London's Theatres Fear Slump During Olympics
Created: 2012-08-03 04:56 EST
They hoped that the Olympics would bring packed theaters, but some in London's glittering West End are worried seats will be empty during the Games this summer.
[Polly Rae, Entertainer, Star of “The Hurly Burly Show”]:
"I have heard that people are worried and obviously that was something that we all had to consider when we thought about bringing the show back to the West End at this time of year. But obviously for us you know we are just about enticing those people that are going to be in town and we really do feel like we have something for those punters, do you know what I mean, something different, something fun, and something that they can go back to their home countries and talk about.”
Composer and producer Andrew Lloyd Webber warned of a 'bloodbath' for London theaters during the Olympics.
[Andrew Lloyd Webber, Composer and Producer]:
"I know shows are going to close."
Some say tourists will be turned off by inflated hotel prices and tales of traffic and security problems.
[Tom Jenkins, Executive Director, ETOA]:
"I think what we're going to find is that the regular tourists have been scared away during the Games, they've been replaced by sports fans and I fear domestically not anything like the same number of people. But these sports fans are not going to behave like regular tourists.”
With advance bookings down and reports of dropping tourist numbers, bargain hunters can find online ticket sellers offering dramatic discounts to London's top shows.
Others are optimistic.
[Simon Warwick, CEO, Lovetheatre.com]:
People are not committing as far in advance as they used to so that affects the advances. So producers do get nervous, you know, they sort of say 'I'm not really sure what's going on here, oh it's all going to horrible'. I think there will be packed theaters. I really do.”
Now with just over a week to go before the start of the Olympics, London's Theatreland is waiting to see if the Games will prove to be a smash or a flop when it comes to ticket sales.