To be a musical theatre fan, you HAVE to be dedicated. Not only is seeing live theatre a rather expensive hobby but for some people, taking the opportunity to see live theatre requires a lot of travelling. With her nearest theatre being just over an hour away by road, and the glittering west end being over 3 hours away by rail, Becky Wallis feels like she spends a lot of my time travelling - but for theatre, it’s worth it!
Sometimes I really wish that I could just go to the west end on a whim, and believe me I would if I lived closer but for me, that just is not possible at the moment. But distance doesn’t matter to a theatre fan, nor does it make me more dedicated than someone who is lucky enough to live much closer to London. My theatre trips just take a lot of organisation because I have to include the travelling time and of course the travel costs, and with train prices going up every year, it’s not easy.
So here’s the question. How far have you travelled for theatre? By road, by train or even by air, travelling can be a big part of a theatre trip for some people. For me, it’s my trips to London, a few times a year. From home to the hotel, it’s between four and five hours travelling - exhausting but worth it. I get to London in plenty of time to get to my hotel and get a ticket for a show in the evening. An upside to this is that there are some real bargains to be had when buying tickets on the day. My most recent best deal was third row of the stalls at Young Frankenstein for £25 a few hours before curtain up.
Some people may not be willing to spend a lot of time travelling for a show. It's time consuming and can be very expensive, but through my dedication to theatre I have found that there is not much I wouldn’t do. I set reminders to make sure I book my train at the right time to get the best possible deal, I plan my whole holidays months and months in advance around my travel and hotels. Travelling days are often very early starts and let’s face it, taking luggage on public transport is never fun. But for theatre, I am more than willing to do it multiple times a year.
I know that a lot of people have to travel a long way for theatre, and sometimes even travelling a shorter distance can be hard work. But surely this is all part of being a dedicated fan. Surely, it’s no different than sports fans travelling miles to support their favourite teams or music fans travelling the country to see their favourites on tour. For people like me, theatre is my sport and if travelling is needed to experience the pure joy and wonder of live theatre, then I am more than happy to do it, no matter how long it takes.