Derby Theatre is celebrating breaking box office records - and receiving thousands in donations for children in care over the Christmas period.
A Christmas Carol, which finished on January 4, and Hansel & Gretel, which ran until December 29, proved phenomenally popular with audiences and press alike, playing to over 25,000 people during their runs, from the city and the wider region.
Ticket sales for the theatre’s combined big festive offering were consistently good from when they went on sale last January, right up until the final performances, with the majority of shows being complete sellouts. The productions were also a huge hit with schools from across the East Midlands making large group bookings.
Meanwhile, Plus One, the citywide ticket donation scheme to provide children in care and their foster families with free tickets to experience live theatre, film, dance and workshops, also benefitted greatly.
After each performance bucket collections were held outside the auditorium doors as the audience exited and during the run the scheme the collections attracted donations amounting to in excess of £12,500.
Gary Johnson, general manager at Derby Theatre, said: “We are thrilled at the success of our Christmas shows and breaking box office records, and delighted that audiences made A Christmas Carol and Hansel & Gretel their choice of festive entertainment.
“Audience members of all ages were welcomed into the venue and had a thoroughly enjoyable time with us. We sincerely hope the younger audience members were inspired by their visit and will become our next generation of theatregoers.”
He added: “Since the initial launch in December 2013, Plus One has proved incredibly popular with the major arts organisations in the city and the donations the Theatre has received during the run of A Christmas Carol has again exceeded our expectations for this year. We would like to say a huge thank you to our audiences for their wonderful generosity;
the money will go towards providing children in care, and their families, with exciting, insightful and entertaining arts experiences in the city. Our commitment to, and work with, children in care is also evident on our main stage this spring as we present a home-grown production of Solace of the Road which tells the tale of a young woman growing up in care, a story rarely told in theatre.”