For the eighth consecutive year, in 2011 London’s theatres reached record revenue levels, topping sales figures of more than £500 million for the third year in a row.
The Gross Box Office Revenue figure of £528,375,874 is the largest ever recorded by the Society of London Theatre’s member venues and is reflective of a year in which the capital’s theatres went from strength to strength amid trying economic circumstances. The record revenue also generated £88,062,646 in VAT paid.
While new musicals including Matilda The Musical, The Wizard Of Oz, Shrek The Musical, Ghost The Musical and Rock Of Ages stole the headlines last year, much of London theatre’s success in 2011 can be attributed to plays, revenues of which rose by 10% on the previous year. Productions including Frankenstein, Much Ado About Nothing, Noises Off, One Man Two Guvnors and Jerusalem drew crowds aplenty to Theatreland.
It is possible that inadvertently the arrival of major musicals was one of the reasons overall attendance in the West End was slightly down on the previous year at 13,915185, as the larger venues in which they are staged were left dark for several weeks as the new shows were installed. In contrast to overall attendance, average attendance at each performance was up on 2010, from 760 to 770.
Speaking about the figures, Mark Rubinstein, President of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) said: “We are extremely proud that our theatres have yet again gone on to achieve another record-breaking year of sales, with many shows announcing record-breaking runs of their own. Despite the prevailing rigours of the economic climate, theatregoers have acted with their feet and wallets and shown just how much they value a trip to one of our world-class shows. We can confirm buoyant Box Office advances for 2012, a year in which we look forward to welcoming millions more national and international visitors through our theatre doors.”
Today’s figures follow swiftly on the heels of recent announcements about the ever growing global reach of the Olivier Awards, London theatre’s premiere prizes, which will celebrate the excellence of 2011’s offerings in the theatre capital of the world with a glamorous ceremony, a live link up to Broadway and a fabulous event for the public in Covent Garden piazza.