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Thursday, 27 September, 2001, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
West End fears downturn
Lion King
The Lion King has been a West End success
London theatres are to begin monitoring ticket sales over fears the West End could face a sharp downturn, mirroring the effect US attacks have had on Broadway.

The Stage newspaper reports that the Society of London Theatre is to compile weekly statistics to check box office takings.

The paper says the news is prompting fears there will be a demand for substantial wage cuts for UK casts and crews, similar to those in New York.

Cats is a favourite with tourists to London
Six productions on Broadway have taken 25% pay cuts to stave off the threat of closure as theatre-goers stay away following the terrorism attacks.

Although, box office sales in the States have started to rise they are still considerably down on previous years.

A huge advertising campaign has also been launched in an attempt to win back theatre-goers.

This includes the recording of the Frank Sinatra classic New York, New York by 100 music stars, accompanied by a video to be shot in Times Square.

The Stage reports London producers could soon demand cuts in overheads to ward off possible closures.

But unions connected to the industry have said the Society of London Theatres had not yet asked for wage cuts.

Society of London Theatre chief executive Rupert Rhymes told The Stage that talks had been opened with Equity, BECTU and the Musicians' Union to measure any knock-on effect being felt in London.

The West End may also try and copy another of Broadway's cost cutting measures which has seen US royalty waivers granted by directors and choreographers.

See also:

21 Sep 01 | Americas
Tourism shaken to the core
24 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Reprieve for Kiss Me Kate
27 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Broadway box office receipts rise
25 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Broadway begins fight back
18 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Cash aid for struggling Broadway
18 Sep 01 | Arts
Broadway shows signal closure
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