The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) today announced that for the first time ever more than half the West End’s shows have extended their booking periods to offer sales 15 months in advance, anticipating an increased demand for theatre tickets as millions flock to the UK in 2012.

The theatre industry plans to capitalise on London’s high international profile in the run up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June 2012 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in July/August 2012 so visitors can plan a theatre trip into their itinerary now.

2011 has seen the opening of many acclaimed new musicals with those booking into 2012 including The Wizard of Oz, Shrek The Musical, Million Dollar Quartet and Ghost The Musical as well as the new production of the Broadway hit Rock of Ages, and the RSC’s transfer of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical which open this autumn.

Classic long-running popular shows announcing extended 2012 booking periods include The 39 Steps, Billy Elliot the Musical, Blood Brothers, Dreamboats and Petticoats, Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde the Musical, Les Misérables, Disney’s The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, The Mousetrap, The Phantom of the Opera, Stomp, Thriller Live, War Horse, We Will Rock You, Wicked and The Woman in Black.

London theatre is a magnet for the world’s finest theatrical talent, with performances on the London stage over the coming year from Kevin Spacey, Ralph Fiennes, Mark Rylance, Vanessa Redgrave, Sir Patrick Stewart, David Suchet, Dominic West, Michael Sheen, Thandie Newton, James Earl Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas and Jude Law.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “My message to the good folks around the world is ‘Come to London in 2012 for a year like no other!’ We will be taking centre stage and whether you are coming for the Games or any other time during the year, surely no visit to our magnificent city will be complete without enjoying the spectacular entertainment London theatre has to offer. The capital’s theatre industry delivers the greatest shows on earth every night with a star-studded line-up of critically acclaimed and Olivier and Tony Award-winning productions. Visitors from around the UK and across the globe should snap up their tickets now for our world-class drama, musicals, dance and opera.”

SOLT President, Mark Rubinstein, said: “London theatre is something for everyone to be proud of and is a great ambassador for UK plc. The economic impact of London theatre on the UK economy is estimated at £2.6 billion per annum and we are thrilled that the doors of London theatres will be open for business as usual throughout 2012 with a huge range of superb productions ensuring that a great night out at the theatre is a must-do for millions.”

As the official body for London theatre, SOLT offers the most reliable and up to date information for theatregoers in 2012, from guidance on ticket buying to travel planning, via its website officiallondontheatre.co.uk, which also features all the latest theatre news, opening nights and a peek behind the scenes of the theatre capital of the world.

Release issued by: The Society of London Theatre

LINKS

West End Show listings: see a full listing of West End Shows

Ticket Offers and Discounts: see London Theatre special offers here