Safe and Sound: Secure Ticketing for Performing Arts Academy

Claire Boot | Posted on Mon 1 April 2019 at 2.26PM

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Discover how the Pauline Quirke Academy (PQA) utilises TicketSource to safeguard their ticket sales, making them available to only parents and guardians.

Founded by much-loved star Pauline Quirke in 2007, the PQA provides weekend stage and screen training to more than 13,000 children and young people at over 170 Academies across the UK. PQA produces regular performances to showcase their students’ achievements in comedy, drama, musical theatre, film and television, and uses TicketSource, the online ticketing platform, to manage their audiences.

A unique opportunity offered by the Academy is a performance in London’s West End, in a specially-written musical at Her Majesty’s Theatre. The theatre is a major venue – home to Phantom of the Opera and with a capacity of over 1,200. The show features three Academies performing two scenes each from a storyline that runs across two acts, with each Academy rehearsing for nine months before travelling to London to perform live on stage in front of a huge audience.

“It’s an amazing thing to do,” said Tom Barker, Principal of PQA Cardiff. “This year we’re taking 65 students, aged 6 to 18. It’s a dream for young people to have this kind of experience.”

Although Her Majesty’s Theatre has its own box office, PQA uses TicketSource to manage sales. “Tickets for our West End shows are not available to the general public,” explained Jill Goff, Production Co-ordinator. “In order to control who buys tickets in line with our safeguarding policy, we set up a password on our TicketSource account, which we then send to our students’ parents and guardians.”

PQA uses TicketSource’s free telephone box office service, enabling parents to book tickets by phone. The system also gives PQA control over seating plans, enabling staff to assign accessible seating and reserve areas of the auditorium. “It gives us a real-time understanding of audience numbers, which allows us to plan staffing,” said Goff.

PQA Cardiff uses TicketSource for their end-of-term projects, which can range from cinema screenings to fully-staged musicals. “TicketSource works well for us,” explained Barker. “It’s straightforward and cost-effective. Child protection is the most important consideration, and the system allows us to manage that by only sharing the booking link with parents.”

As well as providing exciting opportunities in performance and production, PQA helps children and young people develop important skills. “There’s so much you can do with the performing arts skill set,” said Barker. “It covers team-building, communication, leadership and self-discipline – there’s a huge amount of crossover for any career.” Supported by the security features of TicketSource, PQA provides a safe space for students to enjoy expressing their creativity while cultivating essential skills for life, allowing them to do what PQA is known for – be themselves and be amazing.

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