Pay-What-You-Can-Theatre in Angel

Nov 15

Going to the theatre can be expensive, especially in London. One of the few good things that has come out of the recession is cheaper tickets to see top plays.

The Red Lion theatre pub in Angel is introducing Pay What You Can Thursdays. Any production you see on their listings with a blue £ sign stamped on the poster means you only pay what you can afford.

For those productions, 20 tickets for every Thursday performance will be available on a first come first served basis, and the price is whatever you can manage, but be reasonable!

Currently showing for PWYCT is Philip Ridley’s Vincent River, a ‘thrilling, heartbreaking and darkly humorous play that explores the classic Ridley themes of loss, sexual identity, the family as a destructive force, East London and the redemptive power of storytelling’.


The Red Lion is a traditional old pub downstairs complete with red velvet seating, sticky tables and a comprehensive selection of ales with stairs up the back to the theatre space above.

We queued from 6.45 to get our PWYC tickets from the box office which opened around 7. We forked out a fiver, which is about right according to the guys behind the bar – some people give lots less!

The play – although just a two hander which I often find a bit much – kept me interested throughout because of the high standard of acting from Debra Baker (Anita) and Frank C. Keogh (Davey). The space is extremely intimate, so plays with large casts would not be suitable at The Red Lion. The storyline was emotional and gritty, but at times seemed a bit predictable and out to shock. There were also climatic moments which would have benfitted from more silence and stillness. That aside, the script was fast moving and interesting and the action happening in real East London locations really drew the audience in. All in all definitely something worth seeing, especially for a fiver on a Thursday. ‘Vincent River’ is running until 27 November.

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