Pembroke Players president protests preposterous prices at playhouse
For everyone who’s ever thought ‘Gee, I wish my Nando’s Card worked for plays.’
So what exactly is the Pembroke Players Annual Reduction card?
Well it’s the membership card or membership discount card or annual reduction card, we’ve gone for three distinct titles. We believe in giving people choices and the first choice we give them is what they want to call it. I have one here, would you like to touch it? (This reporter can confirm that the card is very nice to the touch).
The magic of the membership card is its’ back, which is a loyalty card with six potential stamps on it, beginning at five pounds and ending at free pounds, which is the best number of pounds. You buy the card for 5 pounds and your first ticket at any Pembroke Cellars show is five pounds and then they get one pound cheaper every time until you see unlimited shows for free. Our director of technology, Jacob Baldwin, has made sure that you can buy tickets on the door or online, the system knows how many shows you’ve seen and you can get a virtual stamp.
What inspired the card?
As a committee we are very focused on improving every aspect of seeing amateur theatre and comedy. We’re entirely audience focused this year and the glaring problem for audiences is the rapidly increasing price of tickets and as Pembroke Players are the most prolific college drama society, staging at least 6 shows a term, we wanted to let people see more things. Sort of like a thesp-ish Robin Hood. Only robbing from no one to feed both the poor and the privileged equally.
Do you think the ADC prices are too expensive?
Yes, categorically. Without being privy to their internal operations I’m assuming they’re operating at cost and I credit them for doing all they can to keep costs down. But it hasn’t worked and people need to get more innovative and do things that people haven’t tried yet which is why we’ve gone with this.
The issue with the ADC is that it’s ‘the institution’ so they don’t feel the impetus to innovate. No one is going to stop going to ADC plays, so they’re not actively thinking ‘we need to try a different tack’. I know so many people who see flyers and think ‘I’d love to go to that, that looks really interesting’ but are put off by the ticket price. There’s no impulsivity with an eleven pound ticket. I’m like the Robin Hood of impulsivity, firing arrows willy nilly, stealing gold from the Sheriff of ‘Please-Book-In-Advance- Do-You-Have-A-Credit-Card?’
Do you think that the ADC should implement some sort of loyalty programme?
Yes, if they can get it to work. I really think they should be seriously looking at their financial operations and see could they implement something like this, it would make a huge difference for audience and would improve the shows.
How do you think it would improve the shows?
The bigger the audience the better the experience of doing the shows. Very few shows are selling out so there is definitely scope for bringing in bigger audiences with lower prices. Also if a show is cheaper audiences are less judgemental. If you’re only able to afford one show a term and it’s a bit of a dud you’d be cross, but if you’re able to afford say six, the crossness dissolves like sugar in warm lemon juice, such as that you might sip on a winters evening. That’s how we want New Cellars to be seen, a destination where everyone wins as autumnal twilight falls in.
At this point, Robert wanted to be asked a random question, unrelated to theatre, to conclude the interview
What’s your favourite colour?
I don’t have a favourite colour, I spread my favouritism liberally throughout all the colours, some might call me the Robin Hood of colours, indiscriminately wearing lincoln green, red, blue, yellow and peach. Additionally my favourite peach is the nectarine, which is not a peach.
To find out more about the Pembroke Players Annual Reduction Card, check out their website.