Arts & Culture

Star names pushing West End prices up

Featured Image: Eamonn Wang on Unsplash

Premium West End ticket prices soared in the last year by 9%, although standards tickets have dropped in price.

The musical Cabaret featuring Cara Delevigne offered the most expensive seat at £303.95 ($385/€360), according to industry newspaper The Stage’s annual survey.

The Stage survey found that the average top-priced West End ticket was for £154.56 compared to £141.37 in 2023.

Cabaret had the highest price for the third consecutive year but for the first time in the survey’s history, three plays, as opposed to musicals, were found to be charging more than £200 for their costliest seat.

Romeo and Juliet, starring Spider-Man actor Tom Holland, was the most expensive play at £298.95. This was followed by Player Kings, featuring two-time Academy Award winner Sir Ian McKellen, at £230, and The First Shadow at £228.80.

Those prices mark a near 50% increase in the average most expensive ticket for plays since last year, when the highest place was £150 for The Crucible at the National Theatre.

Other notable names that have graced the stage this year include Dominic West in Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge and Sarah Jessica Parker in the Plaza Suite.

Standard prices down

Although the top-end prices have increased, the average cheapest has gone down by 3.8% from £25.44 to £24.58.

Furthermore, fewer than 5% of tickets sold were over £150 and no more than 0.25% were £250 or more.

“Despite the rising cost of theatre productions, theatre works hard to offer affordable tickets to encourage a vibrant theatre-going community,” said Society of London Theatre president Eleanor Lloyd.

“Almost a quarter of the tickets sold in the West End last year were for under £30, and just 13% were bought for more than £100.

“This is delivered in the context of producers and venues facing rising costs, with members experiencing a 120% rise in utility bills since 2019, for example.

“Despite these financial challenges, cost increases have not been passed on to audiences, with average ticket prices only rising by half the rate of inflation since before the pandemic.”

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