With Manchester readying itself to welcome hundreds of top ticketing executives to TheTicketingBusiness Forum at Emirates Old Trafford in just three weeks, we caught up with London Theatre Company’s (LTC) head of ticketing operations, Rhea Heath, who is also set to attend.
Heath has been in her current role since September 2022 and was previously the box office manager and systems administrator for LTC. With stints at arts organisation, Vault Festival, Heath has also been the box office manager and box office supervisor for London Theatre Company.
We spoke to Heath about LTC’s plans for the rest of 2023, the most interesting trends within the theatre sector and more…
TheTicketingBusiness: What are your company’s plans over the coming year?
Rhea Heath: “London Theatre Company opened their first musical at The Bridge in March 2023, Guys & Dolls, bringing an incredible energy to the venue with its rave reviews. It’s been wonderful seeing audiences’ reactions, with this being our longest run yet. In January of this year, LTC also opened ‘Lightroom’, a projection-based arts venue in Kings Cross, in collaboration with 59 Productions. We’ve collaborated with David Hockney to deliver our first show ‘Bigger & Closer’ running until October 1 2023, so our focus for the year ahead will be to expand this programming and develop our audiences and reach across both venues.”
TTB: What are some of the most interesting trends you are witnessing in the sector?
RH: “Customers’ responses to pricing and the value they place on their experience has been very interesting to track post-COVID. It’s a challenging thing appealing to all kinds of bookers due to this, but with our auditorium being flexible at the Bridge, we’re able to provide standing immersive tickets at an attractive price to bookers for a musical who are cost-of-living conscious, which also ensures our seated tickets provide an alternative/premium experience. The flexibility of our configuration at the Bridge has been key to our strategy here, alongside an appreciation of the value in all kinds of audience experiences.”
TTB: What are you most looking forward to at the Forum?
RH: “I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with industry peers following COVID, and having conversations with new faces in the industry. More than ever, we need to be resourceful and creative in our strategies and ideas, and coming together to do that at the Forum is the key to making things happen for us all, especially with the development of technology to improvise the audience experience and user journey in mind.”
TTB: What are some of the current challenges or opportunities in the sector?
RH: “Access is a key one at the moment – during the pandemic a lot of customers felt they couldn’t attend the theatre due to health concerns and in some cases have been slow to return, so making sure that these demographic of bookers feel included in the rebuilding of the theatre and arts landscape is crucial. The State of Access report from Attitude is Everything really demonstrates how key this group of bookers are to the success of venues once you take care to develop that relationship in all areas of your operations, and so making sure these bookers continue feel welcome is a worthwhile and rewarding process.”