West End’s top seats cost three times as much as 10 years ago
The cost of a top-price ticket in the West End has tripled over the past decade, new research has found.
Premium tickets for the hit musical The Book of Mormon soared 20 per cent last year, up from £127 to £152.25.
While house prices in London have risen by about 90 per cent over the past 10 years, the cost of the best seats in the West End has tripled, according to a survey by The Stage magazine.
In 2004, The Producers charged a then record £49 for a top-price seat. Since then, the introduction of a new “premium” pricing category has allowed theatres to introduce inflation-busting increases.
The Book of Mormon’s “top-price seats” (which are in fact now the second-highest price category after premium) have also risen, to £127.25 – almost double the figure charged when the show opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre just over a year ago.
The average price for the best seat at a West End musical rose 5 per cent to £99.78 compared with £95.09 last year. However, there was a 14 per cent fall in the price of the cheapest musical ticket, with seats going for just £12.50 for The Commitments.
The average price for the best seat at a commercial West End play has increased from £78.24 in 2013 to £80.45.
The most expensive play to see this year – Bring Up the Bodies – was priced at £115, including fees.
This was less than last year’s record high price of £127 to see The Audience, starring Dame Helen Mirren.
The producers of Bring Up the Bodies, a Royal Shakespeare Company co-production, said the show’s premium ticket prices helped to subsidise the lower-priced seats. Its £112.50 premium tickets had been introduced for late bookers who wanted to secure a top seat when availability was “very limited”.
In the commercial West End, the average lowest-price ticket for a show was £21.94. In 2013, it was £22.57 and in 2012 it was £23.85.
Subsidised productions have, on average, seen the cheapest tickets come down from £15.75 in 2012 to £15.73 in 2013 and £15.23 this year.
West End ticket prices include a restoration levy designed to help rebuild crumbling theatres.
The Stage’s research also found that extra fees charged on tickets across the whole of the West End had dropped to an average of just 32p, down from £1.12 in 2013.
The average extra fee in the commercial sector is now 42p, compared with £1.06 last year. In the subsidised sector, no extra fees are charged after an initial price is quoted, compared with £1.30 in 2013.
The average ticket price for a Broadway show in New York is now $103.88 (£61).
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 2 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove