Entertainment / Arts And Books

Adriaan Roets
3 minute read
8 Mar 2017
5:11 am

Market Theatre goes digital with savvy new website

Adriaan Roets

In addition to being used to book tickets, the new website can now also be used to view programmes from the theatre's other business units.

Forget oh-so-expensive-to-print programmes, The Market Theatre is embracing change – and this time it’s everything digital.

The Market Theatre Foundation officially launched their new redesigned website on Monday – and it’s a one-stop information hub that promises to make life easier for those who want immediate facts on the theatre, shows, stars and events.

“We’re linking the website to all our business units, something we didn’t do before,” says The Market Theatre’s chief executive officer Ismail Mahomed.

It essentially means the website, which can be used to book tickets – can also be used to view programmes from the Laboratory, photo workshop or arts centre.

For businesspeople it gives you access to apply for tenders – and it also gives you the latest news as well as access to the theatre’s weekly newsletter Buzz.

On top of that it features a comprehensive list of activities you can take part in at The Market Theatre precinct.

From joining their walkabout tours, visiting an art exhibition or watching a movie hosted in one of their legendary theatres.

“We’re trying to offer you an experience if you’re coming to Newtown. Your visit to The Market Theatre will be more comprehensive,” says Mahomed.

While theatre shows have always taken centre stage, a lot of people aren’t aware of the various spaces that fall under The Market Theatre umbrella and the variety of events hosted in these spaces.

A top tip when using the website, if any event asks you to “book now” it’s a paid event, while any other which only tells you to click for more information is free and open to the public.

A major factor in the redesigned website seems to stem from the theatre’s desire to step away from traditional printed programmes for shows.

“It reduces money spent on printing – the website offers all the information relevant to shows currently on,” says Mahomed.

Except for saving a few trees, going ahead the theatre plans to install screens outside theatres which will show the credits to each show – this will also be available online.

While it might serve as a blow to culture vultures, it does serve a purpose in the long run. It simply means there is ease of access to information.

But before you get scared of all the changes, the box office at the theatre remains open – in fact it’s extending its hours.

Mahomed is a firm advocate for the theatre industry to be more customer-centric to ensure that theatres can benefit from improved customer experiences, repeat business and customer loyalty to grow sustainability.

Apart from migrating to the more efficient and accessible online Webtickets booking system the Market Theatre will be extending its box office operating hours to seven days a week for those patrons who still prefer to book their tickets through a box office clerk.

Meanwhile, the theatre’s online ticketing partner Webtickets will offer patrons the added benefit of booking at Pick n Pay stores.

Smart Shopper account-holders will be able to buy tickets for Market Theatre productions with their loyalty points.

But what’s next? Well the ball is in motion to tie all this into an app that makes all of this even easier to navigate.

If you’re curious about the website, why not log on to book your tickets for the revival productions of Sophiatown and The Suit opening next month.

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