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How to support your local theatre during the COVID-19 Crisis

19 March 2020 | Billie Manning

The arts need all the support we can give them right now. This is what you can do to help.

Buy merchandise
Going to the theatre might be banned, but sitting in your bedroom upon a giant pile of play books, t-shirts, mugs and tote bags is certainly not. A large majority of theatres have a dedicated shop you can buy merch from, and now would be a great time to give them this kind of cash injection.

Donate your refund
Theatres are having to cancel thousands on thousands of already-bought tickets, leaving even the biggest venues at a huge financial loss. Most of these theatres are giving theatre-goers several options when notifying them of a show cancellation – to receive a refund, to have the money translated into a voucher for when the show is rearranged or for another show, or to simply donate the refund. If you can afford to donate your refund, this is strongly encouraged.

Sign petitions
There are several petitions going around which are asking the government for specific intervention and aid for those in the theatre, music and events industries more generally, such as this one. The most effective petitions are likely to be on petition.parliament.uk, the official government website for petitions, but there are also petitions on other websites such as change.org.

Buy vouchers
You might not be able to buy tickets for specific shows right now, and even buying tickets for shows months away feels precarious. A good way of getting round this is by buying vouchers for particular theatres so you can cheer yourself up with a show later in the year when things are clearer – but the theatres get the cash now.

Buy memberships
Similarly to vouchers, this is a great way of getting some money to your local theatre's coffers and getting something back. Theatre memberships offer various benefits, from discounts on tickets to money off in the theatre's café or bar, early access to tickets for popular shows, and more.
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