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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Despite economic austerity, London theatre box office boomed in 2013

LONDON - More people than ever attended London theatres in 2013, with ticket income rising for a 10th straight year, despite Britain's fragile economic recovery.

Figures released Wednesday show there were more than 14.5 million visits to theatres in 2013, up 4 per cent from 2012.

Box office revenue rose even more — by 11 per cent to more than 585 million pounds ($969 million).

Industry group the Society of London Theatre, which compiled data from 52 venues, said sales were boosted by newly opened musicals, including "The Book of Mormon," ''Once" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

The one blot on a strong year was the Dec. 19 collapse of part of a ceiling at the Apollo Theatre during a performance. Almost 80 people were hurt, seven seriously, and the venue remains closed.

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