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West End play attendance rises again

6th June 2011

The number of people attending West End plays rose for the third year in succession in 2010, the latest figures have confirmed.

Data issued by the Society of London Theatres (SOLT) revealed that musicals continued to be the most popular theatre production in 2010, with a 59.5 per cent share of attendances, but plays now have a 26.2 per cent share.

This is compared with the 25.5 per cent share for plays recorded in 2009 and the 20.2 per cent proportion registered in 2008.

However, although the number of people viewing plays rose last year, overall West End theatre attendance dipped slightly to 14.1 million; a 0.8 per cent fall on 2009's figure.

'Arguably this would have been exceeded if the country had not been closed due to snow for two weeks in December,' a spokesman for the SOLT told the BBC.

He added that the figures prove musicals do not have a monopoly on the West End, despite many critics and audiences suggesting this is the case

The society attributed the continuing rise in interest in plays to the drawing power of big screen stars treading the boards in the West End, including David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker in the acclaimed adaptation of Arthur Miller's All My Sons.

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