Proving that preparation for 2012 is a marathon rather than a sprint, more than half of the West End’s hit shows have recently extended their booking to be ready for Olympic year.
The mass 15-month extension of booking periods, unprecedented in the history of London theatre, has been made to ensure tickets are available for theatre fans flocking to the capital next year as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations or the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Among the 22 shows to have already released tickets for 2012 are long running favourites including Wicked, Jersey Boys, Les Misérables, The Phantom Of The Opera and We Will Rock You, new blockbuster hits The Wizard Of Oz, Shrek The Musical and Ghost The Musical, and even shows that are yet to open such as Rock Of Ages and Matilda The Musical.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, 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.”
Olympic year is already shaping up to be a star-studded affair on the London stage, with worldwide stars Thandie Newton (Death And The Maiden), Michael Sheen (Hamlet), Mark Rylance (Jerusalem) and Patrick Stewart (Bingo) already confirmed to be treading the boards in the capital.
Mark Rubinstein, President of the Society of London Theatre, added: “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 with a huge range of superb productions ensuring that a great night out at the theatre is a must-do for millions.”
Full list of shows that have extended booking into 2012:
The Wizard Of Oz, Shrek The Musical, Million Dollar Quartet, Ghost The Musical, Rock Of Ages, Matilda 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.