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How Often People Visit the Theatre in the UK?

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According to new research published by VisitBritain, almost twice as many people in the UK visit the theatre every year in London who watch Premier League football. Theatre attendances in London are higher as compared to those of the whole of the Premier League put together, with teenagers stating that they are more likely to go as opposed to older people. In the theatre essay you can read about this more.

Around 2.8 million visits encompass a trip to the musicals, theatre, the ballet or opera, as compared to 1.3 million visits which include a live sporting event; this represents 4% for sporting events and 14% of all overseas visits for theatre.

The analysis portrayed 241 professional theatres in London and more than 110,000 seats with attendances of 22 million; this compares with England’s Premier League football games of 13 million attendees for all.

Shows like Chekhov’s Three Sisters at the Southwark Playhouse and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which stars Sheridan Smith as Titania at the Noel Coward have helped pull in the crowds.

The combined box office of subsidized venues and commercial as well as fringe for 2012-2013 was £618.5 million; this was up from an estimate of £609 million in 2011/12. As much as this was an increase, it fell below the rate of inflation for the period.

The report showed that nearly a quarter of holiday visitors to London who forms 24% go to the theatre. The commercials accounted for the following;

  1. In 2011/2012, the West End commercial accounted for £400 million, which was up to £403 million in 2012/2013; this was an increase of 0.75%.
  2. The portion of London theatre which was not the commercial West End increased from 209 million to 215 million; this was an increase of 3.3%
  3. In the sense of the cost of visiting the theatre in 2012/2013, £27.76 was the average theatre ticket price which was paid in London; down on the year before. 12 of the most prominent theatres do employ 26 percent of theatre staff and a third of all performers.

London theatre is, therefore, better attended as compared to Premier League football, taking more at the box office than that of London’s cinemas. There are however potential threats to its future prosperity.

The National’s executive director Nick Starr states that while London has for some time caused awareness of being a world city for theatre, data has lacked to show just how big it is. These valuable insights are not only for the capital but also internationally and nationally; valuable for policymakers.

Theatres backed by Arts Council accounted for £152 million receipts in 2017, selling a third of all tickets. At £21.24 average prices are cheaper than £36.05 of the West End. Fringe tickets were bought by 586,000 people who are around £10.

Thousands of staff and more than 3,000 performers are employed by Theatres, with the 12 biggest venues taking a third of performers, to create a significant black hole whenever a show closes early. The report found out that the actors’ play pays the national minimum wage to only one in five actors on the fringe, or above, if at all.

Statistics revealed Ticketmaster’s commissioned report looking at the broader state of UK theatre defies any notion stating theatre audiences are intrinsically middle-aged and middle-class. The most likely age group to state that they will attend the theatre are those of 16-19 years of age, with 45-54-year-olds being the least likely to participate in. However, the vice president of the company, Sophie Crosby, admitted being stunned by the statistics.

She required her team to check the data five times regarding the number of people who claimed that they would attend a theatre event which was 63%, and by no means limiting to middle-aged and middle-class people.

The young people’s striking appetite for theatre

Regarding age;

  1. 87% of those aged 16-19 years said they were likely to see something at a theatre as compared with 66% of 45-54-year-olds.
  2. More generally, 63% of people had previously been into the theatre, with 47% for a sporting event and 53% as the figure for music concerts.

In London, theatregoing is an essential driver of tourism, 24% of all holiday visitors to London attend the theatre, which results in around 2 million London theatre visits.

Outside of London, theatregoing is as well crucial to North West and West Midlands visitors, as 9% of tourists there choose to attend the theatre.

A West End ticket agent specializing in overseas sales, Encore Tickets, reported a 20% growth in sales in 2013. VisitBritain revealed that 2013 witnessed the strongest visitor numbers to the UK since 2008, which in the first eight months of 2013, attracted 22 million visitors.

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