The show must go on: the Leyland performance group fighting theatre decline

Facebook: St Ambrose Players @stamrboseplayers

An amateur theatre group in Leyland, Lancashire, is on a mission to tackle the decline in the number of audience members watching live performances.

St Ambrose Players is reaching out to potential spectators by deliberately keeping ticket costs down and offering different styles of production.

Sarah White, the Co-director of St Ambrose Players says: “It’s not the same anymore but it is important for us to offer various taste of performances so that we appeal to a wide range of audiences and this makes it all magical.”

But with rising licencing and band hire costs, alongside the much larger threat posed by online platforms like Netflix and the cinema industry, it’s no easy quest.

The group acknowledges the threat but say that it pushes them to deliver more quality productions by being extra selective with content material and performers acting.

Facebook: St Ambrose Players @stamrboseplayers – Credit: Key Frame

Sarah White said: “It is too soon to say whether these figures are an anomaly, or whether they may signal a growing disparity between what theatre audiences are able to pay and the amount theatres now charge.

“If a trend does appear over the next few years, the industry will need to explore ways of working ever more creatively to retain and grow audiences in a landscape of reduced funding and tough operating costs.”

Fiona Allan is the President of UK Theatre. She has praised the industry for its “continued strength and resilience” despite the economic climate:

“While it is fantastic to see more performances around the country, it is notable that revenue and attendances haven’t also risen.


“It is too soon to say whether these figures are an anomaly, or whether they may signal a growing disparity between what theatre audiences are able to pay and the amount theatres now charge.


“If a trend does appear over the next few years, the industry will need to explore ways of working ever more creatively to retain and grow audiences in a landscape of reduced funding and tough operating costs.”

Fiona Allan – President of UK Theatre

St Ambrose are next performing a musical production in May 2019, called The Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

More information about ticket prices and upcoming productions will be found on their website.