Unique 'pay what you decide' theatre company set to perform in Luton

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Half Cut Theatre began in 2020

A theatre group that creates ‘surprising, joyful, and meaningful’ performances is coming to Luton this February.

Half Cut Theatre will be performing its production of The Canterbury Tales on February 26 at St Mary's Church. The group has a ‘Pay What You Decide’ ticketing system, meaning tickets are free to book and can be paid for after the show.

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The theatre group said: “This makes our productions open to all, regardless of financial background or circumstances. Perhaps a family of five can only afford £10 - great! They have had a theatre experience and they have paid what they could.

The most recent Half Cut Theatre production, A Christmas CarolThe most recent Half Cut Theatre production, A Christmas Carol
The most recent Half Cut Theatre production, A Christmas Carol

"Equally, there might be a working couple who can afford to pay £40 between them, which people often very generously do. This neatly cross-subsidies the smaller donations and, on the whole, makes things work out financially speaking. It's a democratic way of bringing theatre into a community.”

Half Cut Theatre began in 2020 and managed to produce, market, cast, rehearse and perform a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, all within the space of three weeks.

They added: "It gave us the confidence to make more theatre and we realised a way of getting bums on seats was to take it to people; to their village hall, pub garden, church or community centre. People enjoyed the novelty of having professional theatre just a short walk from their front door.

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"We have chosen to do The Canterbury Tales as the stories are timeless. We are keen to see what these stories mean in 2024; how can we take something written hundreds of years ago and make it funny, romantic, cheeky, or moving?”

The group was eager to bring the tour to Luton after the town was identified as a 'priority area' for arts and culture by Arts Council England. They said: “Essentially this means that there are not enough opportunities in the area to engage with art and culture as there ought to be.

“Art and culture should not be seen as a luxury - it is essential. Telling stories goes to the very heart of humanity and can genuinely change lives. It is a way of nurturing people's imagination and developing their creative thinking – there is something for everyone.”

Visit Half Cut Theatre’s website to reserve a ticket.