The Society for London Theatre has announced 2008 was a record year for all forms of theatre in London, with both attendance and revenue figures at unprecedented levels.
SOLT represents the producers, theatre owners and managers of the major commercial and grant-aided theatres in central London and is the UK equivalent of America’s The Broadway League.
13, 807, 286 people attended a London theatre show last year, up 1% on the previous record set in 2007. Box office revenue was also at an all-time high, totalling £480,563,674, up 3% on 2007’s record figures.
Like Broadway, London theatre is feeling the pinch of difficult economic times, but appears to be faring better. While Broadway is seeing a number of shows closing prematurely over January, things are not as grim on the West End. Solid Christmas period sales boosted year-end figures in London; a remarkable feat in the present climate.
Graph of London Theatre Figures 1986-2008 (PDF) (Source: Society of London Theatre)