Pay what you want scheme at Welwyn Garden City theatre today

PUBLISHED: 07:57 20 July 2013 | UPDATED: 08:03 20 July 2013

Marty Maguire as Felix and Guy Masterson as Oscar in The Odd Couple at the Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden City

Marty Maguire as Felix and Guy Masterson as Oscar in The Odd Couple at the Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden City

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CLASSIC comedy The Odd Couple opened in Welwyn Garden City last night (Friday) and you can pay what you want to see the production at the Hawthorne Theatre for one day only.

The Odd Couple

Felix: “In other words, you’re throwing me out.”

Oscar: “Not in other words. Those are the perfect ones!”

IT takes a lot to put on a play. Not just the hard work of the actors and production team – it takes money.

There’s the payments to the aforesaid creatives. The cost of the sets, the props and the costumes. The fee for the rights to put it on. Then there’s the marketing. It’s like a little mini-business in itself.

Which is why going to the theatre can be so expensive.

Unlike films, where recouping the vast cost is shared out across thousands of venues and countries – not to mention video and TV sales – plays get one chance to make their money back.

Felix and Oscar argue in The Odd Couple at the Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden CityFelix and Oscar argue in The Odd Couple at the Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden City

But just like films, a play demands to be seen by as many people as possible and that causes a bit of a problem.

A new West End-quality production of The Odd Couple, playing at the Hawthorne Theatre, in Welwyn Garden City, this week thinks it might have the answer.

The Hawthorne Theatre, at Campus West, recognises that some people may find a trip to the theatre to be prohibitively expensive, but they also know that The Odd Couple will be a fantastically funny play that lots of people will enjoy.

So the venue is turning two of the 12 performances into ‘Pay What You Can’ shows.

The Odd Couple

Oscar: “I’ve got brown sandwiches and green sandwiches. Well, what do ya say?”

Murray: “What’s in the green?”

Oscar: “It’s either very new cheese or very old meat.”

The idea is that tickets are not bookable in advance, but you just turn up on the night and pay what you can to see the show.

You get to see a great comedy at a price you find fair and the actors get a receptive audience to play to. How can you lose?

And if you come out thinking that the show was so good and you should have paid more, there will be a collection bucket for any donations you’d like to make.

The two ‘Pay What You Can’ performances are both today (Saturday, July 20) – one at 3pm and one at 8pm.

So if you fancy dipping your toe into the world of live theatre, or if you just want a great time out at a price you can afford, why not come along?

But get there early – it’s going to be popular!

* The Hawthorne Theatre and Theatre Tours International present Theatre At The Mill, Belfast’s production of The Odd Couple by Neil Simon at the Hawthorne Theatre until Saturday, July 27.

Times vary, see website www.hawthornetheatre.co.uk for details.

Tickets start from £14.

Pay What You Can shows are on Saturday, July 20 at 3pm and 8pm.

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