ADC Ticketing 101

LARA FERRIS breaks down the price hike at the ADC.

ADC Cambridge Theatre Corpus Playroom inflation price hike price increase prices ticketing tickets

It emerged a couple of days ago that the ADC have raised their ticket prices for all Corpus and ADC shows by £1 for students, and £2 for adults.

This means that, for the average student, looking for a cultural night out, or wanting to support a friend who is treading the boards at the ADC, tickets will now cost £9 (and for some shows in the higher price-band, such as this week’s The Tempest, tickets will cost £11).

Obviously, as students, none of us have much money, and any spare pounds we find in our wallets are likely to be put towards a Nero coffee, or bar of chocolate and packet of cigarettes from Kings Parade – or an extra drink at the ADC Bar. Paying extra money to see the play itself seems like an unnecessary expense, like we’re being extravagantly cultural, when we really should be in the library. Although we are only talking about £1 here, it’s annoying to feel like we’re being squeezed for cash, however small the cost involved.

HOWEVER. This £1 price hike (or £2 if you are an adult), when you look the financial situation of the last couple of years, is justified by the increase in both inflation and VAT, for which you should be complaining to the government, not ADC staff. Manager Flo Carr said ‘the £1 increase only just covers inflation: while our ticket prices have stayed the same in the period of 2010 to 2014, our expenditure has increased as the companies who we buy goods from increase their prices with inflation.’ And so the ADC has to increases their prices in order to keep up.

credit: Andrew Dunn    A D-Cent reason to pay extra?

(credit: Andrew Dunn)       A D-Cent reason to pay extra for your ticket?

The widening gap between income and expenditure is clear from last year’s accounts, where the ADC operated at a £6000 loss. According to Flo, this deficit came from ‘price rises in various areas of expenditure such as utilities, the introduction of the University’s Indirect Cost Contribution charge and increased staff costs since taking on the management of the Corpus Playroom.’ The ADC Theatre, for those of you who don’t know, is a department of the University of Cambridge, but it isn’t subsidised by the university. Its aim is to break even every year, and, as Flo says ‘the Theatre obviously cannot run on a deficit.’

Likewise, CUADC, the University’s largest funding body and the resident drama society of the ADC Theatre, which provides money for several main shows a year, and supports student trips up to Edinburgh, ‘has a financial policy of aiming to break even each year after inflation is taken into account’ as the President David Stansby told us. Box office takings are split between the Theatre and the funding body (whether it’s CUADC, Dryden, Pembroke Players or whoever) – and so any increase is going to help maintain quality theatre across the board.

The Theatre’s biggest fear is that the increase will put people off going to see plays, and supporting the hard work and effort that so many people put into making these impressive amateur productions happen. Cambridge has an incredibly vibrant theatre scene, with more plays on per term than most other universities, and also most drama schools, which is something we often take for granted.

The ADC Theatre itself is incredibly well-equipped venue, able to support all manner of wild ideas and technical adventures. Just think of the spaceship of last term’s Little Eagles, or the massive boat in The Tempest, or even the Chekhov fortnight of last year which had the audience sitting on the stage. It would be a real shame if the quality of our student theatre scene was compromised because people’s unwillingness to pay an extra pound for a ticket.

And if you want to pay less to see a show? Write a review for The Tab and we’ll get you in for free!