Theatre News

Box office figures show London's West End drew revenue of £765 million in 2018

Box office figures for London and beyond have been released

West End
West End
© Flickr/Arpad Lukacs

Ticketing figures have been released by Society of London Theatre and UK theatre for their members in 2018.

In London, attendance was up by three per cent on 2017, while across the UK, attendance was up 0.3 per cent. There was an 8.6 percent increase in gross revenue for SOLT members in 2018, which came in at £765,800,051. The gross revenue for UK Theatre was £509,567,967, which was up 8.4 per cent on 2017.

The average ticket price paid in London was £49.25, which was up 5.5 per cent on 2017, while in the rest of the UK, the average ticket price was £27.10 – up 8.0 per cent on 2017.

There was an increase in the number of performances in London to 18,708 – up 2.08 per cent from 2017. Plays experienced a dip in attendances and revenue in the capital, whereas the year was strong for musicals. SOLT venues saw 9,460,743 attendance in musicals – 8.2 per cent higher than 2017 – while plays saw a dip of 6.5 per cent on 2017 in London.

The figures reflect a combined ticket revenue of nearly £1.2 billion and a combined audience of 34 million. London's West End theatres generated over £127 million in VAT for the Treasury.

SOLT's box office figures relate to all major theatres, both commercial and grant-aided, in central London. UK Theatre's data comes from UK Theatre members across the country. It does not represent 100 per cent of ticket sales in all UK Theatre venues.

Kenny Wax, President of SOLT, said: "As these figures show, London's world-leading theatre industry is attracting larger audiences than ever after another record year. Increasingly, people seem to want to invest in high quality cultural experiences, and the West End is benefiting from this trend.

"We must be cautious heading into 2019, however, as the combined effects of some theatres going dark for renovations, major musicals closing and an uncertain political climate might have an impact in the coming months."