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UK theatregoing wins against football

Published 2 November 2015

More people saw a show at the theatre in the UK last year than watched a live football match in the English Premier League, English Football League and Scottish Premiership combined, a new report shows.

The report, published by UK Theatre, found that 18,029,453 tickets were sold for shows at its member venues around the UK. Combined with a London theatregoing total of 14,744,887 audience members in 2014, British theatres entertained 32.7 million theatregoers, exceeding football’s 32.1million attendees.

The report, which drew its findings from more than 200 venues around the UK, also exposed the impact of touring large-scale family musicals, with productions such as Disney’s The Lion King, Wicked and Shrek The Musical accounting for nearly £1 in every £4 taken at the box office.

Speaking about the report, Rachel Tackley, President of UK Theatre, commented: “The good news from this report is that theatres throughout the UK continue to thrive despite the challenging financial climate. As the 2015 UK Theatre Awards demonstrated, regional theatres continue to produce some of the country’s most exciting theatre despite unprecedented cuts to national and local funding.

“It is great to see the growing popularity of family musicals, which are a fantastic way to reach new audiences, but if we are to maintain our position as world leader in the performing arts we must continue to invest in the companies producing innovative drama, dance and opera. Theatre plays a more crucial role in our communities than ever before and the small investment from national and local government is repaid many times over by the economic, cultural, social and educational benefits it returns.”


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We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

Theatres are currently closed until 3 August. Some shows have cancelled or rescheduled performances beyond this date, please check with individual shows for details.