West End Has Another Record Year, With Increases in Both Attendance and Revenue
By Mark Shenton
The West End has had another record year, with overall attendance up by 4 percent and revenues up by 11 percent on last year's figures, representing almost 600,000 more admissions on the previous year and total revenues now reaching £585,506,455.
Though the West End does not report figures for individual shows, the 2013 box-office figures across the board published by the Society of London Theatre show an increase in all genres. Attendance at musicals increased by 3 percent to 8,198,290 admissions, earning a 10 percent increase in revenue of £355,354,832. Attendance at plays also increased by 3 percent to 4,248,258 admissions, earning a 12 percent increase in revenues of £140,020,830. Attendance at the remainder of performances – for opera, dance, performance and entertainment – increased by 12 percent to 2,140,728, earning a 9 percent increase in revenues of £90,130,793.
In a press statement, Mark Rubinstein, president of the Society of London Theatre commented, "I am delighted that we can announce a record year for London theatre attendances as well as a tenth year running of year-on-year growth in ticket income. These figures pay testament to the quality, vibrancy and enduring popularity of the London stage, which, despite a difficult economic climate, continues to pull in the crowds thanks to the world-class entertainment on offer and inclusive pricing structures. With the combined Box Office advance sales also reaching new heights in December, we are looking forward to another year of success stories for our theatres in 2014."
According to press materials, the increase in revenue can be largely attributed to a markedly improved 72.7 percent seat capacity achieved across the year and strong advance sales up by an average of 21 percent, peaking at over £70 million in December. New musicals that included The Book of Mormon, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Once and The Commitments boosted sales on musicals, while plays also registered a strong year, with the Michael Grandage Company's inaugural resident season at the Noel Coward previously reporting 93 percent attendance.
Also on the plays front, there was a sell-out run for Helen Mirren in The Audience.
These box-office figures relate to the 52 major theatres, both commercial and grant-aided, in Central London. Box-office figures are compiled on behalf of the industry by the Society of London Theatre, and relate to the 52 major theatres, both commercial and grant-aided, in Central London.
According to the statistics, an average number of 45 theatres were open across the year, giving a total of 18,433 performances (slightly down on last year's 18,448), with 270 new productions opening (against 305 the previous year).
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