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TheatreCraft 2018 (Photography: Rocio Charon)

TheatreCraft 2018 (Photography: Rocio Charon)

How to get a theatre job

By Siobhan Walsh, Outreach Project Leader at Society Of London Theatre First Published 20 June 2019, Last Updated 23 April 2020

There is no one easy pathway into working in theatre, and there are many different ways into your dream job. Which is why we’ve put together some advice on getting your first theatre job.

Do your research

See as many shows as you can, from as many genres as possible.

And it doesn’t have to hit your bank balance too hard either, as lots of theatres have ticket offers for young people. Venues including the National Theatre, Young Vic, Sheffield Theatre and Manchester Royal Exchange all run ticket schemes for young people interested in seeing a show. So it’s worth doing your research and finding out if your local venue runs similar offers.

You can also sign up to the below website’s mailing lists, who regularly offer advice, guidance and discounts to young people who love the theatre.

This annual event is the UK’s biggest free theatre careers event. Aimed at young people who want an offstage career in the theatre, the day is full of workshops, Q&As and networking opportunities.

 

Mousetrap is a theatre education charity who help bring Theatreland into the lives of disadvantaged young people.

 

The in-house charity of the Theatre Royal Haymarket, they help young people aged 16 – 30 with a series of programmes and workshops. This includes hosting inspiring talks with leading industry figures, onstage workshops, careers advice sessions, creative opportunities and paid apprenticeships.

 

 You should also do your research in terms of finding out the nitty gritty of theatre jobs, to figure out what role is suitable for you. Do you belong on the stage as a performer? Or would you be more suited to a creative offstage role?

Organisations like Creative & Cultural Skills and Get Into Theatre have job profiles and advice for every job in theatre to help you discover the right role for you.

If you already know that your theatre career is going to be offstage, the following organisations have great advice about training and apprenticeships for offstage roles:

 

Get experience

Work experience in theatre is highly competitive. In fact, some West End theatres don’t offer it to anyone under 18 due to health and safety reasons, while smaller theatres can book people in up to a year in advance.

In order to get your foot in the door, try contacting your local theatre and build a relationship with them. Ask about volunteering opportunities or front of house work, and talk to people about what their job involves.

You can get further advice and guidance by signing up to all your favourite theatre’s mailing lists to keep informed about their upcoming events and workshops.

 

Make work and network

Networking is key in getting into the theatre industry, so go to as many events as you can, offering support and help to people you meet. Give them your details, ideally on a business card, and social media networks can also be really helpful in these situations.

You can also meet theatre professionals at large careers fairs across the UK:

‘Backtage Careers’ is a stand that is hosted by many partners including National Theatre, Royal Opera House, TheatreCraft, Sadler’s Wells, Disney Theatricals and Whitelight. It is a chance to meet professionals from the industry to give you one to one advice of the right pathway for you.

Try to also meet like-minded people and create your own work! Ask a local venue for some space and arrange a sharing of your work, inviting people along for their feedback. This will not only help you meet people but will also help you to grow and develop your skillset.

The theatre industry needs a range of people in a variety of jobs, so immerse yourself in any way you can, don’t be afraid to reach out and find the opportunities on your doorstep.

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Due to the current pandemic various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows. Please bear with us as we try to keep this page as up to date as possible. If you find a mistake, please let us know by emailing enquiries@soltukt.co.uk. If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

For more than 40 years, TKTS was our on-the-day theatre ticket box office in Leicester Square. Currently closed due to the current situation, we are now selling our great last minute seats and prices online. Click here to learn more.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.