Who Saved Theatreland?

Despite the economic situation, London Theatres have prospered in these dark times. Box office gross in 2010 enjoyed a 1.46% increase from 2009, up to over £512million. Many expected volcanoes and strikes and other factors would have caused major loses just as they did across many sectors but they didn’t, so what happened?

Should We Thank The Stars?

Part of the reason for marked increases in theatre receipts in 2010 (and now in 2011) was the remarkable number of Hollywood stars who have ventured across the water to try their hand at some ‘real’ acting. With Kevin Spacey currently making big crowds quiver with his vile hunchbacked Richard III at the Old Vic Theatre, while thousands in 2010 flocked to see big names such as Kim Cattrall (Private Lives), Keira Knightley and Damien Lewis (The Misanthrope) and David Suchet and Zoë Wannamaker (All My Sons). They certainly helped, but can’t take all the credit.

How About Major Shows?

Another reason for an increase in ticket sales is usually the introduction of major new shows, but in 2010 there weren’t too many of those, with only the likes of ‘Legally Blonde the Musical’ and ‘Flashdance’ standing out. So what made the difference in 2010?

The Big 5

The enduring appeal of long term classics has to be given a great deal of credit for maintaining the sale of theatre tickets in London. Not only for having been the backbone of Theatreland for so long but also for having maintained their appeal through good times and bad.

Currently the 5 longest running Theatreland shows are:

59 years – The Mousetrap – St Martin’s Theatre

26 years – Les Misérables – Queen’s Theatre

25 years – The Phantom of the Opera – Her Majesty’s Theatre

22 years – Blood Brothers – Phoenix Theatre

21 years – Cats – New London Theatre (closed)

21 years – The Woman in Black – Fortune Theatre (soon to overtake Cats)

Audiences have been flocking to these much loved shows for so long they are practically synonymous with Theatreland. Mousetrap has been around since 1952 and has been running continuously since then, completing over 24,000 performances so far, making it the longest running show of any kind, in the modern age.

Record Performances and Raising Prices

On top of all this, theatres have been staging more shows and have increased ticket prices ever so slightly; a price worth paying to maintain the theatre traditions of London and to keep the industry alive.

If indeed you are worried about paying too much for your theatre and concert tickets, why not use SeatChoice to compare theatre tickets and ensure you always get the best value for money when seeing the best shows in the world?