It seems there has never been a better time to visit a West End show, or to tread the boards yourself, with the audience figures for London’s West End theatres showing that 2017 was the city’s best year yet.
According to figures published by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), audience numbers at West End shows topped 15 million in 2017 for the first time ever.
In addition, revenue from ticket sales also grew for the 14th year in a row, with prices rising for those who attended shows in the capital.
The Evening Standard revealed that musicals experienced an eight per cent rise in their audience numbers, while plays saw a slightly lower seven per cent climb.
One interesting figure from the SOLT survey is that the number of new shows hitting the West End fell by 18 in 2017 compared to a year earlier, The Stage reported. This indicates that shows are running for longer, the publication noted.
Hamilton and Harry Potter And The Cursed Child were cited as two of the productions that helped draw in higher audience figures in the West End.
SOLT president and West End producer Kenny Wax stated: “The box office figures are a testament to the creative strength of London theatre and cements the city’s status as the world’s theatre capital.”
Seeing a West End production could give you the inspiration to sign up for a course at a drama school in Leeds. While London may host some of the biggest and best-known shows in the UK, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a thriving theatre scene in other cities.
Actors taking the best acting classes Leeds has to offer should value their craft, and the training it took to hone it.
This is why the lack of pay for many actors is so problematic, and has recently become the focus of a debate, sparked by reviewer Mark Shenton.
It started with an article on The Stage in which he pledged to stop reviewing plays that didn’t pay their actors. He argued this mainly affected fringe theatre, but that the small-scale nature of the productions was no excuse.
He was then invited onto the Today Programme where he debated low pay, alongside actors and their unions. Equity, the actor’s union said on the show: “you wouldn’t open a cafe and then tell the staff that they’ll be no money to pay them!”
This latest furore follows on from many years of campaigning to get actors at least minimum wage. Just a couple of years ago Equity helped a group of actors who were not paid for their time in rehearsals, when their play fell through.
An employment tribunal found that performers who were signed on to a profit share were entitled to the minimum wage for the hours they worked, and ordered the respondents to pay all their overdue wages.
Though working for free is not breaking any of Equity’s rules, the union makes it clear that employers are breaking both minimum wage regulations and potentially working time directives.
The union has a number of case studies showing the outcomes for low paid workers in tribunals.
No one would argue that David Tennant is a highly successful British actor, having starred in Dr Who and Broadchurch, as well as appearing in some high-profile theatre productions in recent years as well.
But in a recent interview with the Big Issue, he revealed that many of his friends and family were less than encouraging when he told them of his dreams to become an actor, AOL reported.
When he was 16 and started sharing his ambitions of becoming an actor with friends and family, they told him it was a “daft idea”.
“I didn’t know any actors. And people all around me were going, quite rightly, this is a daft idea,” Tennant told the publication.
“But there was a little part of the teenage me that thought they might be wrong,” he added.
David Tennant is a testament to what you can achieve if you believe in yourself and chase those dreams. He also admitted that he’d like to go back and tell his younger self that he’s working as a successful actor now.
It could even give you the inspiration you need to start acting classes in Liverpool – you never know where it could lead you.
Actress Rachael Garnett recently wrote an article for The Stage, where she shared her thoughts on working outside of London. She urged actors to consider working away from the capital, noting that there is plenty of work in other cities and great opportunities in regional theatres.
She added that the lower cost of living outside of London is also a bonus.
If you’re looking for part-time acting classes in Manchester and wondering if there is much work for budding thespians outside of London, you may be interested in what actor Rachael Garnett has to say on the matter.
Writing for The Stage, she explained that she’d started her career in acting in the capital, but found that the cost of living was too high and that it was very difficult to get by and be happy when she was between roles.
As a result, she decided to move north, where the cost of living is more affordable and she doesn’t have an expensive daily commute. She added that, with a train to London taking just 2.5 hours, it’s still easy to reach the capital if you do land an audition there, but stressed there are “brilliant theatres” near where she’s living.
“A career in the arts can and should be wonderful. Remember: the arts are not exclusive to London,” Ms Garnett advised.
However, one leading figure in British theatre has warned that regional theatre needs more funding support from the government.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Sir Richard Eyre explained that funding cuts from both the Arts Council and local authorities, coupled with rising prices, are making it more difficult for regional theatres to “take artistic risks” with both new productions and new talent.
He stressed that “government and education must and should play a part in it”, adding that it would be a “terrible tragedy” to let regional theatres go under because of the “extraordinarily rich cultural heritage” in the UK.
If you want the best acting classes Liverpool has to offer then you are in safe hands with us.
Liverpool’s cultural history is world famous and the Royal Court Liverpool has been a focus of that.
It originally opened in the late Victorian era, but a fire that ripped through it in the late 20s meant that the theatre was closed for a while. It wasn’t until 1938 that a new art deco theatre was reopened. This is the theatre that remains today.
Launched in 1938, this art deco theatre has been responsible for the launch of many careers. Dame Judi Dench made her professional stage debut here in 1957, in a production of Hamlet for the Old Vic.
However, the theatre is really responsible for the popularity of pantomimes in Liverpool. Its pantomimes used to travel over the rest of the UK, with performances done in the West End, of that year’s Scouse Pantomime, as it become known.
The popularity of pantomime in the city was exemplified by the magazine that was launched in the early part of the 20th century, dedicated exclusively to pantomimes in the city. The Royal Court Theatre was absolutely key to that.
One of the clearest relics of the theatre’s past as primarily a theatre for pantomime, is its extensive counterweight fly system which allows actors to ‘fly’ around the stage. Pretty crucial for any performance of Peter Pan.
The lighting system has also always been second to none and plays a crucial role in bring the dramatics on the stage to live.
Autism affects one in every 100 people, according to Autism.org.uk, but those classified as on the spectrum with a love of acting should not let it stand in the way of their dreams.
Travis Smith, a 17-year-old actor from Pontypool, Forfaen, is embarking on the second series of The A Word, a BBC drama about a young man with autism which has received critical acclaim.
Smith was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome while in primary school and recalled how he would act up in class, have panic attacks and suffer from anxiety – but his love of acting was constant throughout his entire childhood.
It took the teenager some convincing to audition for the role in The A Word, but those close to him persuaded him to travel to London to try out.
When given the chance to audition, Smith’s passion and talent shone through and he was given the role opposite acting greats such as Christopher Eccleston and Morven Christie.
“Autism is everywhere and it’s important for a television show to show the public we’re not all just Rain Man. I’m terrible with maths! Acting is my thing,” the young actor said.
Acting classes in Manchester could help more young actors like Smith pursue their dream of treading the boards or landing a role on the small screen and beyond.
And there are more benefits to enrolling than just honing your craft. Acting classes can enhance your communication skills, improve your posture and even give you a boost of self confidence, while skills such as improvisation are great for learning to think on your feet.