London's theatres are one of the city's biggest tourist draws. And new figures show that audiences swelled by over three percent in 2011 - that's despite rising unemployment in the UK. The Society of London Theatres said the capital's 52 major venues took around $840 million in ticket sales.
Reportagem: Zoe Conway
Last year 8 million people were off to see the Wizard of Oz and other musicals. 6 million went to the opera, to the ballet or to see a play.
London's West End is not cheap - tickets to see a play can cost $75 - so there's been surprise here in the UK that when the country is going through one of the worst economic downturns for decades, people can still afford to go.
Mark Rubinstein at the society of London theatre says it's really not that hard to understand why people are spending the money.
It's not just in London that Britain's plays are proving a sell out - they're transferring to New York where they're drawing big audiences and winning awards.
But will audiences keep coming when the Olympics arrive in London this summer? Theatre owner and impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber says there's going to be a bloodbath and theatres will close. But not everyone in Theatreland's so gloomy. Adam Spiegel the producer of Midnight Tango thinks the Olympics could help draw people in.
economic downturns (períodos de desaquecimento de negócios em geral afetando o desempenho do comércio e indústria) periods of time where trade and industry are performing less well
afford (tem dinheiro suficiente) have enough money
proving (se mostrando) showing
transferring (transferindo, movendo de um determinado lugar) moving from
drawing (atraindo) attracting
impresario (empresário, a pessoa que contrata peças em determinado teatro) person who arranges plays in theatres
a bloothbath (uma situação devastadora, um banho de sangue) a devastanting situation
Theatreland (área no centro de Londres com grande concentração de teatros) area of London where all the theatres are located
gloomy (triste ou sem esperança) sad or without hope