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London theatres announce record ticket sales in 2013

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Story by Jack Foley

LONDON’S theatreland enjoyed record-breaking ticket sales in 2013, boosted by high-profile shows such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Book of Mormon.

Attendances were also up by 4% on the previous year to more than 14.5 million, while sales rose 11% to just over £585.5 million. Ticket prices also rose, from an average of £37.86 in 2012 to £40.14 in 2013.

The figures, released by the Society of London Theatre (Solt), showed that musicals and plays enjoyed a three per cent rise in attendances while opera and dance had seen an incredible 12% rise.

President Mark Rubinstein commented: “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.”

As well as Charlie and Mormon, further theatre successes included Helen Mirren’s The Audience and the Michael Grandage Company season that included star appearances from Dame Judi Dench, Jude Law, Daniel Radcliffe and David Walliams.

The Almeida’s acclaimed productions of Ghosts and Chimerica both enjoyed successful West End runs, while long-running transfers such as One Man, Two Guvnors and multiple award-winner Matilda The Musical continued to provide massive draws.

The Solt figures relate to the 52 major theatres, both commercial and grant-aided, in central London.