Record year for Harrogate Theatre

13 August 2011

Harrogate Theatre has announced details of their past financial year which saw substantial increases in audience attendance, impact on the local economy and attracting audiences from outside the region.

Harrogate Theatre’s achievements for 2010/11 include:

  • The highest ever level of audience attendance.
  • 100,955 people attended 347 live events, an increase of 3% on the previous year.
  • The flourishing artistic programme saw all the productions play to an average of 70% full houses. This equals last year’s attendance figures.
  • Harrogate Theatre’s economic impact on Harrogate and District during 2010/11 rose by 18% and stands at over £7.3million.
  • Attendance from the district remained at the same level as last year with a 50% increase in attendance from people outside of the region proving that Harrogate Theatre’s programme of events are encouraging more people to travel into the region.
  • 2010/11 also saw a rise in its artistic output with 6 co-productions developed with 6 creative partners, 97 venues visited on tour nationwide with 321 performances and 79,612 people attending the shows on the tour.
  • Harrogate Theatre’s Education and Outreach department continued to thrive with 241 members of Harrogate Youth Theatre, 270 Youth Theatre workshops and 155 children engaged in after-school clubs.

All of this has left the Theatre in a very strong position to continue to develop as a valuable and progressive arts organisation that can serve the whole ofNorth Yorkshire.

The Theatre’s education and outreach department continued to be a vital part of the Theatre’s operation with workshops and educational support being undertaken in schools as well as expanding the activity of Harrogate Youth Theatre.

2010/11 saw Harrogate Theatre deliver its busiest programme of live events with work across both the Main Auditorium and Studio Theatre. Its annual pantomime continued to prove a popular draw for people from across the region as Dick Whittington broke all box officerecords with 96% of all seats sold which is over 30,500 tickets. Harrogate Theatre co-produced with Tamasha Theatre on the World Premiere of The House Of Bilquis Bibi which opened at Hampstead Theatre, London prior to a national tour; worked with North Country Theatre on a rural tour of A Blood Wedding In Wensleydale and the relationship with Oldham Coliseum and Anvil Arts, Basingstoke continued with a production of Noël Coward’s Private Lives. This coupled with co-producing with Kala Sangam and Icarus Theatre saw Harrogate Theatre enjoy one of its largest artistic outputs for quite some time.

Also a whole host of professional touring companies stopped off at Harrogate to perform as part of national tours allowing people to experience a wide selection of entertainment on their doorstep. During 2010/11 42 touring companies performed in Harrogate.

Comedy once again helped put Harrogate Theatre on the map. The second Harrogate Comedy Festival was produced with over 6,500 people attending 25 events featuring over 40 comedians in 15 days.

With this phenomenal year complete Harrogate Theatre has now announced further plans for 2011/12 which include:

  • Co-productions with North Country Theatre and Oldham Coliseum & Anvil Arts, Basingstoke
  • The third Harrogate Comedy Festival will run between 10-22 October
  • The education department will continue to offer a wide programme of outreach projects.
  • Harrogate Theatre have led an initiative to merge box office resources within the town to share costs whilst maintaining an excellent service for bookers. The newly formed Harrogate Box Office sold tickets for the Harrogate International Festival and now the Harrogate International Centre and Royal Hall. It is expected this service will expand over the year to include more venues and events.
  • 2012 will see the two emerging theatre companies join Harrogate Theatre as Associate Companies. Thunder Road and Reform Theatre Company will be nurtured by Harrogate Theatre and will open their brand new productions in Harrogate prior to national tours.


Jim Clark, Chairman of Harrogate Theatre said:

Harrogate Theatre has completed a very successful year against the backdrop of very difficult times for the country. Without the support, enthusiasm, commitment and dedication of the people of this District we could not have accomplished these achievements and on behalf of all the team at the Theatre I express our thanks to you all.

We have once again delivered and exceeded the targets we set ourselves a year ago and it is wonderful to see this historic and vibrant venue being enjoyed by people from all over the District both on and off stage.


David Bown, Chief Executive of Harrogate Theatre said:

2010/11 has been another successful and tremendously creative year for Harrogate Theatre. I would like to thank all those that contribute to making Harrogate Theatre the success that it is, the thousands of people that attend, the incredible volunteers that help out front of house, the Friends of the Theatre who work tirelessly at fundraising and our amazingly skilled staff.


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