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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 July, 2004, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
West End show tickets sales grow
Amanda Holden
Thoroughly Modern Millie was among the casualties of poor sales
Ticket sales for West End shows appear to be on the up despite a downturn in audience numbers earlier in 2004.

About 17m of advance bookings have been made for three new shows which begin in London later this year, each taking between 3m and 10m.

The news comes after a number of high-profile shows were forced to shut down due to poor ticket sales.

Theatre critic Mark Shenton said an increase was positive but 3m of 50 tickets equated to a six-week run.

'Not a lot of money'

Among the casualties were Thoroughly Modern Millie, starring Amanda Holden, The Shape of Things, by Neil LaBute and Sam Mendes' first West End production Fuddy Meers.

Mary Poppins, which begins in December at the Prince Edward Theatre, has sold 10m of tickets, The Producers, which plays at the Theatre Royal from November, 4m and Woman in White, which starts in September at the Palace Theatre, has received 3m of advance orders.

Mr Shenton told BBC London: "Seventeen million isn't an awful lot of money anymore.

"People expect shows to run and run like Les Miserables but in the old days they ran for about a year and that was it."



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