Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Two in Five Small Theatres in the UK Could Face Closure

Concern is growing about dwindling audiences as the cost-of-living crisis intensifies

Two in Five Small Theatres in the UK Could Face Closure
Finbourough Theatre

Two in five small theatres in the UK could face closure as energy costs soar and Christmas sales tank.

According to a new study by GoDaddy and the Society of Independent Theatres, three quarters of independent theatres - those with fewer than 300 seats - say their ticket sales have still not returned to pre-Covid levels.

Most small theatres hope to generate around 25 per cent of their revenue for the year during the festive period.

Christmas sales are set to drop by around a third this year against pre-pandemic levels, with just 40% of people expecting to support their local venue's festive production, compared to 60% who did so in 2019. Three in five (61%) people say they have had to cut back on cultural activities due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Three quarters (75 per cent) of venues say customers are buying fewer tickets, and four in five (88 per cent) are concerned for their long-term future.

Seven in ten (71%) Brits visited an independent theatre in 2019, a number which falls to 57% in 2022.

Photo Credit: Doug Mackie

Review: WELCOME HOME, Soho Theatre Photo
Willy Hudson’s Welcome Home is described on the theatre website as a 'queer sci-fi epic' - and epic it truly is, in every sense of the word. In a neon green fever dream of a one man show, Hudson tackles gay coming of age and religious shame, all while creating a rock concert meets gay club atmosphere on the Soho Theatre main stage.

Save up to 33% on THE CHOIR OF MAN at the Arts Theatre Photo
The Olivier nominated, worldwide smash hit is returning to the West End!

Paul Taylor-Mills has announced the casting of Cake – The Marie Antoinette Playlist, a Parisian Dance Gig in One Act. Learn more about the production here!

The smash-hit Only Fools and Horses The Musical is to close at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket on Saturday 29 April after four incredible years – making it the longest running production staged in the Theatre Royal’s 200+ year history.

From This Author - Aliya Al-Hassan

Aliya Al-Hassan is UK Managing Editor of BroadwayWorld. A London-based theatre critic and journalist, she has a life-long passion for the arts, with a focus on theatre and opera. She is a... (read more about this author)

Full Cast Announced for ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, Starring Rachel TuckerFull Cast Announced for ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, Starring Rachel Tucker
January 30, 2023

Olivier Award-winning West End star Matt Henry is joining the cast of Annie Get Your Gun for a special one-night only concert – starring West End and Broadway favourite Rachel Tucker, at the world-famous London Palladium.

Show of the Week: Save up to 52% on NOISES OFFShow of the Week: Save up to 52% on NOISES OFF
January 30, 2023

Theatre Royal Bath Productions present Felicity Kendal, Jonathan Coy, Matthew Kelly and Tracy-Ann Oberman in the fortieth anniversary production of one of the greatest British comedies ever written.

Tickets from £30 for MEDEA Starring Sophie OkonedoTickets from £30 for MEDEA Starring Sophie Okonedo
January 27, 2023

What could turn a woman from a lover into a destroyer of love?

Review: TWO BILLION BEATS, Orange Tree TheatreReview: TWO BILLION BEATS, Orange Tree Theatre
January 27, 2023

Sonali Bhattacharyya's Two Billion Beats beautifully captures the intricacies of a siblings' relationship as the pair navigate exam pressure, racism and social injustice. When Bettina asks for her sister's help, Asha's desire for the truth to be heard has consequences for both of them.

Michael Longhurst to Step Down as Artistic Director of the Donmar WarehouseMichael Longhurst to Step Down as Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse
January 26, 2023

After five years in the role, Michael Longhurst has announced that he will step down as Artistic Director of The Donmar Warehouse when his contract ends in February 2024.