Touring shows helped Dublin’s Abbey Theatre box office receipts increase to €3.29m (£2.81m/$3.65m) last year, according to its annual report.

Ticket-buyers increased to 127,499 in 2018, marking its most fruitful year at the box office since 2013.

Overall ticketing revenues increased by 28 per cent to €3.2m from €2.56m, driven by an eightfold rise in touring income from €59,812 to €477,672.

The numbers were supported by a sell-out touring run of the musical Come from Away and by Doyle’s Two Pints being performed in the UK as well as stopping off at six pubs during its tour of Ireland across four counties.

The report said that “financially, 2018 proved to be a healthy year for the theatre”. The Abbey received €7m in core funding from the arts council in the period.

The directors added that the results were “broadly in line with budget for the year and reflects the board’s decision to invest surpluses earned in previous years into the Peacock Theatre programme in 2018”.

Total income amounted to €12.2m, which marks an increase of 14 per cent on the 2017 total of €10.7m, while overall expenditure increased by 15.5 per cent from €10.6m to €12.34m.

The report added: “2019 will see an enhanced emphasis on self-produced work at the Abbey Theatre whilst maintaining our policy of partnership through co-production and presentation. The studied eclecticism of the programme has also led to an increasingly diverse audience visiting the theatre.”

Image: bjaglin