Art and Design / August 30, 2022

Abbey Theatre sees box-office bounce back but online theatre still dominates

Image: Abbey Theatre
Art and Design / August 30, 2022

Abbey Theatre sees box-office bounce back but online theatre still dominates

Words: Ellen Kenny

The Abbey Theatre increased their revenue by 29 per cent in 2021, but has not yet reached their pre-Covid earnings.

The Abbey Theatre reported 573,848 euros revenue in 2021, a 29 per cent increase from 2020. This year’s return is a 128,719 euros increase on the box office revenue of 445,248 euros recorded in 2020.

Box-office revenue in 2019 was 2.8 million euros, 77 per cent more than this year’s revenue. 18,066 people attended the Abbey Theatre in person this year, compared to 116,494 in 2019.

The Abbey Theatre received 7.5 million euros from the Arts Council.

A spokesperson for the Abbey said, “While the theatre industry really suffered during Covid, it has been heartening to see the appetite of the audience for a return to live theatre and the steady increase in ticket sales in the year to date.”

“As is the case with our colleagues across the sector, we do not expect to see our box-office returns to match pre Covid at this point. We have worked hard to ensure our audiences safety throughout Covid and have been pleasantly surprised by the speedy return of a large part of our audience.

The spokesperson said, “We understand others need more time and we are keen to welcome them when the time is right. We need them and their support and we expect to see our audiences continue to grow over the next 12 months.”

The Abbey Theatre online

While they still recover from Covid, the Abbey has seen a boom in online performance attendance. The Abbey Theatre produce 53 hours of online content, according to their report. 3,854 tickets were sold for digital productions, and there were approximately 148,000 views of online content.

The Theatre held 19 “online premieres” and 300,059 visited their website. Only 11 per cent of the Abbey Theatre’s audience attended in person events. There was no online attendance reported in 2019.

The report also celebrated 14 performances in sign language, 12 of which were Irish Sign Language. There were 23 captioned performances, 12 of which were in person.

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