Last year, David Edgar and I (for the British Theatre Consortium) produced a much-cited report, British Theatre Repertoire 2013, gathering together and analysing the most extensive set of data ever assembled about what happens on Britain's stages. Well, we've done it again, producing a comparable report on the British Theatre Repertoire in 2014. Again we've been supported by Arts Council England and the report was researched and written in collaboration with UK Theatre/Society of London Theatre and with David Brownlee of BON Culture. Its findings were launched at a plenary session of the Theatre 2016 Conference, on 12 May 2016.
The main headline of the report is that the transformation ofBritish theatre repertoire which reported last year has remained firmly in place. New work still dominates the repertoire, and London the theatrical landscape. British theatre continues to defy austerity: in 2014, British theatres made over a billion at the box office.
This is the second report so while we can begin to establish the consistent patterns, it is too early confidently to describe trends (with only two years of data, it's not possible to tell whether a change is a genuine trend, random statistical variation, or the product of one anomalous year). We hope the funding will be continued. With another couple of years of data, we should be able to see a dynamic picture of where the theatre is going.
However, some changes can be seen.
- Within new work, new writing has slightly declined and devised work markedly increased. In terms of attendances and box office, London has pulled further away from the rest of the country.
- Wales seems to be experiencing a surge in theatregoing leading the country in percentage of potential attendance and box office.
- Classical revivals are dominated by Shakespeare and women’s revivals by Agatha Christie.
- More than half of the National Theatre's and RSC's new plays were by women.
The full report is embargoed until Thursday May 12 - at which point you'll be able to read it HERE.