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Theatre Severn sees visitor numbers rise

Theatre Severn

Annual attendance at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn has increased by more than 10%, the venue announced this week.

Ticket sales for year ending 31 March 2015 totalled 159,936, an increase of more than 15,000 on the previous 12 months.

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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 sellout performances by popular acts such as Dawn French, Al Murray, Milton Jones, Paul Carrack and Joan Armatrading. Approximately a 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.

David Jack, Theatre Severn manager, 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.

Craig Reeves, Marketing Manager, 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.”

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.

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