In the theatrical season 2013/2014, the number of spectators to performances of theatres and professional and amateur theatre groups within the country totalled 375 thousand. This equals each individual attending the theatre once a year. The number of spectators dropped by 22 thousand between theatrical seasons. The total number of spectators in the theatrical seasons 2000/2001– 2013/2014 is shown in Figure 1. Included are spectators to performances in schools by theatres and theatre groups, as well as domestic and foreign co-productions and guest performances.
To a large extent, fluctuations in number of spectators between years are most likely due to the selection of staged works. Judged by the average attendance over the last five theatrical seasons compared to the average attendance in the previous five years period, the theatre attendance has remained almost stable despite multiple and broadened offer of leisure activities. Average annual theatre attendance in the theatrical seasons 2009/2010 was 395 thousand compared to 397 thousands in the theatrical seasons 2004/2005-2008/2009, on average.
The number of spectators is in fact somewhat higher than is shown here since information is not available from one professional theatre in the last four theatrical seasons. The number of admissions to amateur professional theatre groups is here estimated for the theatrical season 2013/2014.
In the last theatrical season, five professional theatres operated on eleven stages with a seating capacity of 3,706. Together the theatres staged 65 works within the country, including co-productions with professional theatre groups and guest performances. Of the productions staged most were plays, or 38. Productions by Icelandic authors were 32 and 21 by foreign authors. Staged productions by a mixed nationality of authors were twelve. Performances numbered 1,047 in total a little fewer than in the previous season. Spectators to professional theatres totalled 271,046 or some 23 thousand less than in previous theatrical season (see Figure 2).
The most attended work in professional theatres in the last theatrical season was the musical Mary Poppins with roughly 40 thousand spectators.
Professional theatre groups
There were 56 professional theatre groups operating in the country in the last theatrical season. In recent years the number of professional theatre groups has dropped since its height in the theatrical season 2010/2011 when they numbered 79. The groups staged 76 productions within the country. Performances numbered 629. The total number of guests was 73,732 or quarter less than in the previous theatrical season (see Figure 3).
The most attended stage work by professional theatre groups in the last theatrical season was a circus with just over 20 thousand spectators.
Amateur theatre groups
In the theatrical season 2012/2013, 37 amateur theatre groups staged 108 works within the country. Information from the last theatrical season is not available yet. Eight out of every ten productions were written by Icelandic authors. The groups performed 523 times to 35 thousand spectators.
Statistics Iceland collects annually information from the theatres and the theatre groups.