Shrewsbury Venues Report Increased Attendances

Annual attendance at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn has increased by more than 10%, the venue has confirmed. Ticket sales for year ending 31 March 2015 totalled 159,936, an increase of more than 15,000 on the previous 12 months.

Audiences from Shropshire and beyond visited the riverside theatre to attend hit productions such as The Mousetrap, The Kite Runner, Jeeves & Wooster, a first visit by Birmingham Royal Ballet, and a host of sell-out performances by popular acts such as Dawn French, Al Murray, Milton Jones, Paul Carrack and Joan Armatrading. Approximately 1/3 of third of attendees visited the venue from outside Shropshire.

The venue also reported that attendance among schools, children and students exceeded 30,000, as younger audiences attended productions including Horrible Histories, Science Museum Live and John Godber’s ‘Teechers’. The hugely popular annual pantomime also saw another record-breaking attendance of almost 39,000 last Christmas.

Theatre Manager David Jack, told us “We enjoyed a very busy year and are thrilled by the increased attendance figures. In total, Theatre Severn hosted 450 performances last year, including more than 100 produced and performed by local amateur companies, organisations and performers of all ages, based here in Shropshire.”

During the same period, attendance at sister venue The Old Market Hall Cinema rose by 13.6%, with annual ticket sales exceeding 60,000 for the first time since opening in 2004. In the past 12 months, the two venues, both owned and operated by Shropshire Council, attracted a combined total of 221,602 visitors to Shrewsbury town centre, an increase of more than 22,000 on the previous year.

Marketing Manager Craig Reeves added, “The continued success of these relatively new venues could not be achieved without the fantastic support of local audiences. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Theatre Severn in the months ahead and will announce details of a number of big shows for 2016 later this year.”

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for business growth, said: “This increase is wonderful news and proves that our dedicated team of staff have the right programme mix.

“I am confident that they will continue to work hard to bring in new activities, events and exhibitions to keep both our local residents, businesses and visitors coming through the doors.”

The forthcoming programme at Theatre Severn includes classic plays such as Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘Absent Friends’, Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting For Godot’ and Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple mystery ‘A Murder Is Announced’, hit West End musical Avenue Q, and popular comedians Ed Byrne, Chris Ramsey and Henning Wehn, alongside a host of live music, dance, opera, and family shows including dinosaur spectacular Jurassic Adventures. Earlier this year, the venue also broadened their programme with the introduction of live screenings from the National Theatre and Royal Opera House in the 250-seat Walker Theatre.

Full listings for Theatre Severn can be found at theatresevern.co.uk and for the Old Market Hall at oldmarkethall.co.uk Tickets are available at the venue Box Office or by telephone on 01743 281281.

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