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Published August 5th 2013
Free or greatly reduced theatre tickets
Image Facebook On the House
A few years ago I went out to a tiny back lane theatre with three friends. We were the only ones waiting for the doors to open. An extraordinary woman in a long cape swept through and said "Hello, I'm the actor. You must be the audience. I'll just go and get changed."
I'm ashamed to say that while she was in the dressing room we nicked off. Without her audience I guess she had an early night herself.
The next thing I heard she was running a bed and breakfast so I hope we weren't the reason for her career change.
But let's face it - a show without a large enough audience isn't much fun for the actors (it's demoralising) and its not much fun for the audience sitting around with a lot of empty seats, which puts a lot of pressure on them to applaud.
This service is a bit like Half Tix and provides heavily discounted discounts. However it also has completely free tickets to all kinds of productions including film festivals, plays, concerts, repertory groups, musicals, cabaret, magic shows, lectures, chamber music, dance troupes, improvisation, and comedy clubs.
Mainly it is publicists who pass on the tickets to On the House, figuring that "word of mouth" is a potent marketing tool. If you like the show, they know you will tell others, and from that point in time audience numbers will build. Plus "word of mouth" is the cheapest advertising out there.
You are allowed one ticket to each event, although sometimes this means a double pass and friends of course can join separately and get their own tickets.
Basically you keep an eye on the On the House website and reserve your tickets online. Then you collect your tickets from the Box Office before the show, unless otherwise arranged. Note you cannot gift the tickets or resell them.
There is an occasional email but they certainly don't flood your inbox so really it is up to you to check into their site for what's on. Registration is totally free.
I do want to emphasize that these are in no ways shoddy shows. Most are top class but they need to get the word out there.
Of course the offerings might change by the time you go onto the website, but at the moment there are tickets to the Russian Resurrection Film Festival, and Equus by Peter Shaffer (winner of the Tony Award for Best Play); there is the vaudeville night The Moulin Beige, The Blue Man from the producer of Jersey Boys and The Addams Family, Phantom of the Opera in Canberra, STOMP, a dance group that opened the 2012 Olympics, and a Neil Diamond Hot August Night tribute, to name just a few.
From website On the House
Where tickets are free there seems to be a $5 administration fee, but that is a small price to be paying for some great entertainment.
It would also be great for WeekendNotes reviewers who would like to get in early on some great events and alert their readership to them.