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Globe publishes annual 2012 review, significant increase in new audiences to Shakespeare

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As it prepares for its upcoming "season of plenty" Shakespeare's Globe has today (21 February 2013) published its annual report for 2012.

The Globe's trading income rose by 19% to £17,834,000, of which 73% (£13,092,000) was generated by theatre box office and other admissions; 40% of the tickets purchased were made up of £5 groundling tickets (standing room in the pit).

The Shakespeare productions, including the Whatsonstage.com Award-winning Twelfth Night and Richard III, played to more than 315,000 people. This represented 97% of the Globe's audience capacity. Over 14,000 state school students from every London borough, half of whom had never been to the theatre before, received free tickets for a Globe play.

The Globe to Globe festival, which saw all 37 Shakespeare plays performed by 37 different international companies in 37 different languages, received 86,000 visitors, with a 66% occupancy rate. It recorded 80% of first-time attenders to the Globe, and 141 theatregoers saw all 37 productions. The festival was also awarded with a special award from the Critics' Circle in January 2013.

The Globe 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 2012 was £3,473,000.

The all-male productions of Twelfth Night, which won Best Shakespearean Production and Best Supporting Actor in a Play for Stephen Fry, and Richard III, which together won Best Ensemble Performance at the Whatsonstage.com awards last Sunday, signified the Globe’s first commercial transfers to the West End when they moved to the Apollo Theatre for a sell-out season.

The theatre also saw work extend beyond Bankside, with two large-scale and two small-scale productions touring the UK and internationally, attracting audiences of over 32,000. The 2011 productions of All's Well That Ends Well, Much Ado About Nothing and Doctor Faustus were screened in 350 cinemas across the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand as part of the Globe on Screen initiative, and all 37 Globe to Globe productions were filmed, and were free to view.

Building work began on the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the new indoor Jacobean theatre being built adjacent to the outdoor theatre. £6.5 million has so far been raised through trusts, foundations and invidual donors towards a target of £7.5 million. The theatre will open for performances in January 2014, the first year in which the Globe will offer performances all year round.

Chief executive Neil Constable commented: "Last year was a phenomenal year for Shakespeare’s Globe. It is truly remarkable what has been achieved in the sixteen years since the theatre opened as wonderfully acknowledged by the Critics’ Circle, recognising the Globe as ‘the leading place to celebrate our greatest playwright’. We now look forward to more ground-breaking creativity and exciting new opportunities with the opening of the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in January 2014, allowing us to have a twelve month theatre season."

2013 sees the return of three Globe to Globe productions, as well as a season of Shakespeare's plays dealing most directly with the supernatural. The Tempest will star Roger Allam, Colin Morgan and Jessie Buckley, which will be followed by Michelle Terry in A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Globe artistic director Dominic Dromgoole.

The theatre will also see Joseph Millson, Samantha Spiro and Bette Bourne in Macbeth directed by Eve Best. The theatre will also see new writing, and several touring productions including a site-specific tour of the Henry VI trilogy.


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