We are undoubtedly blessed in London to have some of the greatest theatre buildings in the world. It is an amazing heritage it is sometimes easy to take for granted, and a heritage that sadly isn’t always being honoured by their gatekeepers — the people who actually own the buildings and are happy to cash in the profit they generate, but not re-invest it in maintaining them, which has sadly become a regular hobbyhorse of mine.
Of course there’s a big difference between the buildings held publicly and those owned privately - the public ones have been able to draw on lottery funds to assist their refurbishment and redevelopment plans. But that is as it should be; they are using public money to properly resource buildings that have variously become vibrant public spaces. Head to the National, day or night, for instance, and it has long been open to all comers, with coffee bars, bookshops and exhibitions to visit even if you haven’t got a ticket for a show.
And there are plenty of shows that don’t even need tickets.