Seat-filling by stealth (and mobile) with Theatre Ninjas' last-minute ticket giveaways

DOZENS of Fringe shows are offering free tickets for performances under a new venture aimed at filling empty seats in shows at the last minute.

Up to 35 shows are already taking part in "Theatre Ninjas", which gives away tickets via its website and a mobile phone app. A limited number of tickets released by venues, theatre companies or promoters are only available on the door from venues in return for a special code.

Assembly, Pleasance, Gilded Balloon, Underbelly, the Caves and Hill Street Theatre have been among the venues to sign up for Theatre Ninjas within days of its launch. Details of available shows are only released on the day, some with just a few hours to spare.

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People securing free tickets are urged to post their views of the show on a dedicated Twitter feet to help promote the acts and spread the word about Theatre Ninjas, set up by a group of students from Manchester University. About 500 free tickets are being given away every day, and the Theatre Ninjas mobile app has been downloaded 1,250 times to date.

One of the founders of Theatre Ninjas, Ed Stambollouian, said: "The only way to actually get a ticket is to go along to the venue, so it's ideal to have on your mobile phone if you're at the Fringe."