Monday, 9 July 2012

Olympics: West End Shows To Close During 2012 Games

Sweeney Todd currently showing at the West End’s Aldephi Theatre is to close during the London Olympic Games this summer.


With the Games starting in less than a month, talk has turned to other sectors it will affect, both positively and negatively. Security, transport, hospitality, entertainment and healthcare are assumed to feel the strain of the estimated 6 million extra people who will be in the city for the Olympics.
The show, which is officially booking until 22nd September, will close during 29th – 12th August whilst the Games are on.
Although this is the only show that will close for the whole of the Olympics, other shows such as Matilda The Musical, Phantom of the Opera, Shrek the Musical and Singin’ in the Rain will all close on 27th July, the day of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, due to assumed low ticket sales.
Interestingly, all of these shows are part of The Really Useful Group, headed up by theatre legend, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. Earlier this year, Webber predicted a “bloodbath of a summer” for West End theatre.
He was right in some ways. Ticket sales for the summer across the UK are down with a reported 20% fall.
However, the assumed negative impact doesn’t seem as bad as first thought. As we blogged about earlier, the Olympics seems to have encouraged more people to seek out other London attractions.
It seems a bit hasty of Lord Andrew to shut the shows down for the night of the Opening Ceremony and has been a little defeatist and perhaps shot himself in the foot.
Of course the Opening Ceremony will be a huge event that will draw audiences to London as well as their televisions to watch. But there are of course people who aren’t bothered about the sport, and would possibly take the opportunity to see a West End show.
To us, what would have made more sense, Andrew, is offering an ‘Olympic’ discounted ticket rate on busy Olympic event days, rather than shutting up shop completely!
On popular Olympic day events, what’s stopping people visiting the theatre in the evening. Where is Lloyd Webber’s British fighting spirit?!
A survey by OnePoll discovered that 2.4 million Olympic ticket holders have already bought tickets to a musical, play, concert or exhibition. Another 1.7 million said they want to buy tickets to a show of some kind, but had not yet purchased tickets.
This is great news! So come on Andrew, don’t give up too easily!
Anyone out there got Olympic Tickets AND planning to see a show?

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