Is it just me, or is January about three months long? There’s a good reason why traditionally January is the month that holidays are booked for the year; it’s wet, windy and generally depressing out there right now! However, in the current financial climate, booking a holiday isn’t really on the cards for many (myself included) but I really do think there’s some merit in trying to give yourself something positive to look forward to as we trudge through the longest of months.

I am lucky enough to have had a couple of theatre trips over the Christmas period- one locally at the Northcott, the other a West End production. The joy of theatre for me is that it’s a holiday from reality for a couple of hours. If I can’t afford to book a holiday, I’ll spend January having a look for some theatre trips to book instead. We have some great venues on our doorstep here in Exmouth- local productions at the Blackmore Theatre and the Pavilion are a good first stop. In Exeter we have the Barnfield, Exeter Phoenix and the Northcott. It’s worth being aware that there are cheaper tickets on offer for some venues for some groups- for example the Northcott offers £10 or £5 tickets to some productions for 16-25 year olds, and discounts on Green matinees for all who travel by public transport.

Another cultural gem of an experience at a lower budget are the screenings of National Theatre, Opera and other cultural events at our local Scott Cinema. I had been quite sceptical about how enjoyable it would be to watch theatre on a screen, but having watched the NT production of Prima Facie in the cinema last year I have to say I was very impressed. It was also a novelty to watch a production from the perspective of one of the best seats in the house as usually the theatre tickets I buy are up in the nosebleeds with a restricted view! If event cinema isn’t your thing or within your budget, then don’t forget that our local cinema has a budget Monday when all seats are cheaper and that Meerkat deals exist for Tuesdays and Wednesdays when you can have two tickets for the price of one.

Never underestimate the power of storytelling to lift you out of the January blues; having a trip out to look forward to will give you something to aim for and hopefully by the time we emerge into February the rain might have stopped and we can look forward to spring.