The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 29 January 2019
Record Takings - West End theatres enjoyed record box office takings of £766m in 2018, up 8.6% compared with the previous year. This was driven by ticket sales for musicals such as Hamilton, with revenue from the genre increasing by 15.4% in 2017 to £504m. The average ticket price paid for musicals was £53.27. A recent survey by The Stage revealed that the average top-price ticket for a musical in 2018 cost £153.54.
As well as having the highest box office revenue since records began, West End theatres also had record audience attendances of 15.5m, up 3%. However, while audiences for musicals were up, attendance for West End plays dropped by 6.5%.
Commenting on the figures, SOLT president Kenny Wax says: “London’s world-leading theatre industry is attracting larger audiences than ever after another record year. Increasingly, people seem to want to invest in high-quality cultural experiences, and the West End is benefiting from this trend.”
Fiddling On - Trevor Nunn’s production of Fiddler on the Roof has announced a West End transfer and will play at the Playhouse Theatre from March. At present, the musical revival is running at the Menier Chocolate Factory, starring Andy Nyman and Judy Khun, who will both reprise their roles in the transfer. The production will take place in a “reconfigured” auditorium, and the full cast is yet to be announced.
Farewell - Daryl Dragon, one half of 70s duo The Captain & Tennille has died aged 76. "He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly," Toni Tennille said in a statement. "I was at my most creative in my life when I was with him." The duo's best-known songs included Do That to Me One More Time and Love Will Keep Us Together. Dragon, a classically trained pianist, was most at home behind the keyboard. One of his early gigs was as a backup musician for the Beach Boys in the mid ‘60s.
Adieu - Oscar-winning composer Michel Legrand, who worked with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis and Barbra Streisand, has died aged 86. The Frenchman, who won Academy Awards for the much-covered hit The Windmills of Your Mind and for his music for Summer of '42 and Yentl, worked with some of the music world's biggest stars such as Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli and Edith Piaf.
(Jim Evans)
29 January 2019

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