The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post

The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post.
Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy.


The Welsh Rip Off?

How much are we prepared to pay – or how much can we afford to pay – to satisfy our appetite for culture?
We all need culture whether it’s Film, Literature, Opera, Jazz, Folk Music, Comedy, Theatre or Eisteddfods.
Last year, when it was announced that a play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”, was opening in London this summer, I wrote an article about it for the South Wales Evening Post entitled “Theatre of the Absurd Ticket Prices”.
Actually they’re two separate plays – Part One is a matinee, Part Two is performed in the evenings. And you have to pay separately for each show.
What ‘HP’ sauce!
The plays have now opened to positive reviews and are already booking to 2018.
So Ms. Rowling can stop worrying about paying her heating bills this winter. Ha! Ha!
Obviously fans will want to see both plays, otherwise they’ll be missing out.
The combined cost of tickets, hotels and rail fares for a Welsh family or four to see both plays would pay for a week in Majorca.
Talking of costs, Abergavenny recently hosted the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru (our National Eisteddfod), which was apparently very successful. It might have attracted a lot more people if the ticket prices had been more reasonable.
I understand adults paid around £20 to enter the Maes, reducing to £10 after 4pm. Additionally, tickets for evening concerts ranged from £10 to £25.
I’m a fan of the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru and truly believe that we should support Welsh culture and tradition.
So why do they make it hard for low earners with families to experience Welsh culture?
They MUST get the pricing right because they’re clearly way off the mark, excluding so many people, families, young and old.
I was also told that the wheelchair access was quite poor, too.
It's not just visitors who have to pay through the nose.
For individuals and small businesses (and bigger ones just trying to make cost savings) who want a stand there, the price of marketing their goods is beyond most budgets.
By pricing so high, it turns the event into a very middle-class activity, whereas being able to embrace the Welsh culture should be available to all.
Will I be seeing the Harry Potter plays?
Only when the tickets are reduced to a quid-each*.


Opinions matter:

The world is constantly changing and so are opinions, which we often find challenging due to the fact that we also have our own opinions.
We are fortunate to be living in a country that, in the main, grants us freedom of speech and more and more people are now stepping up to the plate and confidently speaking up, which can so often be a double-edged sword.
We have discovered that social media is great for putting your opinion across, but it also gives idiots a voice, too, far too often without any repercussions.
Friendly debate will soon be a thing of the past, if our politicians, world and industry leaders don't control their emotions and show evidence of professional respect, while setting an example for generations to come.
Education is key for a balanced debate and there IS always two sides to an argument (did you see what I did there?) .
As a comedian I'm often asked, “What happens to jokes that aren't funny…. Well, they become politicians!”


Exercise for the mind:

On Sunday I got up early, having had a late night, to get creative in readiness for today's column, which can be challenging, especially if you are not in the right frame of mind.
So, to start the creative process, I thought it best to visit the gym as exercise is something that many say is good for the brain. It also makes you sweaty and tired, but then that's a story for another time.
Despite having arrived early, I was surprised to see that many other people had the same idea, maybe not for the same reasons as me, but I'm sure you get my drift.
I witnessed men and women of various ages working out on a day of rest, keen to stay fit and younger looking, which I'm sure you will agree is a good thing.
However, I also couldn't help but notice that many wore ‘make up’, including blusher, bright lipstick and brightly coloured designer sportswear – and yes, the ladies were just as colourful!
I never knew that going to the gym was such a social occasion for so many.
We live in interesting times and for the record I'm truly enjoining life's rich tapestry, as it does help me become more creative.
Just sayin . . .


You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and


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