UK Theatre has released 2017 sales figures for more than 200 of its member venues across the country and the numbers show a downturn in tickets sold and gross revenue.
The figures show:
- Number of performances was up by 3.0% to 44,135
- Average ticket price increased by 1.5% to £25.08
- Number of tickets sold was 18,732,475, down by 1.9% on 2016
- A gross take of £469,770,500, a 0.4% decrease on the previous year
The results, collated by TRG Arts, show that the cumulative performance of UK Theatre venues in 2017 was very similar to in 2016, with variables all staying under 3%. However, an increased average price paid for tickets since 2016 means that the figure for total tickets sold has reduced disproportionately to the total spend.
Fiona Allan, president of UK Theatre and chief executive of Birmingham Hippodrome, said: ‘The overall consistency of these latest figures is testament to the continuing strength and resilience of the UK theatre industry, despite the economic climate.
“While it is fantastic to see more performances around the country, however, it is notable that revenue and attendances haven’t also risen. It is too soon to say whether these figures are an anomaly, or whether they may signal a growing disparity between what theatre audiences are able to pay, and the amount theatres now charge.
“If a trend does appear over the next few years, the theatre industry will need to explore ways of operating ever more creatively to retain and grow audiences in a landscape of reduced funding and tough operating costs.”