The West End Theatre Audience (IRL)


The Society of London Theatre

MORI London: The Society of London Theatre
(1998) 50 pages, price on application


The West End Theatre Audience

To survey the West End Theatre audience

Questionnaire surveys were carried out at 47 performances across the West End between November 1996 and November 1997. In total, 6,660 responses were received from the 47 different productions - a response rate of 22%.

Introduction; Summary of main findings; The West End Theatre audience; Productions surveyed; Sample profile; Statistical reliability; Weighted topline results.

The survey found that there had been a significant rise in the number of British theatre-goers in the past six years, but the number of overseas visitors attending shows in the West End had fallen over this period. The average age of theatre-goers in London had increased, reflecting a trend towards more frequent theatre-going. Women now make up a greater than ever proportion of theatre-goers in London. Among those who live outside London, two-thirds said that London theatre was either the sole reason for their visit or a `very important' factor in influencing their visit the capital. Compared to the UK population as a whole, theatre-goers tend to earn more than average, to be more likely to work in seniors or middle managerial occupations, to have achieved higher educational qualifications, and to read broadsheet newspapers. Although there is always a wide cross-section of people at any one show in West End, different types of show evidently attract very different audiences. Two-thirds of theatre-goers arrive at the theatre by public transport, with London Underground being the single most common form of transport. Word of mouth remains the single most important factor in influencing people to visit a particular production. Overall, 88% say that their overall enjoyment of their trip to the theatre is good, while theatre-goers are 12 times more likely to consider a trip to the theatre to be good value for money than poor value. One third of current theatre-goers say that if there were regular Sunday performances they would visit London theatres more often. The average expenditure per head, on a trip to the theatre is £57. Multiplied by the total theatre audience number over the course of the year, this represents a total expenditure on theatre trips of around £679 million in 1997.

The Society of London Theatre, 32 Rose Street, London WC2E 9ET, UK Tel: 44 (0)171 557 6700 Fax: 44 (0)171 557 6799