Show types 'ecstatic' to be bucking the recession
WEST END theatres are bringing in their biggest audiences since records began, despite Britain being in the middle of a recession.
"I said in our annual report that if we happened to be 10% down on last year than I would be happy," said Nica Burns, president of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT).
"So to be up on last year, I'm obviously ecstatic."
One theory on the upturn - audiences rose by 2.5% over the past year - is to put it down to the recession itself. With more people staying in London rather than going abroad, the idea goes, there are more potential theatre-goers around.
Burns was also keen to credit the quality of plays in recent times.
"Plays in London are going through a special period of excellence and the audiences are flocking," she said.
SOLT record the stats for 52 of London's main theatres. For the year up to 18 July, nearly 13 million people saw shows at those theatres, a rise of 2.5% on the previous year.
It doesn't seem that audience figures were bought by cheaper tickets either, as box office receipts were up by 3.5% over the same period.