regional theatres, all of which play a vital role in the theatre landscape of the UK and beyond. After such a turbulent two years, we want to shout about the fact that theatres are open and ready to reward audiences for their patience and loyalty – please visit your local theatre and help them continue to make brilliant creative work!”
Kimberley Walsh, TV presenter, Girls Aloud singer and star of the stage, said: “We are so privileged to have so many incredible theatres and entertainment venues across the UK. I have been lucky enough to perform in many of them. Without our local theatres, the face of UK entertainment would look very different and it’s amazing The National Lottery is providing £2 million to support them. The entertainment industry was particularly impacted by the pandemic, and that’s why the Love Your Local Theatre campaign is so important in supporting their recovery.”
Sir Matthew Bourne, Choreographer and Artistic Director of New Adventures, said: “My dance-theatre company New Adventures prides itself on being truly national, and touring is built into the fabric of what we do. As we continue on our current UK tour of Nutcracker!, visiting theatres across the country, I am reminded of how vitally important it is that we celebrate and protect our much-loved regional venues, especially during this crucial time for the theatre industry as it begins a long recovery from the ravages of the pandemic. I support the Love Your Local Theatre campaign, and hope it helps bring as many people as possible back to their local theatres for the thrill of live performance.”
Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, said: “I’m delighted that The National Lottery is offering 2 for 1 tickets so that people can support their local theatre while enjoying an afternoon or evening out. As well as being great fun, a trip to the theatre can have an inspirational impact on people’s lives – which is why we want everyone, no matter where they are from, to have better access to the arts. The Government has supported theatres throughout the pandemic, with more than £280 million in grants and loans from our Culture Recovery Fund, and initiatives such as ‘Love your Local Theatre’ can only help encourage audiences to get out and enjoy some brilliant productions.”
Nigel Railton, CEO of National Lottery operator Camelot, added: “The UK’s entertainment industry is world-class thanks to the huge variety of venues and projects across the four nations. National Lottery players raise £30 million a week to help fund Good Causes, many of which lie in the entertainment industry. The National Lottery is proud to have teamed up with UK Theatre to launch the Love Your Local Theatre campaign, giving local theatres the support they need to get on the road to recovery following the pandemic, whilst saying thank you to National Lottery players who have helped support many theatres during the last two years.”
The Love Your Local Theatre initiative is available to anyone playing the National Lottery who has bought a ticket. From 1 February, players can buy tickets at available performances happening in March. More participating venues are added each day, so keep checking the relevant websites.