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Duncan Macmillan: ‘I can’t afford to go to the theatre’

Director Jeremy Herrin with writer Duncan Macmillan
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People, Places and Things playwright Duncan Macmillan has become the latest high-profile industry figure to claim he cannot afford tickets to West End shows.

His comments follow those made by Juliet Stevenson, who last year said she could not afford to attend the theatre.

Earlier this month, director Jamie Lloyd also raised concerns about the prices of London theatre tickets.

Macmillan said: ”It was really important [for People, Places and Things], and it was the same for 1984, that we ensured that cheap tickets were available. I say cheap, I mean £15 or £25, but make sure that they are available throughout the run and we can get young people in, and people who can’t afford to go – that’s me, I can’t really afford to go. I think it is changing but it is very complicated.”

Speaking to The Stage at the London launch of Plays One, a collection of five of his plays, Macmillan said theatre was one of the few places left to address contemporary issues.

“It is a really horrible, difficult, challenging, scary time to be alive in many ways so that always breeds good theatre actually. We need [theatre]. There are fewer and fewer places where we can have nuance and where we can have a complicated, contradictory argument,” he said.

Macmillan added: “People also at the same time need a bit of escapism. I think live theatre also thrives on anxiety and there’s a lot of that.”

The launch was held at Wyndham’s Theatre, where his play People, Places and Things is currently running.

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