Theatre attendances at Shakespeare's Globe broke all records during the 2004 Season of Star-Crossed Lovers with ticket sales reaching a remarkable 93 per cent of capacity.
These were the highest audience figures in the nine seasons of Globe Theatre productions and amongst the strongest in London this year.
Romeo and Juliet played to packed houses all season and was the most popular play amongst Globe theatregoers with 131,000 tickets sold, followed by the all-female production of Much Ado About Nothing at 112,000 and Measure for Measure at 81,000. In total, nearly 325,000 people saw a play at the Globe during the five-month season from May to September 2004.
Uniquely amongst London theatres, Shakespeare's Globe offers 700 "groundling" tickets at £5 each for every performance, and this year more than 100,000 visitors were able to enjoy the plays for less than the price of a cinema ticket in London.
Mark Rylance, the Globe's artistic director, said: "The Globe continues to attract theatregoers in huge numbers for our summer seasons – a success story that is all the more remarkable because we receive no public subsidy. To me, of course, the Globe is the most vital space in the world for the performance of Shakespeare. The architecture brings actors and audiences together, providing an affordable theatre experience and reviving a sense of social inclusion and occasion. Through this we are discovering and reviving skills as classical actors and musicians. I love all these aspects of the Globe and am delighted that other theatres are following our lead in terms of low prices and love of Renaissance architecture."