Record year as RSC brings in £63.9m

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Box office income was up five per cent to £34.3m and trading income by three per cent to £7m.

In its annual report, the RSC said it continued to offer a wide range of ticket discounts to open up theatre to everyone, with over 72,000 schools tickets, 19,000 family tickets and 20,000 £5 tickets for 16-25 year olds, and welcomed 570,000 day visitors to its Stratford home.

It also maintained its commitment to accessible performances, offering captioning, audio description, relaxed and signed performances, as well as touch tours.

It was also reported that its education programmes reached over 530,000 children and young people.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Students from Stratford-upon-Avon College performed a verbatim theatre piece at the AGM, devised by Aileen Gonsalves, which highlighted the impact of RSC Education’s work across the UK.

Artistic director, Gregory Doran, said: “We know great Shakespeare teaching can inspire young people, building confidence and skills in speaking, writing and listening – all essential for a successful future life.

“The RSC approach, drawing on rehearsal room techniques, can change lives.

“Having had such success working with young people in the last year, we want to invite all schools across the country to join us to make 2016 a year to celebrate Shakespeare’s work with their students.

“They can mark the 400th anniversary in the classroom, by watching a free broadcast or a live performance, or taking part in our Dream Team initiative, which runs alongside our 2016 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation.”

Mr Doran added: “Shakespeare reminds us so eloquently what it is to be human and gives us a 360 degree view of life.

“Our successes in 2014/15 in reaching new audiences show his continuing appeal and the power of live theatre to inspire and challenge us.

“We have had a great year, not only with Shakespeare, but new plays like our acclaimed productions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies and Tom Morton Smith’s dazzling Oppenheimer, and classics from Shakespeare’s contemporaries, with our ‘Roaring Girls’ strand celebrating great roles for women.

“As we prepare for 2016 and the biggest Shakespeare anniversary ever, we want to reach the widest possible audience, with thrilling, contemporary work – made in Shakespeare’s home town and shared across the world.

“From productions in Stratford and a brand new exhibition and studio theatre, to a national tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings playing in London, China and New York, as well as worldwide cinema broadcasts, there is a rich programme on offer.

“As we look forward to 2016, I am grateful to all our sponsors, donors and friends, for all their support in bringing our work to audiences everywhere.”

The success of Matilda The Musical in London and other commercial transfers

The Royal Shakespeare Company's Swan Theatre.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre.

helped generate a surplus which, the RSC said, would be allocated to a strategic investment fund, from which they are spent on projects to help sustain the company’s future, including funding the Live From Stratford-upon-Avon cinema broadcasts.

Those screenings have now reached over 420,000 people since they began in 2013, and the RSC screened five films for free to schools across the UK last year, alongside live Q&As with the creative teams.

The RSC’s full annual review can be found  at www.rsc.org.uk/about-us/our-work/annual-review.aspx