Report: Olympics Boost London's Theaters

Looks like the projections were right: London's theaters are seeing increased box office numbers of nearly $392,000 over the previous week, according to the Telegraph.

Composer and theater impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber has admitted he was wrong to predict a West End “bloodbath” during the Olympics after figures showed takings for his theaters have risen by 25 percent since the Games began. (Lord Lloyd-Webber’s theaters are currently hosting Matilda the Musical, The Phantom of the Opera, The Wizard of Oz, War Horse and Shrek.) While the number of foreign tourists in the West End is down, domestic visitors are flocking to the theatre, Lord Lloyd-Webber said.

His positive message came as the Prime Minister’s spokesman refuted claims that central London has become a “ghost town” during the Games. Separate figures showed an increase in sales on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street last week, and increased traffic of 11.6 percent on the previous seven days.

Showing a truly British sense of good sport, Lord Lloyd-Webber said that he was "delighted" to be proven wrong, noting that he had considered closing The Wizard of Oz for the duration of the Games but decided against it. The show, which is running at the London Palladium, rose more than $150,000 week over the previous week. The producers of Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi, another theatre owned by the impresario, did choose to go dark during the Games. “The Adelphi is closed and maybe it shouldn’t be,” Lord Lloyd-Wbber said.

He also urged theatergoers to take in a meal before or after a show in order to keep West End restaurants going during the Games.

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