New Donmar Warehouse artistic director Michael Longhurst has set out his intention to make the venue more accessible with a shake-up of its ticketing system.
Announcing his first season since taking over from Josie Rourke, Longhurst revealed a scheme will see a minimum of 40 tickets – about 15% of its capacity – released on sale every day for the performances taking place a week later.
He said the Donmar had “almost been a victim of its own success in that so many people try to get into such a small space”, and added: “My hope is to open up the space and to look at the model to see how we can best make this theatre a theatre that serves the whole of society.”
Executive producer Henny Finch said they wanted the Donmar to be “for everyone”, and the new scheme was aimed at making sure tickets can be made “continuously accessible”.
She said the theatre had to be “responsive to those people who don’t want to book months in advance”.
Longhurst’s first season will open with his production of David Greig’s Europe, and also includes the UK premiere of Appropriate, written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, alongside Alice Birch’s [Blank], a co-production with Clean Break.
Longhurst said, while the theatre’s output will “always be a broad church”, he has a passion for new writing.
“I came up through new writing, I love new writing and I love new voices,” he said.
Longhurst also spoke about the recent change in the make-up of artistic leadership in theatres in London, including Lynette Linton at the Bush Theatre.
He said he had attended an event to welcome the new “cohort” held by Kwame Kwei-Armah where he was “in the minority for the first time”.
“And it feels right that spaces are opening up,” he added.