Great Expectations becomes the first West End show broadcast in cinemas

The latest iteration of Great Expectations currently in London has become the first West End show to be broadcast live to UK cinemas.

Indeed, the first night of Graham McLaren’s production was shown in 120 cinemas, which helped to generate an audience of 7,500 people.

It is now hoped that similar ventures could boost theatre box office figures in the future.

There are just 690 seats in London’s Vaudeville Theatre, which is hosting the new show until June 1st, but it managed to gain more money from screening in a plethora of cinemas throughout the country.

Footage of the production was beamed into 120 cinemas across the UK, which helped to take in around £80,000 at the box office. The event also included additional extras such as the arrival of celebrity guests at the theatre.

The film is set to be repeated in a number of cinemas across Europe, America, Asia and Australia with Omniverse Vision’s – the firm behind the screenings – co-founder Austin Shaw predicting there could be a further total audience of 50,000.

These figures are sure to be of great interest to commercial partners, following from the success of the National Theatre’s NT Live programme that was used last year.

Shaw told the industry newspaper the Stage there has been plenty of interest shown in doing something similar in the future.

He added: “I am busy talking to lots of West End producers to show them the quality that can be achieved by doing this. Also, there is the idea of being able to capture original casts in new shows.

“One of the great shames is productions come in, run for a set number of weeks and then are gone again and you have nothing to show for it.”

With the production set to be in the capital until this summer, people still have time to book stays in one of the many luxury hotels in London to catch a performance.

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