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West End box office figures show theatres are fuller than ever

Box office figures have been released for 2016

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© Eddy Hamamci/Flickr

Box office figures for the West End have been released, showing that a record number of available seats were filled in theatres last year.

Society of London Theatre have reported that 76.7 per cent of available seats were filled in the West End, up 4.1 per cent compared to 2015 and a new record.

Overall, the number of attendances fell last year from 14,742,588 in 2015 to 14,328,121. This was in part due to the number of performances being down by 5.95 per cent on the previous year. The number of new productions and the average number of theatres open also fell.

Gross revenue in 2016 was up by 1.7 per cent on 2015 coming in at £644,719,639 increased from £633,778,537 in 2015. The average price paid for a ticket was £45, an increase of 4.68 per cent. SOLT suggests this increase is due to higher demand and a reduction in discounting tickets.

The number of people attending musicals was 8,132,673, down on 2015 by two per cent, but the amount of revenue generated was up by four per cent. The number of people attending plays was 4,181,318 - up two per cent on 2015, while revenue was up eight per cent. The amount of VAT paid on box office takings was £107,453,273 last year.

Last year also saw a record in terms of weekly attendance, which peaked in the week commencing 26 December at 439,103.

Caro Newling, president of the Society of London Theatre, said: "With our shows performing to record numbers, the box office figures for 2016 further cement London's place as a world-leader in theatre.

"Revenues are just one measure of success; what we are most proud of is that new generations of theatre-goers are drawn to the capital, home of the world's greatest creative talent, by our peerless ability to craft and tell the stories that resonate."