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Globe publishes 2011 Annual Review, sets 92% capacity benchmark

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As Shakespeare’s Globe readies its summer 2012 season, including its ambitious Globe to Globe project, which will see all 37 Shakespeare plays performed by 37 different international companies in 37 different languages, it looks back on its 2011 performance with the publication of its Annual Review.

The Globe’s trading income rose by 11% to £14,975,000, of which 73% (£10,874,000) was generated by theatre box office and other admissions. Performances across last summer’s season ran at 88.5%, with the three Shakespeare plays All’s Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing and Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus hitting an average of 92%.

Nearly 350,000 theatregoers attended a Globe performance and, despite a challenging economic climate, the Globe still boasts that 40% of the tickets purchased by those theatregoers remained priced at only £5 for groundlings (standing room in the pit). In addition, 14,000 London secondary students were able to see a Globe play for free.

The Globe, where more people encounter Shakespeare than any other theatre in the world, receives no direct annual government subsidy. The organisation has charitable status and any surplus income is reinvested in the long-term upkeep and further development of the Globe. The total surplus at the end of 2011 was £1,633,000.

The Globe spread its reach further beyond London’s Bankside in 2011, extending its UK touring to 42 venues and an audience of 45,000, and screening a further four Globe productions to over 250 cinemas worldwide.

In fundraising, the Globe attracted a further £3.2 million in donations for the long-planned Indoor Jacobean Theatre and is now nearly three-quarters of the way toward its £7 million target. Building work is due to begin this autumn with the aim of opening the new performance space, which will make the Globe round a year-round producing company, in November 2013.

Trading income in 2011 was also boosted by a newly designed theatre website, improved online retail shop, and aggressive social media programme.

This is the Globe’s first Annual Review since Neil Constable was appointed chief executive at the end of 2010. Constable commented: “Shakespeare’s Globe’s first priority is creative excellence and a commitment to a £5 ticket price which makes it accessible for all, combined with ambitious education programmes which bring schools here for free. The disciplined approach we take to fundraising and the rigorous management of our commercial activities help us to deliver this, and at the same time realise continued development, such as the new Indoor Jacobean Theatre, to establish this site on Bankside as the international Shakespeare centre of excellence.”

2012 sees the opening of the 15th season at Shakespeare’s Globe on 21 April with Globe to Globe, an unprecedented programme of multi-lingual Shakespeare productions for the London 2012 festival that coincides with the Olympics. Thirty-seven international companies will present every one of Shakespeare’s plays in a different language over six weeks, concluding with the Globe’s own production of Henry V which will open the 2012 theatre season, “The Play’s The Thing”.

Making a confident bid to better last year’s 92% capacity benchmark, other 2012 season highlights include the return of former artistic director turned Tony and Olivier Award-winning actor Mark Rylance return to the Globe stage ahead of West End transfers of Twelfth Night, co-starring Stephen Fry as Malvolio, and Richard III


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