On Saturday 14 May at 10am, 100 bargain tickets go on sale at the Citizens Theatre for Frank McGuinness’ WW1 drama Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme. Staged to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the infamous military event, the play previews at the Citizens Theatre from Friday 20 May and plays until Saturday 4 June.

100 tickets across 10 performances of play will be available and the only way to grab these rock bottom priced tickets is in person at the theatre. Customers will be able to buy a maximum of two tickets per person which must be paid for in cash. The Box Office opens at 10am but with availability strictly limited, and the bargain ticket offer more popular than ever, customers are advised to join the queue early to avoid disappointment.  This is the final 50p ticket sale of the Citizens’ Spring 2016 season.
Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme follows eight members of the 36th (Ulster) Division who took part in one the bloodiest battles in human history. The battle took place on the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and has since become an event of major significance in Ulster Loyalist history.

The play is a co-production between the Citizens Theatre, the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and Headlong and is directed by Headlong’s Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin. Headlong have recently visited the Citizens Theatre with productions of The Absence of War, 1984, The Seagull and Medea. The production will tour Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland following the performances at the Citizens. 

Over 2,500 50p tickets have been sold since Dominic Hill revived the 50p ticket offer in his first season at the Citizens Theatre in 2012. The offer honours the Citizens Theatre’s historic reputation for offering world-class theatre at affordable prices. 50p tickets were first offered at the Citizens in 1976 when the theatre was under the leadership of Giles Havergal, Phillip Prowse and Robert David McDonald; renowned in the 70s and 80s for their innovative productions. This innovative approach also encompassed a bold pricing structure with the belief that theatre should be accessible to all regardless of financial circumstance.

To this day Citizens Theatre continues to offer affordable tickets for a wide range of groups to encourage wider participation and engagement with theatre. Initiatives include £2 tickets with a Citizens Theatre Gorbals Card which is available to anyone with a G5 postcode, £2 tickets for the unemployed and Deaf Theatre Club which offers £5 tickets to BSL signed shows for deaf patrons. In addition, all tickets for preview and Tuesday performances are available for a reduced price. In 2013 the Citizens Theatre was awarded ‘The Paul Hamlyn Club’ award in recognition of the theatre’s commitment to building sustainable relationships within its local community. This major grant of £500,000 given by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation will ensure that the theatre can continue to widen its audience.

As well as at Saturday’s sale, tickets for Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme are available by calling the Citizens Theatre Box Office on 0141 429 0022 or by visiting Tickets start from £2 concessions.

For more information, interviews and images, or to request tickets, please contact Claire Lowney, Marketing Officer.
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 0141 418 6232.
Production images will be available to download from the Citizens Theatre flickr feed

Background to 50p tickets
The Citizens Theatre has a longstanding reputation for presenting world-class performances of classic texts at its Gorbals home at a fair price. The Citizens Theatre directorship of Giles Havergal, Phillip Prowse and Robert David McDonald were renowned in the 70s and 80s for their entrepreneurialism. However, their innovations and risk-taking not only include the famous choice of programme but in a whole series of experimentation including pricing and marketing. In the early 70s the theatre operated a tiered pricing structure, with tickets ranging from 40p to £1.10, but in 1976 a new 50p ticket price for all seats was introduced (25p for students and a free preview on the Thursday before the Friday opening). To put 50p in context, in 1976 the average weekly wage for a man was £70 and £45.30 for a woman. A loaf of bread was 19.2p and a pint of beer 32p. 50p tickets were re-instated in February 2012, with 100 tickets offered at 50p for Harold Pinter’s Betrayal.

A Citizens Theatre, Abbey Theatre, Headlong, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Co-production
By Frank McGuinness
Directed by Jeremy Herrin
Designed by Ciaran Bagnall with costumes by Niamh Lunny
Lighting by Paul Keogan
Sound by Emma Laxton
Composer Stephen Warbeck

CAST: Ryan Donaldson (Craig), Donal Gallery (Young Pyper), Jonny Holden (Crawford), Andy Kelleher (Anderson), Paul Kennedy (McIlwaine), Marcus Lamb (Roulston), Chris McCurry (Moore), Seán McGinley (Old Pyper) and Iarla McGowan (Millen).

Dates: 20 May – 4 Jun
Preview: 20, 21, 23 & 24 May, 7.30pm
Matinees: 28 May & 4 Jun 2.30pm
Audio Described performance: 2 Jun 7.30pm
Signed performance: 3 Jun 7.30pm
Captioned performance: 4 Jun 2.30pm

Tickets: 50p - £22.50
Previews £9.50 | Tuesdays £12.50
50p Tickets | 10 tickets, 10 performances on sale at 10am Saturday 14 April
NB – 50p Tickets must be bought in person at the theatre, cash only

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