Globe Attributes 18% Box Office Drop to TerrorismDate: 31 May 2006
Now firmly into its 2006 season, Shakespeare’s Globe has released annual review figures for 2005, which show it achieved a 73% capacity for last year’s summer repertory, the final season under previous artistic director Mark Rylance. While respectable, the box office average marks an 18% drop from the previous record-breaking summer season, when the Globe registered 91% capacity audiences (See News, 8 Oct 2004).
Chief operating officer Graeme Wallace blamed the fall-off on both internal and external forces. “Two principal factors have had a significant impact on the Trust's results and financial position for the year. The first of these was a group re-organisation which took practical effect from 1 May 2005. The second factor was the July terrorist attacks on the London transport system and their aftermath."
Despite the box office fall off, the theatre’s total operating income for 2005 exceeded 2004 (£9.9 million versus £9.8 million), thanks to theatre and exhibition admissions, educational services and net touring income. Operating surpluses of £361,000 in 2005 and £784,000 in 2004 have resulted in a break even position for the theatre following a reported £940,000 deficit in 2003.
Commenting on the year in his opening statement for the Globe’s Annual Review, chairman Roger Parry said that 2005 was “a period of both challenge and change” with Rylance presenting his final season and chairman of the trustees Sir Michael Perry standing down.
Running from 6 May to 2 October 2005 under the title of “The Season of the World and Underworld”, Rylance’s farewell schedule featured four productions: Shakespeare’s Pericles, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest (in a new three-man version) and the premiere of Peter Oswald Plautus-based The Storm.
Now underway, Dominic Dromgoole’s inaugural season as the Globe’s new artistic director comprises six productions, under the loosely collective theme of The Edges of Rome: four Shakespeares (Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra and The Comedy of Errors) and two world premieres (Simon Bent’s Under the Black Flag and Howard Brenton’s In Extremis), running in repertory until 8 October 2006 (See News, 11 Jan 2006).
- by Terri Paddock