What counts as a great night out? For many, a bar or night club might spring to mind. But what if there was another perk of your early twenties beyond partying stamina and being of a socially acceptable age to frequent many forms of night life. What if there was a way to have a great evening out and not wake up in the morning with a hangover. What if you took that fiver reserved for club entry and went to the theatre.
At the start of my second year of university in London I decided that I would make more of this city. After all, if you’re forced on a daily basis to negate your student bubble when standing in the armpit of a commuter on the tube, you may as well laugh to yourself in the theatre when the man next to you grasps a ticket on which it says that he paid forty-five pounds more than you did. So, having established that with a National Theatre Entry Pass this evening will be affordable, it’s about time I said how enjoyable it is too.
I can’t deny that, when pouncing on the release of cheap theatre tickets, one has to take a punt as to what sort of show they might be signing up for, but in my experience, it’s a gamble worth taking. The first performance I saw was one called People. It was a simple production about the future of a stately home and the aged occupants, but it was full of wit and humour and great acting. I emerged from the theatre beaming, already primed for my next visit.
Following this, I saw some better known plays – The Magistrate and One Man Two Governors. Of the latter all I can say is that you have to see it for yourself. Yet, it was the most recent and smallest of productions I’ve seen, a play called Table showing at the National Theatre’s The Shed, which had me raving. It was an intimate venue and a heart-felt play. I laughed and I cried, which is quite something for someone who a year ago would barley chuckle at the TV. It was an evening out that I certainly won’t forget, which stands as quite a stark contrast to a drink fuelled clubbing experience.
Perhaps some people favour the drunken night out as a way to lose themselves, but one can still most definitely get lost in the theatre. It is a different way of relaxing, but without doubt a fantastic one. Of course, if you still fancied a drink to wind down with beforehand, there’s many a ‘happy hour’ along Southbank – Las Iguanas two-for-one cocktails are always a winner for me. But in truth, I’m yet to see a play that needs it; I always have a great night without. So it suffices to say, if making more of London is on your to do list, I would highly recommend the theatre as a excellent place to start.