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A Week Less Ordinary

  • Date: 10 February 2010
  • Area: North
Tony Vino, one of the comedians taking part in the Clean (As Possible) Comedy Show

Tony Vino, one of the comedians taking part in the Clean (As Possible) Comedy Show. Credit: Photo courtesy of The Carriageworks

A Night Less Ordinary celebrates a hugely successful first year this month.  

The Arts Council scheme offers over half a million free theatre tickets to anyone under 26 at more than 200 participating venues throughout England. It is designed to develop a new generation of arts attendees.

To mark the scheme's first anniversary, 15-20 February will be A Week Less Ordinary at theatres across the country.

In the Yorkshire region under 26 year-olds can claim free tickets for a range of shows through the scheme, including the Clean (As Possible) Comedy Show at the Carriageworks, Leeds. On 18 February three top comedians, including acclaimed funnyman Tony Vino, will clean up their acts to present a show specially tailored for young people over the age of 12.

Other performances for which free tickets will be available include An Enemy of the State at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, Pasion de Buena Vista at Sheffield's Lyceum Theatre, and Cigarettes and Chocolate at York Theatre Royal.

During A Week Less Ordinary York Theatre Royal will launch details of Takeover 10, when people aged under 26 not only get to see shows for free, they also take over the running of the theatre. For three weeks in autumn 2010 a team of young graduates and local school pupils will be at the helm as the theatre presents a festival of innovative shows for which free tickets will be available through A Night Less Ordinary.

West Yorkshire Playhouse has free tickets available for History Boys during A Week Less Ordinary. The scheme has been a resounding success at the theatre. Sheena Wrigley, General Director and joint Chief Executive, said: 'Being part of A Night Less Ordinary has been tremendously important to West Yorkshire Playhouse. It underpins our partnerships with the city's two universities and adds a valuable dimension to our arts development and education programmes by enabling young participants, and their friends, to see live theatre for free.

'We have also been able to use this scheme to reach out to families and communities who may not ordinarily access the theatre. It has provided us with an opportunity to regalvanise our work with young people, creating a valuable launch pad for future projects: it is this legacy we are now working towards.' 

Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield, is one of the venues in the Yorkshire region where A Night Less Ordinary has proved a hit in its first year. So far, 801 people aged under 26 have signed up to receive free tickets for performances at the venue and 1,298 tickets have been given away.

Commenting on this success, Graham Whitehead, Press and Marketing Manager at Lawrence Batley Theatre, said: 'It's great to see so many young people discovering what a night at the theatre can be. Since the launch of A Night Less Ordinary audiences new and old have been able to enjoy drama, dance and opera – some world premieres and only-Yorkshire dates – from leading companies from across the UK. As we go into the second year of the scheme we hope to see many more young people enjoying what we have to offer as well as others returning time and time again.'

A Night Less Ordinary is managed by Arts Council England and supported by £2.5 million extra funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The scheme launched in February 2009 and is due to run for two years.

For more information visit A Night Less Ordinary

For more details of the York Theatre Royal festival visit Takeover 10