Audiences from across the whole of the UK visited Hull Truck Theatre during 2017; we had visitors from an incredible 97% of UK postcode areas, including the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland, and bookings from every single postcode area in England and Wales. More than 20,000 people saw a Hull Truck Theatre production outside of Hull, from The Hypocrite at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon to The Market Theatre of Johannesburg’s The Suitcase on its tour of five northern venues.
We had an unprecedented number of visitors during 2017, 45% of whom were first time bookers. Overall visitor numbers went up 22%, from just over 69,000 in 2016 to more than 88,000 in 2017.
We were committed to making our Year of Exceptional Drama as accessible as possible for everyone. An average ticket price of £12.17 meant that a visit to the theatre was affordable, and 3,253 people took advantage of our Pay What You Can scheme, paying an average of £5.66 per ticket for world-class productions.
Community engagement was a key part of our work in 2017. We engaged with 5,000 local people through our Community Dialogues project, which encourages more people to visit the theatre from areas of low arts engagement in Hull. 245 children from disadvantaged areas of Hull saw A Christmas Carol as part of our Give the Gift of Theatre scheme, supported by our Spotlight partnership scheme and corporate sponsors. 2,610 people of all ages participated in workshops, inclusion groups and Discover events as part of Hull Truck Theatre productions.
We produced 7 new commissions during 2017, working with internationally renowned partners including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Northern Broadsides and The Market Theatre of Johannesburg to bring world-class productions to Hull. They included sell-out shows The Hypocrite and The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca, the two fastest selling productions in the history of our Ferensway building. We also welcomed 55 shows from visiting companies and presented a total of 459 individual performances.