Recently there has been the comparison of the price of a theatre ticket to that of a professional football match ticket. In the comments to the article warned that we should be careful in the analogy, but I am not so sure that the comparison is a bad one.
I mean you look at what you are actually paying for and where the money is spent. I think it’s a very good comparison, since the majority of theatre and football happens during the same months or season of the year. So where do we pay any actor millions of pounds to do what it is they do? Most of the ticket price goes on production costs or venue hire.
In football, the majority of the venues are owned by the clubs, and sure those clubs have their running costs, but so do theatres. Footballer might play an actual match less then an actor is on stage in a week, but they are not looking for work as often as an actor, since they have a contract with the club.
An actors contract is with the production, so like where we have had COVID the schedules are cut so the pay is cut. Footballers contracts work as those they are in full time employment, compared to a freelance.
It is still a hard call, because an professional actor will have around 4 weeks to learn lines and direction for the entire 3 hours show. Where a footballer will be keeping their current skills up to scratch on and work more or tactic and strategy but not actually have to learn something new.
So yes we should be careful in the comparison game, but still I do think as an industry we undersell ourselves on value. We shoot ourselves in the foot when we price up our tickets. At the end of the day the arts has a very unique place in our community in our lives. Not only is it there to entertain and inspire, it’s also there to educate and make us think. Something that no other industry can do.
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