According to figures released by the Society of London Theatre, The West End enjoyed record box office sales in 2011. The eighth consecutive year it has risen. The figures relate to the theatres represented in membership of the Society of London Theatre, which include all the commercial West End houses.
The growth in sales has been attributed to sell-out shows like Matilda the Musical and the continued success of shows like Les Miserables. Last year saw several of London's biggest theatres welcome such major new productions as The Wizard of Oz, Shrek the Musical and Rock of Ages.
Takings passed £528.3m last year and were up over 3% on the previous year even though the total audience numbers were down slightly. Due to the temporary closure of a number of theatres while new shows were set up the overall attendance was down to just 13.9m but the average audience at each performance was up.
Dark weeks, the name given to periods when theatres are closed to set up new shows, can be a convenient alibi for a slight drop in attendances but this is not the case in London where average attendances per performance are up. A combination of the recession and rising ticket prices has to become a factor eventually and many hope this will be addressed for London theatre to enjoy continued success in 2012.
In the past 25 years attendances have risen by 26% while, over the same time period, box office takings rose by 347% - meaning the average ticket price in 2011 was £37.97 versus £10.95 in 1986.
Producers attribute rising costs to a variety of factors including higher VAT; costlier high-tech productions, and rising venue and ticketing technology costs. The best way to avoid the rising cost of theatre tickets is to take advantage of online discounts. Make sure you get the cheapest possible London theatre ticket by comparing prices at Compare Theatre Tickets.
Published: 08/02/2012 17:23:21