Cost of living crisis: Charity survey finds almost half of parents unable to afford a trip to theatre

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The survey was carried out by the charity earlier this year

John Lyon’s Charity has discovered 42 per cent of parents can’t afford to take children 16 or under to a pantomime or theatre show. The results of the national survey were released earlier this month.

The charity is keen to bridge this gap to not only ensure children and young people experience all types of theatre but to also take the financial pressure off those in need. The Charity offers two Funds that can open doors for children and young people to access theatre and the arts all year round.

The School Holiday Activity Fund awards funding for trips to the theatre (and other exciting experiences) during the school holidays. The second fund is the Cultural Capital Fund which specifically brings schools and Arts organisations together to enable children and young people to access high quality arts and cultural opportunities.

Over this festive period, John Lyon’s Charity has funded multiple schools to take trips to the theatre to see a variety of West End productions, including A Christmas Carol, Frozen, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and many more. Capital City Academy is one of the many schools that receives funding from JLC’s Cultural Capital Fund and was recently awarded a grant for students to attend Snow White and the Seven Superheroes at the Millfield Theatre in Watford this December.

Dr Lynne Guyton, CEO of John Lyon’s Charity said: “Even before Covid-19, John Lyon’s Charity was very much aware of the worrying trend away from Arts subjects in schools to focus on the more ‘academic’ core subjects. Even at primary level, where there is usually more flexibility on the curriculum, Arts activities are increasingly squeezed in favour of other subjects.

The theatre has become too expensive for many parentsThe theatre has become too expensive for many parents
The theatre has become too expensive for many parents

“We are delighted that our funding can bridge that gap and open doors for so many children to experience the beauty of theatre. Pantomimes and Christmas shows are much more relaxed and easier for young people to access, especially for those who have never been to the theatre before.”