Shakespeare's Globe shook off the gloomy predictions around the Olympics to post a “phenomenal” year in 2012, with the most numbers attending one season since it opened in 1997.
The venue, which was named London Theatre of the Year at The Stage 100 Awards, released its annual review today. A total of 401,500 people saw performances at its London site during the season that ran from April to October.
Despite fears that the Olympics would damage audience numbers across London theatres, there was a 14 per cent rise in visitors over a year earlier, when 350,000 tickets were sold.
It also emerged today that the Globe had experienced its fastest and largest advanced box office advanced sales. It went from £1m to £2m within a week of public booking opening earlier this month.
The Globe to Globe programme, with performances of all 37 Shakespeare plays in different languages, proved hugely successful with 86,000 viewers. It helped attract a record 80 per cent of first time visitors.
Neil Constable, chief executive, said 2012 had been a “phenomenal year” for the Globe. Construction has begun on the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, an indoor theatre.
The new playhouse is due to open in January next year, and the company has raised £6.5m so far, just £1m shy of its target.