Theatre tickets rise by 5%

New report shows boost for musicals

Theatre ticket prices rose by more than 5% across the UK last year, new figures reveal.#

A new benchmarking report from UK Theatre, formerly the Theatre Management  Association (TMA) shows that the average ticket price outside central London was £23.77 in 2014 - up 5.5% compared with 2013. Ticket prices in London’s West End rose on average by 5.1% to £42.29 last year.

But the report also shows that despite the price increases, regional theatres sold a higher proportion of available tickets compared to the previous year.  The combined membership of UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) took over £1 billion in box office sales and sold more tickets than the entire live audience of the English Premier League (13.7 million), English Football League (16.4 million) and Scottish Premiership (2.0 million) combined.

Family musicals were the most popular genre, accounting for almost £1 in every £4 taken at the box office with shows including The Lion King, Wicked and Shrek doing excellent business on long tours.  However, ‘adult’ musicals such as ?Dirty? Dancing,? Ghost, and Priscilla? Queen? Of? The ?Desert? showed a drop in takings.

Overall ticket sales for plays fell by 278,000 in 2014 and on average auditoria were only just half full. The largest presenting houses (seating capacity over 1,000) continued to sell just over half of all tickets in 2014 and their share of income rose to 62% in 2014. Larger producing theatres also saw big increases in audiences and income, but smaller producing theatres (seating capacity over 160) saw a decline in audiences as did concert halls.

UK Theatre president Rachel Tackley said the price increases were the inevitable “result of the cuts that we've witnessed over many years and theatres have to make their own decisions about how they're able to cope with those. “

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