West End Ticket Sales For 2012 Set New Record

Lucy Cotter, Arts and Entertainment Correspondent
West End Ticket Sales For 2012 Set New Record

Ticket sales in London's West End were up in 2012 for the ninth year running despite a slight decline in audiences during the Olympics.

Fears over the recession and the Games were relatively unfounded with attendance increasing to almost 14 million, up 0.56% with box office sales setting a new record of £530m, up 0.27%.

The Society Of London Theatre (SOLT) stated London 2012 had had a "dampening" effect with sales down by around 9% but it had not been as bad as some, including Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, had predicted.

Mark Rubinstein, the president of the society, said he was delighted with the results.

"It is particularly astonishing that we are able to report increasing sales of over half a billion pounds for a year that we always knew would have exceptional challenges," he said.

"Against the background of a tough economic climate, London theatre continues to buck the trend, offering dazzling, world-class entertainment, which has audiences from both home and abroad flocking to the West End to catch exciting new productions as well as much-loved long-running favourites."

New productions such as Matilda The Musical, One Man, Two Guvnors, Top Hat and Sweeney Todd are all believed to have contributed to the increase.

Plays also had a strong year with audiences up 9%, the most successful being Shakespeare's Globe productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night at the Apollo Theatre.

SOLT also announced their plans for this year's Olivier Awards which will be screened on ITVI and on BBC Radio 2.

The ceremony will take place at the Royal Opera House on April 28 with the actress Sheridan Smith hosting the event.

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