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Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
National Theatre's deficit rises
My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady: Ticket sales expected to be worth 4.5m
The National Theatre in London has seen its deficit rise sharply to 626,000 during the last financial year.

Although some of the theatre's productions were not a financial success and were taken off stage early, My Fair Lady, starring Martin McCutcheon was a box-office hit.

But the figures for the show - which had advanced ticket sales expected to be more than 4.5m - opened in mid-March, so the report includes all costs for preparing the production, but only two weeks of ticket sales.

The new figures appear in the venue's annual report, published on Wednesday, and cover the 12 months to 1 April.

Trevor Nunn
Nunn: Will not seek another term as director

The National, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, reported its first losses since the mid-1980s last year.

It is currently in the middle of a search for a new director after Trevor Nunn announced his intention to stand down.

Pulled

His five-year reign has been criticised by some for being too conservative, but he has enjoyed hits with shows including My Fair Lady, The Cherry Orchard and Noises Off.

But the last financial year also saw productions including Romeo and Juliet and Peer Gynt, pulled because they were poorly received.

National
The National was 77% full on average during the year
The venue has recently stepped up efforts to attract a younger audience, but had been criticised by performers for "battery hen" backstage conditions.

The annual report revealed a shortfall of 626,000, compared with 164,000 the previous year.

Budget-tightening measures have been put in place, and the majority of My Fair Lady's ticket revenue will show up in next year's figures.

The theatre had been 77% full during the report period, beating the theatre's target by 5%.

It has an annual turnover of 20m and assets worth 3.6m, the report says.

See also:

28 Mar 01 | Arts
My Fair Lady set for sell-out
18 Apr 01 | Arts
National's Nunn to leave
23 Oct 00 | Business
National Theatre's poor performance
07 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Kidman set for London stage
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