According to press materials, this is in anticipation of an increased demand for theatre tickets as millions flock to the U.K. in 2012, so that visitors can plan a theatre trip into their itinerary now. Amongst the shows extending their booking periods are The Wizard of Oz, Shrek The Musical, Million Dollar Quartet, Ghost The Musical, The 39 Steps, Billy Elliot the Musical, Blood Brothers, Dreamboats and Petticoats, Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde the Musical, Les Misérables, Disney’s The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, The Mousetrap, The Phantom of the Opera, Stomp, Thriller Live, War Horse, We Will Rock You, Wicked and The Woman in Black, as well as two shows yet to open, Rock of Ages and Matilda the Musical.
In a press statement, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, commented, "My message to the good folks around the world is 'Come to London in 2012 for a year like no other!’ We will be taking centre stage and whether you are coming for the Games or any other time during the year, surely no visit to our magnificent city will be complete without enjoying the spectacular entertainment London theatre has to offer. The capital's theatre industry delivers the greatest shows on earth every night with a star-studded line-up of critically acclaimed and Olivier and Tony Award-winning productions. Visitors from around the UK and across the globe should snap up their tickets now for our world-class drama, musicals, dance and opera."
SOLT President, Mark Rubinstein, adds, "London theatre is something for everyone to be proud of and is a great ambassador for UK plc. The economic impact of London theatre on the UK economy is estimated at £2.6 billion per annum and we are thrilled that the doors of London theatres will be open for business as usual throughout 2012."