National Theatre generates record £87m annual income

The National Theatre and its Fire Garden which took place in summer 2012.
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The National Theatre generated a record income of £87 million in 2012/13, its annual report has revealed.

The report, which covers the Olympic Games period, shows an increase in income of around £7 million from the previous financial year in 2011/12.

Of this total, 59% was from box office receipts from both its South Bank base and its tours and West End transfers. Funding from Arts Council England represented 20%.

The venue experienced a slight dip in levels of overall paid attendance with 90% capacity at its South Bank venue in 2012/13. In the previous year it recorded 92% capacity.

War Horse, which transferred to and is still running at the New London Theatre, played to 97% capacity. It generated £15.1 million box office income, which was similar to last year.

One Man Two Guvnors continued to run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket throughout the year. It generated £9.2 million, while in the previous financial year it produced around £7 million income when it ran mainly at the Adelphi Theatre. The show closes in the West End in spring 2014.

Overall the National staged 26 productions during the year at the South Bank, with nearly half of these being new plays. There were more than 1,950 performances in London in total, compared to last year’s near 1,800.

The NT Live programme, which sees National and other productions broadcast live to cinemas in the UK and internationally, broke its UK audience record with its screening of Alan Bennett’s People. Around 65,000 people saw the show in UK cinemas, with a total worldwide audience of more than 94,000.

The theatre’s digital audience grew by 70% over the year. This figure represents the number of people downloading or streaming its free content from the web.

The venue reports that it published 300 new items of free content during the year, which included videos, podcasts and education packs. There were 1.5 million downloads and streams from its website and other platforms it has content featuring on in 2012/13.

In his introduction to the report, artistic director Nicholas Hytner referred to the “relief” felt when the government spending review earlier this year in June revealed a 5% cut to the arts budget for 2015/16.

However he also warned that the industry is entering “very perilous times”, particularly outside London where individual and corporate giving has “yet to make anything like the kind of impact that it has in the capital”.

He said: “The National Theatre must now become 
ever more dependent on the generosity of its supporters. It is our phenomenal good fortune that we have such committed and generous individual donors, corporate sponsors and supportive trusts and foundations.”