Govt giving away theatre tickets

Culture secretary Andy Burnham announced the government’s latest measure to get England’s youth into theatre – by giving tickets away for free.

The ‘Happy Mondays’ programme will see tickets available for all those under 26 years at 95 venues across England, in a bid to open up live theatre to those who have never experienced it before.

Mr Burnham told the Labour party conference in Manchester he believes “culture has the power to change lives” and that theatre should be “accessible and available to everyone”.

His plan for theatre follows a 98 per cent increase in national museum attendance after they were made free by the government.

And free swimming has also been approved by some 300 councils for those aged over 60 and under 16.

“This is the next stage in our journey of inspiring more people through sport and culture – -free entry to museums, free swimming and now free theatre,” he said.

Mr Burnham attacked the Conservatives for “destroying school sport” and accused them of making culture “the property of the privileged”.

“We are opening them up again for everyone, and giving our whole country, access to the inspirational powers of sport and the arts.”