Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Theatre Celebrates Its Best Year Ever

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Theatre Celebrates Its Best Year Ever

Article excerpt

Byline: Gordon Barr Entertainment Editor gordon.barr@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE Theatre Royal in Newcastle is celebrating its most successful year ever. Last year, the theatre saw a total of 405,681 customers through its doors - the highest number since records began.

And bosses say the figures point to a rosy future for the venue despite a drops in arts funding nationally.

Chief executive Philip Bernays said: "We strive to excel in everything that we do in order to attract audiences in what is a very competitive market, and the word 'welcome' continues to be our central mantra.

"We always try to give our customers the best experience without charging inflated prices - in fact the average price paid at the Theatre Royal in 2013/14 was PS22.39 which is slightly below the national average for theatre tickets, and considerably lower than the price of a ticket for a Premier League football match!" According to the Newcastle Theatre Royal's Annual Report for 2014/15, the Grade I-listed theatre welcomed 44 visiting theatre, opera, ballet and dance companies and presented 406 performances to a staggering 405,681 people, between April 2014 and March 2015.

The attendance for the year was at 80% capacity, 21% above the national average.

With a turnover of PS12.4m (up PS2.6m on last year), the not-forprofit theatre also supported 50 full-time equivalent jobs across the North East and returned PS338,652 to the Government in tax, National Insurance and VAT.

The year, 2014/15, has been the theatre's best ever in terms of ticket sales, with a total of PS10.3m worth of tickets sold.

Success was boosted by a blockbuster pantomime that smashed all previous records and a run of hugely successful musicals, including Cats, Top Hat and Dirty Dancing, as well as awardwinning play The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time. …

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