Mayor Sadiq Khan today backed a new initiative to encourage Londoners and tourists to visit the city’s local and more diverse theatres.
According to the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) more people visit London’s theatres each year than watch Premier League football games in a season. And with London theatres generating well over £600million in revenue each year, they are a key part of the capital’s cultural economy.
London’s big West End shows dominate box office takings but the city has hundreds of smaller theatres which also put on amazing shows and help nurture exceptional talent. A new website theatre.london, which is being launched by London & Partners, will help to shine a spotlight on, not only West End shows, but also the scores of other performances taking place every evening at one of the 210 theatres which are dotted all around the capital.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Supporting London’s cultural, creative and night time economies will be one of my core priorities as Mayor, and theatre will play a crucial part in my plans.
“Hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world set their sights on the bright lights of the West End every year. But beyond theatreland London has a treasure trove of playhouses in all corners of the city, hosting everything from our thriving fringe to top musicals, all of which contribute to our status as a world leader for culture and creativity.
“theatre.london is a wonderful new way to help even more people to explore and discover the hidden gems and huge variety of our city’s show-stopping theatre scene.”
Gordon Innes, CEO London & Partners, said: “London’s theatres play a huge part in making the capital such a vibrant and exciting place. The West End puts on the finest shows on earth but it is also important to make sure people know about the smaller theatres, many of which are putting on exceptional performances and helping nurture the talent of tomorrow.”
theatre.london is also being supported by Showstoppers! The Improvised Musical which recently won an Olivier award and grew from the King’s Head Theatre Pub in Islington, to Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival and on to London’s West End.
Producer Suzanna Rosenthal said: “From our beginnings at the King’s Head to an Olivier award for Best Entertainment & Family Show this year, our journey just goes to show how West End success is born from the support of local theatres and local audiences. It is important this new initiative helps to reach new audiences so as many people as possible can explore and enjoy all forms of theatre.”
With over 400 shows on at any one time, as well as any number of successful festivals, street theatre and open air theatre spaces, the city has an unrivalled breadth of creative talent and theatrical experiences.
The new website, which showcases the capital’s unique Dot London domain names, will offer a fresh take on all things theatre – the personalities and stories behind some of the most famous shows, information and news from fringe and arthouse productions, and a guide to what’s new and different.
Jude Kelly, Artistic Director Southbank Centre, added: “Southbank Centre believes the arts have the power to transform lives, and that the arts must be available to all of us. We are pleased to be supporting the launch of theatre.london and its ambition to open up the world of theatre to new audiences, and wish it every success.”
In partnership with SEE tickets and Edwardian Hotels, the website will showcase the rich variety and breadth of London theatre, as well as providing some of the sharpest ticket deals in town. It aims to introduce new and younger audiences to the world of theatre – from free, outdoor festivals to the glamour of West End hit shows – and to encourage more Londoners and visitors to explore new theatrical experiences and venues across the city.