Blockbuster musicals in need of tonic
Tuesday 11 July 1995
Theatregoers are turning away from the big blockbuster musicals, according to figures released today.
The figures show attendances at London theatres reached a 10-year high of 11.5 million. But for the first time since 1988 audiences for the blockbuster musicals have fallen.
The statistics are confirmed by evidence in the West End today. She Loves Me, the musical which won a clutch of Laurence Olivier awards this year, has been forced to close because of falling audiences. The all-black musical Mama I Want To Sing has just posted closure notices.
The figures come from a bleak report on the performing arts from the independent Policy Studies Institute, which goes on to express "increasing concern" over the future of regional theatres in this country as a number are "going dark" for extended periods in 1995, while others are ceasing all in-house production to become solely receiving houses for touring companies.
To add to the gloom, it also reports that for the big national theatre, opera and ballet companies, the percentage of income derived from sponsorship, donations and other public grants has fallen in recent years.
The PSI statistics show that box-office revenues for London theatre in 1993 (the last year surveyed) showed a 10 per cent rise over the previous year, with attendances rising by 600,000 to 11.5 million. One in three ticket sales went to overseas visitors and half of those to tourists from north America.
But the most striking statistic was the 16.8 per cent fall in 1993 in numbers of people going to see modern musicals, the first year-on-year decline since 1988, even though they still provide half of all attendances in the West End.
Meanwhile, traditional musicals and classical plays saw marked increases in numbers attending. And the number of performances of classical plays went up by 58.4 per cent, from 1,579 to 2,501, just over half the number of performances of modern musicals.
Modern drama, on the other hand, fared badly. The percentage share of seats on offer for modern drama reached a record low of 9 per cent in 1993.
- 1 The scientist who takes 100 drugs a day so he can live to 150
- 2 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
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
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Small Family Accountancy Practi...
£18000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is recruiting for ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B software supplier, spe...
£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing SaaS (Softwar...