Nottingham's Royal Theatre has it's first free Live at Lunch session of the New Year (credit Cariad Wooster)

Nottingham, as the purse strings tighten there’s still a little room for live concerts as Royal Theatre offers amazing performances for less.

As the cost of living crisis leaves no prisoners, often the first thing to go in people’s spending is the little luxury’s like going to the theatre or concerts.

Luckily Royal Theatre Nottingham have continued their much appraised live at lunch sessions that are completely free and open to anyone, no booking required.

This Friday January 20 the concert returned with violinist Agatha Parker.

Agatha has been performing her whole life with her first public, solo recital taking place at Sleaford Live Festival when she was aged just nine years old.

The Live at Lunch sessions have been running for over a decade.

Neil Bennison, Music Manager at the Royal Theatre told CBJ how the sessions came about after a long abandoned Yamaha Piano was given a refurbishment and needed to be played.

“We said from the outset that the concert would be freely accessible.

“Ultimately the Concert Hall has a great amount of income from big events so we reinvest and give back to the community.

“The turn out is great and we have some really loyal audience members, maybe it’s because people feel more safe, the buses are still running at this time of day, it’s informal, they don’t have to be around Nottingham at night, the community is really built around it.” Said Neil.

After finding an old unused Yamaha piano in the Theatre, it was fully refurbished and given a stage for it to be played

The Live at Lunch sessions also serve as a platform for the Theatre to welcome and nurture new talent in the area.

Neil Continued: “The concerts take place in the Royal Concert Hall and has an average audience of 180.

“Every artist is paid but we also have a collection at the end which was suggested by an audience member.

“The big audiences help the new talent to feel like well supported musicians.”

The theatre has also launched a GoCard scheme for under 26s.

By signing up at the link below young people can enjoy the biggest events at the Theatre for as little as five pounds.

http://Under 26s Save | Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham (

Often the seats allocated are the best in the house so less doesn’t mean worse seats.

The theatre also boasts magnificent acoustics from anywhere in the audience.

“Even if you’re at the back of tier two  its still amazing acoustics with the same brilliant sound as tier one.” Said Neil.

Additionally Neil explained that often the performances are far more affordable than people think with many performances if booked in advance averaging around £12 and some available on the door at £8.

“You can see astonishingly brilliant performers and it’s more affordable than you think.” Neil concluded.

To find out more about what’s on in Nottingham’s theatre scene check out our recent articles:

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