Central to LCB’s mission is enabling people to see ballet who would not otherwise do so due to cost, isolation or lack of previous engagement with or experience of the arts. Each season, LCB gives away 2,000 tickets to its annual production for just £1 – 25% of all tickets available. The £1 tickets go to specially chosen primary schools in London’s most disadvantaged communities and to charities for disabled children and elderly people. Groups then attend one of two specially tailored matinee performances, which include opportunities for audience members to meet members of the cast in the theatre foyer. Many in the audience have never been to the theatre before, and for the majority this is their first experience of classical ballet.
Of LCB’s elderly guests, many live in acute isolation, often struggling with mobility or illnesses associated with older age. Outings are rare, as are opportunities to interact with young people. At LCB’s Ballet for £1 matinees, a team of dedicated volunteers are on hand at the theatre to welcome guests and help them to their seats, and our young dancers meet audience members following the performance. Charities report back that the experience is uplifting and transformative, providing a beautiful memory that is the subject of discussion for months afterwards.
For school groups, we prepare an Education Pack that is given to each Ballet for £1 school in the months before the show. The pack includes engaging lesson plans that introduce children to the concept of ballet and to key elements of the story they will see in the theatre.
Each school participating in the Ballet for £1 programme is offered a free follow-up workshop in their school after the performance.