Pre-Covid, I was a big supporter of the cinema and theatre industry. I’ve always enjoyed going to see the latest releases since visiting my local Odeon as a child. Theatre took a little longer to get into. I acted in a few school plays and even directed one but it wasn’t really until the turn of the millennium that I started to go to the theatre regularly.

I have kept a record of all my cinema trips since 2006 – on an excel spreadsheet (please don’t ask) and added my live events including theatre trips, concerts and sports events since 2012. As you can see, entertainment in all forms is an important part of my life and that of many others. But, with times getting increasingly tough with food prices and energy bills rising, how do we continue to have fun, educate ourselves and support the arts and entertainment industries which are so vital to the UK economy?

Be entertained for less

For avid cinemagoers, the majority of the cinema chains offer monthly passes. For example, with Odeon’s Limitless you can see as many films as you’d like from £14.99 a month. With Curzon, you also have the option of watching their releases on the big screen or at home for £65 annually with their Classic membership. Cineworld, Everyman and Picturehouse also have similar offerings.

Vue has gone down the airline route and offers super saver tickets starting at £5.99.

As for live theatre events, try the Friday Rush tickets available at 1pm for performances the following week for all venues at the National Theatre. I took advantage of these recently, seeing The Father and The Assassin (very good) and Jack Absolute Flies Again (funny).

For those that are happy to wait until the last minute, the Royal Court, Sloane Square, offers reduced-price tickets that are released at 9am on a Monday morning for that evening’s performance.

Another alternative is the Bush Theatre, Shepherd’s Bush, which offers discounts for those who live or work within the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

For big West End shows, why not try to go to preview evenings which are before the press nights or using apps such as TodayTix or going to the TKTS London booth in Leicester Square.

As for sports events, we know how expensive and hard it is to get tickets for Premier League games, so how about continuing to support the Lionesses and going to a Women’s Super League game where ticket prices are considerably more affordable. There are of course many other sports which are just as entertaining and would value your support.

Splash out!

While everyone likes a good deal, there have been some shows which I didn’t want to miss. I took a chance on ABBA Voyage and all I can say is “Thank you for the music”! It is an absolute technological marvel and a fantastic evening out.

Punchdrunk’s immersive play, The Burnt City, is a totally different experience to ABBA! Choose your actors wisely and follow them around this vast venue. The play that you see will be totally unique to you.

Not to be missed!

It would be totally remiss of me not to include in this article the wonderful shows that Skin Communications is proud to promote. These, such as the Gardeners’ World Fair Autumn at Audley End House and Gardens and the Festive Fayre at Beaulieu, are not only fabulous events but also give you the opportunity to visit some historic estates.

This weekend (9-11 Sept 2022) food lovers will be flocking to the picturesque, South Downs for the first BBC Good Food Festival at Goodwood Racecourse.

Other upcoming events that we are excited about include:

Abergavenny Food Festival (17-18 Sept)

BBC Good Food Show Winter at the NEC (24-27 Nov 2022)

Country Living Christmas Fairs London (9-13 Nov) Glasgow (17-20 Nov) Harrogate (1-4 Dec)

Beaulieu Festive Fayre (9-11 Dec 2022)

London Art Fair at Business Design Centre (18-22 Jan 2023)

The Cycle Show at Alexandra Palace (21-23 April 2023)

Gardeners’ World Fair Spring at Beaulieu (28-30 Apr 2023)

Gardeners’ World Live and Good Food Show Summer at the NEC (15-18 June 2023)

What I am trying to say is that we all get only 24 hours in each day to love our families, work, walk our dogs, play our game of choice and, for me, entertainment is essential too.

I’m lucky to live in London and have an enormous range of things to go and see right on my doorstep. Wherever you live, please do support your local museums, galleries, theatres, bars, restaurants, stately homes, shows, festivals – whatever the entertainment of your choice – as we would be much poorer without them.

Justin Mallinson

Justin Mallinson

Co-founder and Director of Skin Communications