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West End toilets survey: methodology and full data

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To define a West End theatre, we considered all venues with full membership of the Society of London Theatre.

The toilets counted are front-of-house facilities, available to audience members at show times. Backstage or staff toilets are not included. In order to establish demand, we counted the total capacity of the venue and modelled all calculations on a full house.

In cases where a theatre has more than one performance space, we combined the capacities of all auditoria.

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Because the Barbican includes public areas and galleries not used for the performing arts, we counted the public toilet facilities on relevant levels, and their corresponding auditoria capacities.

One toilet is counted as one cubicle or one urinal.

Figures were obtained by press representatives or operations staff at all venues.

The data includes none of the five West End theatres owned by Nimax – Apollo, Duchess, Lyric, Palace and Vaudeville – which declined to supply the requested figures.

Disabled facilities were counted separately to illustrate each theatre’s provision for audience members requiring accessible toilets.

In a few cases, the sum of the men’s, women’s and disabled toilets does not match the total for the venue. This is to account for accessible toilets which are located as part of a wider allocation of toilets and can also easily be used by able-bodied patrons.

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For the handful of theatres that have an allocation of gender-neutral toilets, these were split equally between the men’s and women’s columns if they were cubicles, and allocated to the men’s column if they were urinals. It should be noted that the Royal Court is currently unique in that all of its toilet cubicles are gender neutral, meaning they are available to people any gender.

The proportion of female audience members was calculated based on the most recent audience profile report, published in 2010 by SOLT and Ipsos Mori, which states that female visitors account for 68%of theatregoers.

Studies have shown that the average woman takes around 90 seconds to use a toilet. This statistic was used to work out the time needed to accommodate the women in a theatre at capacity.

Data in full

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