Sarah Lambie

Clod ensemble to offer free tickets for UK tour of ‘On The High Road’

9:32, 14th April 2019

As part of their 2019 UK tour of On The High Road, Clod Ensemble are offering a series of heavily reduced and free tickets to young people and specialist groups across all four venues in response to the heavy funding cuts to arts education across the UK. 

Premiering at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall (24-25 April), the production will then embark on a UK tour to CAST, Doncaster (8 May), New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth (15-16 May) and Oxford Playhouse (20-21 May). 

Clod Ensemble are particularly keen to support the narrative that attending live performance is an enriching, inspiring experience for young people, regardless of their career ambitions or study focus. Powerful themes of migration, difference and intolerance are explored within the show, offering opportunities to use the work as a conversation starter for exploring contemporary issues. 

In partnership with the Southbank Centre, Clod Ensemble have allocated 200 tickets at a discounted rate of £5 to selected organisations that support and nurture young artists. All tickets for the 15 May show at Portsmouth’s New Theatre Royal will be free, and offered to young people through local schools and youth groups. Oxford Playhouse and CAST in Doncaster will be offering discounted tickets of £5 to community partners and local institutions for young people. 

Of the company’s decision to offer a series of free and heavily reduced tickets, Artistic Director Paul Clark says: “As we absorb the huge cuts to education budgets and radical changes to the curriculum, we are seeing a reduction in students taking up courses in dance, music, drama and visual arts. The creative industries are one of the parts of our economy in which we are genuinely world leaders – it feels like an act of self-harm that we are dismantling an ecosystem that nurtures it.

I have been working in secondary schools for over a decade through our music education project Living Room Music and have seen first-hand the effect of the over-stretched resources. The decline is consistent across all arts subjects, with registration for 2018 arts GCSEs in England plummeting by 150,000 over the past five years. Meanwhile, Independent Schools continue to generously fund arts within their schools – academically, as a recreational centre of school life and also as an essential component of students’ broader cultural awareness. 

Depressingly, a career in the arts is becoming increasingly the preserve of the wealthy. It is vital that students from all socio-economic backgrounds have access to the same opportunities as more privileged and privately educated students. At Clod Ensemble we believe it essential that young people have the opportunity to experience high quality contemporary performance work without facing the barriers of price.” 

To register a school or youth group for these ticket offers, please contact Clod Ensemble directly by phone on 0207 749 0555 or email 

On The High Road is supported by New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth. Clod Ensemble is supported by Arts Council England & the Wellcome Trust. 

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