The politics of picking a plus one. 1 April 2011

Working in theatre PR has its perks, one of which is the frequent offers of free tickets to shows for yourself and a plus one. But when it comes to picking your plus one, it’s a minefield out there.


Do you go down the conservative route and choose your designated significant other – be that your partner, or flatmate or best friend?

If you have more than one friend or flatmate (or if you’re lucky, more than one partner) how do you choose between them?

Maybe you match shows to friends’ tastes? Take Joe the Japanese teacher to see Madame Butterfly, Sarah who took ice skating lessons as a kid to see Cinderella on Ice, or bring Daisy, who needs a good dose of male flesh, to Brazil! Brazil!.*

Then there’s the added problem of availability. If you don’t know you have a second ticket until the day of the performance (a common occupational hazard), who do you call?

Do you phone your token married friend who, let’s face it, won’t have anything more exciting to do on a Tuesday night than catch up on EastEnders and cook dinner for hubby?

Or do you seek out a fun, single friend you haven’t seen in ages for a good show, and a bit of a knees-up?

If you happen to be working the show that night, there’s the added stress of finding a plus one who is well versed in theatre etiquette. An acquaintance who can fend for themselves if you’re stuck at the press desk all night, who can be trusted to applaud in all the right places (even if the show is a complete stinker) and who won’t get drunk on interval drinks and insult the producer.

Oh, yes. It’s a minefield out there.

Hence, in most cases these days my plus ones are trusted theatre colleagues.

It may seem unfair to bring someone with you who could score their own pair of tickets if they tried, but chances are they were probably thinking of heading along to the show that night anyway... and you could really do without the drama.

Kasey Glazebrook, Senior Publicist, The Corner Shop PR


*names may have been changed to preserve dignity

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