West End box office up 1.6% in 2015

According to West End Theatre Box office figures published last week by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) , 2015 was a strong year for London theatres with rises in both revenue and average weekly attendance.

London’s theatre’s took £633m at the box office in 2015, up 1.6% on the previous year, generating £105m in VAT for the treasury.

Average weekly attendance rose to £283m from £278m in 2014. While overall attendance of over £14m was down on last year, a quirk of reporting means that 2014 included 53 weeks against 2015’s 52.

The average ticket price continued to increase at above the rate of inflation at £42.99 up from £42.29 in 2014 – an 1.6% increase. SOLT claimed that the increase reflected continued demand and a reduction in discounted tickets being available. Over the past five years, ticket prices have risen by 13%.

The statistics gathered by SOLT, the organisation representing London’s theatre owners, producers and managers show that the popularity of musicals continues to grow. Attendances at musicals rose 4% in 2015, while attendances at plays showed a dip of 5%.

The healthy figures are released as the industry prepares to celebrate the very best of the past 12 months of theatre in London at the Olivier Awards 2016.