The most affordable ticket to a Queen’s Theatre show costs 16 times less than the priciest West End seat, according to new figures, which has sparked huge criticism in the acting community.

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Olivier Award-winning actress Juliet Stevenson has this week slammed West End ticket rises, claiming she cannot afford to go herself, reports The Stage newspaper.

The Stage’s annual ticketing survey recently revealed the most expensive West End ticket has more than doubled in three years and currently stands at a whopping £202.25.

By stark comparison, the most affordable ticket to watch a Queen’s Theatre production is a mere £12.50. This is the amount Friday preview audiences pay, or, by buying a jump the Q season ticket, a customer would also pay just £12.50 to watch each of the autumn season’s three productions. The highest ticket price is just £27.

Interim Chief Executive Thom Stanbury says: “As a professional producing house with its own resident company, the Queen’s paramount objective has always been to create a truly fantastic, varied programme of theatre – showcasing top-quality acting and musical ability and very high production values, from costumes and set to lighting and sound.

“And on top of all this, we are passionate about and have worked very hard to ensure that our shows are affordable – so that everyone can come and enjoy them. One of our mottos is West End shows at East Endprices – and this is something I truly believe we offer our audiences.”

Ms Stephenson won the Olivier for Best Actress for her role in the Royal Court’s Death and the Maiden and is famous for her parts in films such as Truly, Madly, Deeply and Mona Lisa Smile. After trying to buy tickets to watch Harriet Walter in Death of a Salesman at the Noel Coward Theatre, she told The Stage: “I clicked on to try and buy tickets and it was going to come to £285. So I rang up Harriet and said… I can’t really afford to see your play.

“I don’t go to the West End…It belongs to big business in some way. The majority of people in this country can’t afford to go to the West End, so it becomes a thing for tourists for whom the currency exchange is in their favour at that moment in time, or just people who have just got lots of money.”

The Queen’s autumn repertory season presents the World Premiere of Roll Over Beethoven, an explosive rock ‘n’ roll musical opening on 21 August, followed by the bittersweet comedy Steel Magnolias and an edge-of-your-seat thriller, Don’t Look Now. Tickets start from just £12.50 and jump the Q Season Tickets are on sale now. For more details or to book online, call the Box Office on 01708 443333 and visit queens-theatre.co.uk