More plays staged at top UK theatres since 2009

More plays were staged by the UK’s most-subsidised theatre companies in 2014 compared with five years earlier, despite fears about funding cuts, BBC research suggests.A total of 200 full plays and musicals were staged by 20 of the venues and touring production companies with the biggest government grants in 2014.That is up from 163 full plays in 2009.
Production levels at a further 42 theatre companies, which receive smaller grants, remained roughly level.The number of new plays also rose between 2009 and 2014, particularly at the best-funded venues, despite fears that new writing is harder to sell.The research looked at 62 subsidised UK theatre companies – about three quarters of all those that get at least £250,000 per year, create their own productions and were open in both 2009 and 2014.
Annual government funding for those 62 theatres dropped by 1.6% in that time, not including inflation.In recent years, subsidised theatre companies have expressed fears about the impact of funding cuts.Some of the best-funded theatre companies have made up for this by increasing their private fundraising and giving more of their hit shows lucrative runs in the West End, Broadway and elsewhere.
However actors’ union Equity said the number of weeks actors had worked had fallen – suggesting that productions were having shorter runs or using smaller casts.