It’s certainly no secret that London is up there with the best cities in the world when it comes to theatre, and is often considered to be rivalled only by New York, with Broadway being the US’s answer to the West End.
However, for the first time ever, some statistical analysis has been carried out in order to determine the full scale of the capital’s theatrical offerings, with the results confirming that industry is continuing to boom.
Indeed, according to the study, which was commissioned by the National Theatre, London is currently home to no fewer than 241 professional theatres, with a combined seating capacity of over 110,000. These venues vary greatly in size and style, with the large West End theatres that can hold several thousand spectators contrasted against intimate locations such as the Lord Stanley Pub in Camden, which entertains audiences of just 30 people at a time.
All of this is good news for theatre fans, as it means there’s plenty of variety on offer across the capital, so whether you’re looking to experience one of the top musicals or discover a small, independent production, you’ll certainly not be short of opportunities to do so.
What’s more, the popularity of theatre in London is continually rising, with combined box office sales during 2012-13 standing at almost £620 million – more than the amount taken by London cinemas during the same period.
Speaking about the findings, National Theatre executive director Nick Starr said: “While there has been for some time an awareness that London is a world city for theatre, we’ve hitherto lacked the data to see just how big it is; and how the inter-connected sectors of commercial, subsidised – and the very significant further non-profit sector that works without subsidy – combine to form a vast audience for theatre”.
Many of the capital’s top theatres are located within a short radius of the Montcalm London Marble Arch, which is itself in the heart of the West End.