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Dame Arlene, 79, proposes free admission for some shows to encourage a new generation of theatre-goers. The choreographer and director has been a vehement supporter of the arts after Covid closures devastated the industry.

She said: “The economy is in a very different position from 2019. I wish we had a Minister of Theatre and together the producers and the Government could work out a way to support people to see it.

“If you look at how many art galleries you can go to around the country, mostly free of charge, wow!

“Could you imagine if theatre could be supported in a way that we could have audiences who are allowed to come in free. It would be an absolute dream.”

She also suggests cut-price standing room tickets which were once commonly available at theatres: “I remember, way back when I was a teenager and I really couldn’t scrape the ‘Being part of an audience…’ money together to go to see theatre, every theatre had standing room so you, as a student or somebody who could ill afford to go, could go and stand. Some of my greatest times were standing at the back, watching shows, watching dance, being in a theatre, being part of an audience. When you could stand at the back of the stalls it felt amazing, like you had one of the best views in the theatre and could dance along.”

She said she would happily tackle issues facing the industry, saying: “I would love to be a Minister of Theatre.”

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