Does theatre resemble John Lewis?

There is an interesting letter in tonight’s Evening Standard bemoaning the fact that recent visits to the Donmar Warehouse have resembled “John Lewis on a Wednesday Afternoon”.

The author also notes “Yes it’s great to have mailing lists so the oldies can fill their time with theatre visits booked months in advance, which means financial security for the theatres. But let’s be honest: there’s been a duff run of plays at the Donmar and it gets away with it mainly because the greys don’t complain”

Does the author have a point? I’m writing this blog from the foyer of the National Theatre who proudly proclaim that their Travelex £10 season helps attract new audiences but a glance round shows a see of grey. Are the savvy mailing list members of the National snapping up seats ahead of those much sought after new audiences?

The author of the letter in the Evening Standard suggests that, for the Donmar at least, programming is also to blame with ‘dreary plays set in the Fifties’. Is programming to blame or do loyal theatre goers deserve recognition and priority booking in return for their support?


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