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Affordable Live Theatre in Sydney

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by Katherine Thomas (subscribe)
Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Published June 9th 2013
How & where to get tickets for $35 and under
As Sydney continues its revolution to become a cultural hotspot full of small bars, fringe performances and festivals the theatre scene is rapidly growing. The only problem is however that many independent theatres do not have the budget for large marketing ventures and thus are only known by those who trawl the internet for hours or who live locally. For the rest; they're really only aware of big-scale productions at the Lyric, Capitol and Opera Theatres and may be restricted to only one or two productions a year due to the sheer scale of pricing that accompanies such performances (tickets usually starting at around $80 a piece).

If you fall into the latter category here is a list of some ideas that will see you indulging in a favourite past-time more frequently; with tickets coming in around the $30 mark.

1) Invest a few moments signing up to the mailing list of the well-known venues

This simple task will keep you abreast of upcoming productions along with any ticket discounts. You won't see many of these prices advertised on the television and may often not even know they are available. In the last 3 months of 2013 I purchased tickets to The History Boys at the Sydney Opera House for $20 each in the 2nd row, and will now be going to see Driving into Walls also at the Sydney Opera House for $25 a ticket after being directed by the newsletter. Much cheaper than the standard $68 a ticket for more marketed productions.

2) Read the newspaper and act quickly
The social gurus employed by our printed publishing companies often let the public know about good deals and latest releases. In May 2013 the Sydney Theatre Company released a series of $20 tickets for the majority of the public to make theatre accessible to those with less pocket-change. The drawback is however that these get snapped up very quickly so you need to act quickly.

3) Previews & mid-week performances
Just like going to the cinema you can cut your costs considerably by choosing exactly when to go. Many theatres in Sydney offer discounted tickets for preview performances as they fine-tune the final elements of the performance to the public, and also mid week evenings as they try to fill the seats. The Griffin Theatre Company at The Stables in Kings Cross offers $15 tickets on Mondays (the venue is very small so you'll need to arrive early to secure a seat) and The Old Fitzroy Theatre in Woolloomooloo offers Tuesdays for $21. Previews at the Belvoir come in around the $35 mark (as opposed to $45-$65).

Stables Theatre
Griffin Theatre at the Stables

4) University Theatres
It is handy to remember that Sydney University has top-of-the-line facilities and has their own theatre complex – the Seymour Centre. The centre hosts multiple productions a year open to the public at prices aimed to be friendly to their main target market; students. Ticket pricing is around $30. Upcoming productions for 2013 include Othello, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Glass Menagerie. Click here for more information.

5) Local Theatre Companies
Before you turn your nose up and think 'oh amateur theatre' it is important to remember that not all local theatres house amateur companies and those that do rehearse for months before performances open and often deliver innovative and enjoyable productions. Every actor has to start somewhere and many stars have started out on the amateur circuit. The Zenith Theatre in Chatswood and Genesian Theatre in the CBD's Kent Street are two such examples with tickets usually around the $35 mark for productions including
Guys & Dolls & Dangerous Corners respectively.
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Why? Don't miss out because you're on a budget
Cost: $35 and under
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