In London’s Olympic year, West End theatre gets the gold

In London’s Olympic year, West End theatre gets the gold

Updated On: May 1, 2018
Tags: NewsBlog
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    Despite fears the 2012 Summer Olympics would adversely affect theatreland, the West End has celebrated a rise in both attendance and ticket revenues.

    According to the Society of London Theatre’s (SOLT) annual box office figures, gross sales increased 0.27% (£529,787,692) and attendance was up 0.56% (13,992,773) compared to 2011. Furthermore, London theatre ticket sales generated £88,297,949 for the Treasury in VAT receipts, another increase on the previous year.

    The dreaded “Olympic Effect” proved more bark than bite; nevertheless a number of disruptions took place during the Games, resulting in fewer performances during August 2012.Many venues closed on the night of the opening ceremony and planning schedules were adjusted, but more tickets were sold for the first week of the Games than during the week of the 2011 Royal Wedding.

    Although sales and attendances did drop during the summer Olympic weeks, the overall growth for 2012 is thanks to a very strong first half of the year complemented by good sales in the autumn season. In the final quarter advance sales grew considerably, showing audience confidence in current productions and huge anticipation for the new shows opening in 2013, such as A CHORUS LINE.

    Several London theatres welcomed major new productions in 2012, including TOP HAT at the Aldwych, THE BODYGUARD at the Adelphi, VIVA FOREVER! at the Piccadilly, as well as the start of the Michael Grandage Season at the Noel Coward. West End transfers such as ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS, WAR HORSE and MATILDA THE MUSICAL continued to achieve success.

    Plays in particular experienced a robust year, with audiences up 9% from 2011, thanks to such productions as Nick Payne’s Constellations and the Shakespeare Globe’s transfers of Twelfth Night and Richard III starring Mark Rylance.

    2013 is poised to continue the record-breaking windfall with such notable forthcoming productions as BOOK OF MORMON, ONCE, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, WEST SIDE STORY, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and THE LIGHT PRINCESS.

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