Cast, Doncaster’s flagship theatre today announced it’s most successful year since opening selling 20% more tickets than the previous year. Although Cast boasts the lowest average ticket prices in South Yorkshire, ticket income is also up by 23%, a record-breaking result with over 90,000 people attending the theatre in the last 12 months.
2016/17 has been a record year for Doncaster’s theatre overall, with not only more tickets sold than ever before but 56 sell out shows, twice as many as the previous year, with record-breaking audiences for drama, classical music and dance.
The bulk of Cast’s unprecedented growth in 2016/17 has come from the charity’s pantomime. An annual treat for families across the borough, last year’s Jack and the Beanstalk saw 24,000 local people through the doors. With over 6,000 seats already sold for this year’s family spectacular, the theatre looks on course to smash records again with Beauty and the Beast. September also saw crowds of over 3,500 attend a free explosive and thrilling evening spectacular, Clash of Drums in Doncaster town centre, many of which had never been to the theatre before.
Hundreds of young performers from local groups including Let’s Act, New Youth Theatre, Nellie Stagles School of Theatre Dance and Star Stuck Academy performed on stage at Cast last year, and Cast has seen a growing audience for local talent, which now account for 25% of all tickets purchased. At the beginning of February, Doncaster’s leading amateur theatre company JKL Productions presented the world premiere of Heaven's Walk, based upon the extraordinary true story of a Doncaster family in the First World War.
Thanks to Cast’s ambitious fundraising campaign Make your Mark, the charity has also seen the donations increase by 150%, which will go to supporting a range of charitable incentives including workshops for young people, free tickets and accessible services.
Cast has experienced an influx of support in general, with membership enrolment doubling in size over the last 12 months. Cast members can access a range of benefits including discount at the Café Bar, invites to exclusive events and priority booking.
Cast’s Director Deborah Rees comments:
‘I’m thrilled that record numbers are coming to watch world-class live performance in Doncaster, further cementing Cast as a leading destination for culture in the region. Success for a theatre is measured in many different ways; and so above the Box Office returns, what I’m especially proud of is the generosity of local people who support the charity to make world-class arts provision available to everyone.
In 2016/17 there were a swathe of theatre-goers drawn to Doncaster for the first time, and it’s fantastic that Cast is making economic contribution to the borough as well as transforming the quality of life for local people. It goes to show that given the conditions to thrive, organisations like Cast are putting Doncaster on the map as an attractive place to visit, live and work.’