SMH Sean Nicholls and Leesha McKenny December 3, 2009
WHITEGOODS are not the only big-ticket items to sell well coming out of a downturn, it seems. The Sydney Theatre Company reported an all-time one-day box office record when tickets to its 2010 productions went on sale on December 1. More than 5000 tickets were sold on that first day alone, and big names proved to be the big drawcards. Uncle Vanya, featuring Cate Blanchett, John Bell, Richard Roxburgh and Hugo Weaving, sold well, as did Long Day’s Journey Into Night featuring William Hurt and Robin Nevin. Rounding out the top four were the rock musical Spring Awakening and Steppenwolf Theatre’s August: Osage County. The general manager, Rob Brookman, said yesterday that the company was now halfway towards the $13.9 million target set for 2010. ”But with both season tickets and single tickets selling strongly, we’re optimistic about the outcome," he said. "This is an excellent result.” And a promising sign for the company’s bottom line. Figures from the Live Performance Australia’s annual ticket attendance and revenue survey revealed national ticket sales across entertainment sectors slumped 14 per cent in 2008. Total box-office revenue fell last year 13.6 per cent to $1.06 billion from $1.23 billion in 2007. For the record, Sydney Theatre Company finished last financial year in the black with a $37,116 profit.