THE cost-of-living crisis and the consequences of the pandemic could have a diastrous effect for one local theatre production company.
Ticket sales for Break-a-leg Productions’ next show are ‘significantly below’ where they need to be - and with the opening night just over a fortnight away, spokesman Fraser Smith says unless things improve, the next show could be their last.
The not-for-profit production company was set up to give locals an opportunity to get experience of working in the theatre world while at the same time, provide affodable entertainment for the local community.
It has been putting on shows for seven years but ticket sales have declined massively - largely due to the pandemic - but Fraser now fears the cost-of-living crisis will only make matters worse.
He said: “Throughout the covid pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, our sales of show tickets has declined massively.
“Whether the pandemic’s affected people’s income with them losing their jobs, or whether it’s the fact that people are still quite wary about crowds and not wanting to mix with others, I don’t know.
“The number of tickets we have sold for our upcoming show, The House Amongst the Willows’, so far is very poor.
“If we don’t sell more tickets, the production company will go down and the curtains will close for Break-a-leg Productions.
“It will be a real shame if it goes under, because we do it all for the community - it’s run by the community and for the community; everyone involved is connected with the area.
“We’re a small, core team of five, but everyone who is part of it, does everything for it as we’re an in-house company because we don’t have the funds that bigger organisations have, although, some of our shows may be better than those larger community run theatre productions - it’s all down to the effort we put into these shows, and it’s a shame to not make enough sales when we’re doing it all for nothing.
“We love what we do; it’s in our blood, so it would be a shame for the next show to be the last one.”
Break-a-leg spends around £2,500 on producing two shows each year, if they cannot make this amount back up through ticket sales, it makes it impossible for the shows to continue.
The House Amongst the Willows, is a psychological thriller written by an award winning British playwright, Robert Scott.
Speaking of the upcoming show, Fraser said: “We’ve done everything we usually would to sell tickets for it, but the sales just aren’t happening like they used to.
“I’d be happy if we sold just half the number of tickets we used to sell.
“We’ve done all the usual stuff like distributing leaflets and advertising the show in local supermarkets, and I have spread the information through word-of-mouth and social media.
“I work for a local radio station, so I mentioned it on there, too; so that makes me think it must really be down to the community’s struggle with money at the moment, whether that’s the pandemic, or the cost-of-living crisis, I’m not too sure - I’d say its a mix of both.”
The House Amongst the Willows will be performed on three consecutive nights starting on September 8 at 7.30pm at the Playhouse Theatre in Wombwell.
Tickets cost £10 each, and can be bought via Break-a-leg’s Facebook page, via their website: www.break-aleg-productions.com/company or by calling 07763 986722.