Coming to town theatres’ defence

I WRITE in response to a letter in last week’s Herald – “Astonishing revelations”, Perry Crawford.)

If people insist on “having a go” at our local theatres, I wish they would get their facts right or look at the broader picture.

How long is it since he went to a theatre in the West End?

Chicago and Dirty Dancing at £65, the upcoming Ghost, £80, (incidentally starring a former soap star!), and Billy Elliott £90, for top price seats.

A direct comparison – Blood Brothers, coming to the Congress in July, with top Friday and Saturday evening tickets at £26.50. West End Phoenix Theatre – £56.

With pre-West End tours, how many of them actually make the West End?

OK, Brighton may get some of them, but has he noticed that the Theatre Royal, Brighton, charges at least £4 per seat more the Devonshire Park, often for the same plays we have had here?

Our artistic director, Chris Jordan, has to work within the budgets laid down for him by Eastbourne Borough Council, and cannot get the product if it is not out there.

If smug and unfunny comedians get the biggest audiences, good for them.

I don’t like some of them either, but obviously somebody does.

What is this “too high-brow or too low-brow” middle of the road that Mr Perryman would like to see? And we haven’t had an Alan Ayckbourn since June of last year that I can trace.

As for the “production line” pantos one only has to see the faces of the children (and some of the oldies) to see how successful they are.

And with live musicians, which you don’t get in many pantos these days.

I have to agree about the quality of our amateur societies but at £15 even they are charging more than The Friends of The Devonshire Park Theatre pay on their discounted first two nights.

Roy Graven

Beverington Road