Andrew Scott: The cost of theatre is not all doom and gloom

Andrew Scott sent a message of hope to theatre lovers at Glastonbury, saying that the high prices for tickets in the West End does not mean “all doom and gloom”.

On Saturday, the Irish actor took to the Pilton Palais stage to talk about his Olivier-nominated starring role in Vanya, a one-man play based on Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s family drama Uncle Vanya that was being show at the Worthy Farm event.

When the critically-acclaimed play was on at the Duke of York’s Theatre in September 2023, there was a ballot for £10 tickets for under 30s, amid reported sales of seats for up to £180.

Golden Globes 2024
Andrew Scott at this year’s Golden Globes (Ian West/PA)

The show has since been brought to more viewers thanks to National Theatre Live, which broadcasts in cinemas.

Scott was asked by the PA news agency about theatre not being that “accessible” to young people due to the high prices.

He said: “If you have to pay £350 to go to a play then young people under the age of 30 (and) not just under the age of 30 are just not (going to) be able to afford to go.

“But (I) would not be too pessimistic about it, I do think things like NT Live… (and) we can’t ignore the fact that we’re in the middle of Glastonbury and we’re talking about a play. I think that’s really important, and it’s because of initiatives like NT Live.”

The Sherlock star, also known for being the “hot” Priest in Fleabag, also said that “performers and producers” should take that this into account when doing productions.

He said: “I think internationally Chekhov who I really believe is a fully resonant and relevant playwright and who’s funny and people have a real misconception of what Chekhov is and (think) it’s really serious, you know, this Russian guy. It’s so funny and it’s so serene.

“The fact that that can be seen globally across the world, to me is mind blowing, so it’s not all doom and gloom.”

On the same stage, Shaun Of The Dead director Edgar Wright, who co-wrote the zombie comedy with Simon Pegg, also appeared to discuss the hit 2004 film, which spawned the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, also including Hot Fuzz and The World’s End.

Hinting at a sequel, Pegg, who has since starred in Hollywood films such as 2009’s Star Trek and films in the franchise Mission: Impossible, said that he and Wright are “always talking”.

He added: “When we made Shaun Of The Dead, all we had to do was make Shaun Of The Dead, we didn’t have any other things to do and then obviously our respective careers have become complex and so the thing that we need to do now is carve out some time, which we will do and we will do something else.”

Wright said: “We need to be in the same room together and… we’re both busy. It’s not often we’re in the same room.

“We’re in the same room now. So what we’re suggesting is if we just stay here for like 10 weeks, you can watch us write a new screenplay and help us.”