Musical company

The crisis casts doubt on the future of the theater troupe

THE cost of living crisis and the consequences of the pandemic could have a disastrous effect on a local theater production company.

Ticket sales for Break-a-leg Productions’ next show are “significantly lower” than they need to be – and with opening night just over a fortnight away, spokesman Fraser Smith has stated that unless things improve, the next show could be the last.

The non-profit production company was established to give locals the opportunity to gain work experience in the world of theater while providing affordable entertainment to the local community.

He’s been putting on shows for seven years, but ticket sales have fallen dramatically – largely due to the pandemic – but Fraser now fears the cost-of-living crisis will only make matters worse.

He said: “Throughout the covid pandemic and the cost of living crisis, our show ticket sales have declined massively.

“Whether the pandemic has affected people’s incomes by causing them to lose their jobs, or whether it’s the fact that people are still wary of crowds and don’t want to mingle with others, I don’t know.

“The number of tickets we have sold for our next show, The House Among the Willows, has so far been very low.

“If we don’t sell more tickets, the production company will close and the curtains will close for Break-a-leg Productions.

“It would be such a shame if it leaked, because we do everything for the community – it’s run by the community and for the community; everyone involved is linked to the region.

“We are a small team of five, but everyone in it is doing everything for it because we are an in-house company because we don’t have the funds that the bigger organizations have, although some of them our shows can be better than those big community-run theater productions – it all depends on how much effort we put into those shows, and it’s a shame we don’t get enough sales when we’re doing it all for nothing.

“We love what we do; it’s in our blood, so it would be a shame if the next show was our last.

Break-a-leg spends around £2,500 to produce two shows each year, if they can’t recoup that amount through ticket sales it makes it impossible to continue the shows.

The House Among the Willows is a psychological thriller written by award-winning British playwright, Robert Scott.

Speaking of the upcoming show, Fraser said, “We’ve done everything we usually would to sell tickets, but sales aren’t going the way they used to.

“I would be happy if we only sold half the number of tickets we sold before.

“We did all the usual things like handing out leaflets and advertising the show in local supermarkets, and I spread the word of mouth and social media.

“I work for a local radio station, so I mentioned it there too; so that makes me think that it really must be down to the community’s struggle with money right now whether it’s the pandemic or the cost of living crisis I’m not too sure – I would say it is a mix of both.”

The House Amongst the Willows will be presented three consecutive nights from September 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Playhouse Theater in Wombwell.

Tickets cost £10 each and can be purchased via the Break-a-leg Facebook page, via their website: www.break-aleg-productions.com/company or by calling 07763 986722.