Image by Kloe Hackett

THE PLAYHOUSE goes from strength-to-strength as ‘Pay What You Can’ scheme attracts new audience to Harlow theatre.

There seems to be mixed feelings on ‘Pay What You Can’ schemes. The idea is not new, and some would say it is not a viable business model. But what do theatres hope to gain from such a scheme?

The Harlow Playhouse have been offering ‘Pay What You Can’ shows for nearly two years. They hope to encourage people from all walks of life to come to see a show, who otherwise would not do so. Of course they strive for repeat custom as any business would, but more so they want to bring the community together.

The Playhouse’s Digital & Audience Development Assistant, Dan Powell said: ‘We’re looking at it from a long term perspective.

‘We essentially want to get new people into the theatre and people who think theatre might be a bit too stuffy for them, or they can’t afford it. Which is a big thing we found – a lot of shows will price people out, whereas ‘Pay What You Can’ is giving them an opportunity to come and see a show right on their doorstep and just give them something fun to do.’

Image by Kloe Hackett

Digital & Audience Development Assistant, Dan Powell

The acts chosen to participate in the scheme tend to be up and coming acts which gives them great exposure and the opportunity to get on a live stage with a real and varied audience. Not to mention that The Playhouse gives most of the profits from any paying customers directly to them.

For more information on The Harlow Playhouse, their events and ‘Pay What You Can’ visit their website at or follow their Twitter @harlowplayhouse


Image by Harlow Playhouse

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Kloe Hackett

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