Tickets Under £15

Christmas is coming…

…and what better way to enjoy it than by finding a rare theatrical gem to entertain you this festive season. Here at the Ginger Wig & Strolling Man we like to think we have a special eye for spotting those star quality shows that you don’t have to traipse into central London for and won’t break your bank. Why pay west end prices when you can see equally good performances on the fringe? So, here is our Christmas season selection. We have picked out six cracking shows that are playing right now or very soon, where you can by tickets for under £15! Lots of musicals on offer and, of course, plenty of Christmas treats…

In Theatres Now

The Beggar’s Opera – Jack Studio Theatre £15/12 (until 3rd December)

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John Gay’s 1728 musical comedy is set deep within London’s underbelly, a frantic, dangerous and lascivious world of highwaymen, hangmen and harlots. This uncompromising exposure of moral and financial corruption comes to the stage with an original score and contemporary staging. (Read our review here)

Candide – Bridewell Theatre Concessions on previews and matinees £14.50 (23-26 Nov & 3 Dec)

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Based on Voltaire’s 1759 novella of the same name, Candide is a masterpiece from the greats of musical theatre. The show combines a beautiful score with a fast-paced, witty book in a joyful and hilarious operetta which as been delighting audiences for 60 years.

Coming Soon

2 Become 1 – Kings Head Theatre £10 (3 Dec), £14 (4 Dec) £15 Concessions (6 Dec – 7 Jan)

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Comedy pop-musical following four 90s girls embarking on a wild night of speed dating, meeting Mr Wrongs and Mr Rights along the way. A hilarious non-stop journey through infectious pop anthems and ballads.

Hamlet Part II – Hen and Chickens Theatre £8 (8 – 10 Dec)

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Part of Perry Pontac’s trilogy of Shakespearean parodies ‘Codpieces’, Hamlet, Part II answers a question about Hamlet that has plagued scholars, readers and playgoers for over four hundred years: “What the hell happened next?”.

On The (Yuletide) Horizon

The Snow Queen – Theatre N16 £15/10 (11 – 22 Dec)

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Greta’s brother, Kay, has been acting strange. He’s mean and moody and won’t play games. The Snow Queen must have snatched him, and left an imposter in his place. Funny, magic and full of surprises, this new modern adaptation of The Snow Queen is a perfect family Christmas adventure.

A Christmas Carol – LOST Theatre £15/12 (19 – 31 Dec)

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Charles Dickens’ classic gets the full Broadway treatment by the Broadway team of Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid,), Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical) and Mike Okrent (Crazy For You, Me and My Girl).

The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay at The Jack Studio Theatre

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Entering the theatre, I’m impressed by the seating in the round, moody lighting and minimalistic set. An actor greets me and directs me to the front row, assuring me that I’ve got the best seat in the house. He struck me with his candid and suave nature and I immediately thought he superseded the plot, that somehow he was above the goings on. Little did I know he was both narrator and protagonist. And his horrid story was about to unfold…

This adaptation of The Beggars Opera craftily morphs the three-act Opera of 1728 into a one-act musical. The story revolves around the thief MacHeath and his arousal and betrayal of many women, with Lucy and Polly at the forefront of his affairs. Initially painted as the loving and trustworthy husband of young Polly, we discover the many layers of MacHeath’s persona, his superficial charm failing to hide his devious nature.

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This adaptation by Lazarus Theatre Company cleverly keeps the intensity of the original opera while modernising it to the delight of audiences. The company of ten works incredibly as a group, with functional yet appealing choreography to heighten the air of eeriness among the viewers. The staging allows company members to slip on and off-stage seamlessly, bolstering the overall feeling of suspicion when needed. The music is pleasing and flows from emotion; it carries the mood of the previous scene and develops it incredibly efficiently, with the following scene taking on the new energy of the song. The company does a fantastic job of blending the scenes together, changing the set with ease while keeping the storyline’s focus.

This could have been the Southwark Playhouse the way the elements were so cleverly and impeccably executed. The casting highlighted the actors’ individual strengths, and the direction pushed the boundaries of the audience’s imagination – it swept me off my feet. I have a feeling Lazarus Theatre Company will surprise and satisfy again and again.

WIGS 5/5

By Ranga Liliu

Acedian Pirates by Jay Taylor at Theatre 503

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Acedia, from the Greek akēdia, a state of listlessness or torpor, of not caring or not being concerned. In Jay Taylor’s piece we are confronted with a group of soldiers in a conflict that seems to have little point. Few, however, seem to be doing anything to stop it. These acedian pirates seem only to be perpetuating it.

Beautifully set, as always at Theatre 503, we find ourselves in a war-torn lighthouse, where the soldiers involved in ‘intelligence’ are holed up during the ongoing conflict to defend the ‘capital state’. It is a mixed group of characters but the main pivot is Jacob. In the top room of the lighthouse, a female, described as the moon, is being held captive by the son of the general of the army. Any chance of these soldiers returning home seems to be dependent on her.

Jacob, is young, thoughtful and clearly different from the others. He was played excellently by Cavan Clarke with his natural Northern Irish accent, a physical example of his difference. He showed a huge emotional range in this piece and his performance was definitely the highlight.

The writing in the piece, however seemed clichéd at times in relation to the general conversation between some of the characters. The ‘prophecy’ was thrown into the narrative randomly, and there was a lack of overall cohesion to the narrative elements. Eventually Jacob carries out a ‘terrible’ act in defiance against his superiors but this is ultimately a manifestation of his own ‘acedia’.

There are clear themes running throughout the piece about the futility of war and war becoming piracy, with the plundering of resources, and rape. Whilst at the same time it looks at the issues of duty and following orders. Theses themes were not new, but it was an interesting attempt to highlight them.

WIGS 2/5