The Belgrade Theatre has seen a successful past year with new figures released in its annual report show audience numbers are at their highest ever with 176,180 tickets sold in the last financial year 2016/17, in addition to winning a string of awards for its productions and community work.
Out of the total number of tickets sold, 44% went to residents of priority postcode areas and 40% of tickets were offered at a concessionary price to disabled patrons, children, the unemployed, senior citizens and Passport to Leisure holders. The Community & Education Company also offered over 11,000 participation opportunities, through its vast programme of community engagement work.
From 2016-17, the Theatre produced and presented over 500 performances of 133 productions on both the Main Stage and in the B2 auditorium which recently celebrated its 10 anniversary.
The past year has also seen the Theatre collect various awards for its high quality productions, broad-reaching community and education programme and commitment to promoting diversity.
Made in India won Best Production at the Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Awards whilst Wipers won Best Stage Production in the Asian Media Awards. Both productions brought together an acclaimed team of British and Asian artists, telling similarly pertinent but very different stories.
The Belgrade also picked up a UK Theatre Award for the Promotion of Diversity and a Coventry and Warwickshire Tourism and Culture Award for Cultural Education.
The Theatre continues to be successful in securing a more sustainable future for itself by earning more commercial income. Earned income now makes up 72.8% of the Theatre’s overall income, up from 46% in 2008/9. Box Office income formed the largest income stream, making up 42.6%.
Belgrade Enterprises Ltd also forms 22.5% of income, which includes the Belgrade’s set and costume making facilities, Events & Conferencing, Commercial workshops and catering, which was recently taken in-house to be run by the theatre.
Joanna Reid, Executive Director of the Belgrade Theatre said, “We are hugely proud of the success we have achieved over the past year and would like to thank all our staff, supporters but most of all, audience members who are increasing their support so that ticket sales are the highest numbers we’ve ever seen.
“As a registered charity, all the money raised and earned through ticket sales and our commercial activities, is reinvested in the work that we do, allowing us to continue to produce excellent theatre productions and impact more lives through our community and education programme.”
In the year ahead, the Theatre hopes to build on the current success of Coventry’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021, by producing a dynamic programme of work that stands out at a national level, attracts and develops world-class artists and continues to grow and diversify its audiences.
2018 will mark the 60th anniversary of the Belgrade, with exciting plans in the pipeline to celebrate this landmark year.