'War Horse' rides high for London outfit

London’s National Theater generated income of £70.6 million ($110 million) and produced fare seen by a record-breaking 1.6 million people in 2010-11, according to the theater’s annual report.

With an average 90% attendance across the three venues at the NT’s South Bank address and 97% for “War Horse,” playing in the West End, the total includes tours to 11 U.K. cities and cinema screenings of productions worldwide in the theater’s NTLive program. The screenings of eight productions reached auds of 145,000 in the U.K. and 215,000 overseas

Of the overall revenue, 48% came from B.O. at the National, on tour and from the West End version of “War Horse.” Subsidy from the U.K. Arts Council represented 28% of income, with the rest accounted for by donations, corporate giving, sponsorship, catering and sales other than tickets (books, DVDs, etc).

The National’s top ticket prices are kept low to increase accessibility, with the highest pricetag set at $70. Half of tickets for productions in the sponsored Travelex season cost $18.50 with a $46 top.

The figures do not include receipts from the Gotham incarnation of “War Horse,” because the strong-selling Lincoln Center Theater production opened after the end of the U.K. financial year.

Annum ended with a surplus of $600,000 after designating the surplus from the West End “War Horse” to NT Future, the building redevelopment project, and increasing regular contributions to essential capital and maintenance works.

The NT staged 25 productions, nine of which were world preem plays, and gave 1,503 perfs in London. Danny Boyle’s production of “Frankenstein” and the U.K. transfer of Bill T. Jones’ “Fela!” attracted first-time bookers of 36% and 49% respectively.

The NT’s 14-week, free outdoor Watch This Space fest, which features 14 exhibitions and 336 concerts, was attended by 53,000. Over 5,000 participated in NT Learning’s Connections, a nationwide youth fest of 10 commissioned plays.

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