Record year, but subsidised theatre posts fall in revenue

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Figures released by the Society of London Theatre have revealed that while 2009 was a record year for the commercial West End, attendances and revenue in the major subsidised London theatres fell.

As revealed earlier this year, overall, theatres in SOLT membership saw revenue increase by 4.4% and attendances increase by 2.6%. However, when this is broken down between commercial and subsidised sectors, it shows that the growth was principally propelled by the success of the West End.

Commercial theatres saw revenue up by 6.8% and attendances increase by 4.8% in 2009.

However, subsidised venues in full SOLT membership saw their revenue fall by 6.8% and attendances down by 7.3%.

London's subsidised sector also produced considerably fewer performances than in 2008 - with a fall of more than 500, down from 3,067 to 2,563.

Advance sales in both the subsidised and commercial London theatres were down - 12.8% and 8.5% respectively. According to the SOLT Box Office Data Report 2009, the drop in the revenue and attendances in the subsidised sector "almost exactly mirror the rises of 2008", meaning that the sector's performance fell back to 2007 levels.

Subsidised theatres in full SOLT membership and therefore included in these figures are - the Barbican Theatre and Pit, the London Coliseum, the National Theatre's three auditoria, the Royal Court Downstairs, the Royal Opera House, Sadler's Wells and the Peacock Theatre.