Renovations at musical theatres appear to have caused a drop in London theatregoing last year.
More than 15 million people visited commercial West End and major subsidised theatres in 2019, generating £799m of box office revenue, the Society of London Theatre's (SOLT) ticket sales show.
But attendance was 1.4% lower than in 2018. Musicals attracted 2% less audience members. SOLT says this reflects the fact that three of London’s largest musical houses – the Dominion Theatre, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the newly renamed Sondheim Theatre – were dark for a significant proportion of the year.
President Kenny Wax celebrated the "bouyancy" of London's theatre industry given there were 371 dark weeks in 2019 compared to 207 the previous year.
"Audiences remain hungry for a quality live experience, evidenced by the unprecedented percentage of seats filled in 2019 (80.7%)."