Ticket takings soar at New Wolsey in Ipswich as theatres enjoy boom

Sir Trevor Nunn talks about his new production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at The New Wolsey.

Sir Trevor Nunn talks about his new production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at The New Wolsey.

The value of ticket sales at Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre increased by nearly a third last year as a variety productions brought in thousands of extra people.

Kulvinder Ghir as Bottom in Titania's bed in Sir Trevor Nunn's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the New

Kulvinder Ghir as Bottom in Titania's bed in Sir Trevor Nunn's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the New Wolsey Theatre - Credit: Archant

Takings went up by 31.5% last year – and the New Wolsey was not the only Suffolk theatre to see its audiences soar.

The Theatre Royal at Bury St Edmunds, one of the oldest in the country, has seen ticket sales increase by 30% over the last two years.

The figures will be outlined to members of Suffolk County Council next week when they are told about the success of the authority in supporting the two theatres.

The statistics are contained in a report from cabinet member for finance Richard Smith showing how the council’s support for the theatres is helping them find new audiences.

Jeni Raw, marketing manager for the New Wolsey Theatre said, “We are very pleased with the increased ticket sales over the past year – particularly when we are working in a challenging economic climate.

“This is a direct result of our investment in audience engagement and retention. We have made a concerted effort to speak to our existing audiences, talk to them about our programme and encourage them to see more shows.

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“We are very much focused on audience loyalty and investing in local people.

“We encourage them to see shows that perhaps they don’t know much about but we are able to supply them with the information they need to make an informed choice.

“This boost in ticket sales is a direct result of this campaign which rewards audience loyalty.”

The figures for the New Wolsey do not include ticket sales for the Sir Trevor Nunn production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which is currently attracting near sell-out audiences to the theatre.

The most popular productions at the New Wolsey continue to be the Rock ‘n’ Roll Pantomimes which continue to attract sell-out or near sell-out audiences for two months year after year.

But the theatre also attracts regular audiences with a mix of musicals, touring productions, and its own in-house plays – as well as successful amateur shows during the summer.

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