As the 18 venue UK and Ireland tour of the National Theatre’s production of Macbeth, directed by Rufus Norris, draws to an end, the NT are delighted to announce the headline successes of the production. The tour saw a total attendance of 132,000 people, of which 38,000 were students from 718 individual schools. Nearly 35% of total bookings were sold to first time bookers across the touring venues.
The success of Macbeth on tour builds on the NT’s mission to make theatre for everyone, and to reach the widest possible audience, in a year which has seen a schools tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time visit 65 schools around the country, as well as tours of War Horse, This House, Hedda Gabler and LOVE.
Across the tour, audience development was a core aim, with bespoke support and subsidised tickets ensuring the production welcomed more young people and audiences new to drama.
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and The Lowry, Salford, are two of the venues participating in the NT’s Theatre Nation Partnerships programme, a three-year scheme to build local drama audiences. Both venues saw impressive attendance by new audiences, and over 400 students attended two conferences.
A wider Learning programme available throughout the country saw the NT provide training for over 200 teachers to help them explore Macbeth in their classrooms, and over 700 young people attended eight ‘Page to Stage’ events.
In Hull, the NT and Hull New Theatre worked with local community groups to create a new piece of street art inspired by the production, and with Absolutely Cultured and Back To Ours to build on the legacy of the City of Culture.
Lisa Burger, Executive Director of the National Theatre said: “We’re so pleased to have welcomed so many new audiences to our production of Macbeth over the past six months. Working alongside the venues we’ve ensured that no stone has been left unturned in our mission to reach the widest possible audience and to encourage attendance for drama around the country. We’re delighted that young audiences, in particular, have received this play with such enthusiasm. We look forward to further growing our national audiences when A Taste of Honey tours in the autumn.”
Future National Theatre tours include Home, I’m Darling at Theatre Royal, Bath (16 –20 April), The Lowry, Salford (23 – 27 April) and Theatr Clwyd, Mold (30 April – 4 May), and A Taste of Honey which will visit The Lowry, Salford from 13 – 21 September, with a press night on Friday 20 September. The tour will also visit the Kings Theatre, Edinburgh (24 – 28 September); the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (1 – 5 October); Richmond Theatre (7 – 12 October); Grand Opera House, Belfast (15 – 19 October); Leicester Curve (22 – 26 October); Theatre Royal, Bath (28 October – 2 November); Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton (5 – 9 November); and the Norwich Theatre Royal (12 – 16 November).
Macbeth was produced on tour by the NT. Macbeth on tour in partnership with Lloyds Bank Private Banking. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England’s cross-border touring programme, The Thompson Family Charitable Trust and The Royal National Theatre Foundation.
Photo credit: Lee Pallant